● Are you thinking about setting up your own business?
● Do you have an idea for a new business but are unsure on how to proceed?
● If you have answered yes to either of these questions, then this blog could be of benefit to you. I am going to write about how to plan and create a successful small business aka a Side Hustle.

Truth is, many people are now looking for ways in which they can become self-employed as they have had enough of being dictated to and fed up with long and frustrating commutes to work, not to mention the crazy work schedules. People want the freedom of being their own boss and most importantly, to be able to choose their own hours of work. Did I hear you scream

Leaving a full time career can be quite a scary prospect, I’ve been there. The security of having a regular income and other benefits such as a pension, health benefit and other perks can seem hard to let go. Many people like you, whether rightly or wrongly, have opted to stick with this security and keep their business plan as a dream, which oftens ends up in the grave, never seeing the light of day.

The seemingly brave or crazy ones are willing and happy to take the risk and see it as a way of getting out of the rat race. What if they fail? Possible, but what if they succeed?

So let’s get into some things you can do to get started on that business idea….

A name
When you have an idea for a new business you then need to think of a name to call it. I would keep this name quite short as it makes it easier to remember for people. It obviously needs to have something to do with the business sector you are entering. Don’t spend too much time on this, you can change it in the future. Some people get so overwhelmed by this and never move on, don’t do it!!!

It’s all well and dandy to have the best product in the world but if no one wants or needs it, then you have yourself a bit of a problem. Testing the viability of your product has never been so easy. Using the internet, you can create prototypes of your product and test buyers’ interests. You can sample with your immediate network (people who love you enough to be honest) especially the ones who fit your ideal customer avatar. Ensuring you have a product that will sell is a critical step before you go blowing all your savings on branding and the launch.

You will now need to work out how much money you will need to set up the business. This can be quite daunting but is essential. In the short term I would advise to keep these start up costs as low as possible, you can always buy or rent better machinery in the future as an example. Once you are aware of how much money you need, you then have to find it. You may have enough yourself via savings or a redundancy payout, however most people are not in this position. If you do not have enough money, you could try and raise money via the family, by seeking a partner or by releasing the equity from your house. There is also the option of a business loan (not as easy to get but still worth exploring). There are also lots of startup angel investors and crowdfunding available. Before you give up in despair, ensure you have combed through all options.

My tip here is always start small. Don’t plan a roll out with 100 features or products, start small and plan to scale as the business grows.

Market/ Sales
The next stage is to market your product or service. For some people, this is the yucky stage. A lot of people don’t want to be out there and will rather hide behind the scenes….. People do business with people aka people buy from people they like…. How will they like you if they don’t know you?

There are many ways of doing this including:

The internet via a website: Social media is the cheapest form of advertising. Pick 1 or 2 platforms and engage with your potential customers. Underpromise and overdeliver always.

I would advise finding out where other people from your industry market their products as they will have tried and tested many systems. Do not directly copy but use this as inspiration to market in your authentic way.

You then need to work out how much to charge for your product or service. Some people keep these charges fairly low at the outset in order to attract as many people as they can and to get some income in and that could be a smart move depending on what it is you are selling. Only you can determine the value of your product. Do some research on similar products/service and charge accordingly.

A tip is to do sales i.e rather than cost at $50, say you’re doing a one-time promo at 50% off, humans love deals 🙂

Failure as learning
It is important to realise that you will make mistakes along the way. When this happens you need to think positive and not to beat yourself up. It is an experience you can learn from. Look back at what you could have done differently and use that in planning your next step.
Believe in yourself and your dreams. All businesses go through rocky periods, this is when you need to be strong, don’t give up when the going gets tough. Focus on the reason why you started this journey and keep learning as you go.

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