If you have ever thought about starting your own business, this is for you. In the beginning, it is natural to wonder how exactly you are going to go about setting it up and if anyone is actually going to buy your product. I went through this exact process last year. A year later, after a lot of thought, I have decided to close the shop and pursue other ideas. The whole experience has been a big learning curve and I will explain my reasoning for deciding to move onto other projects. Hopefully what I have learned will help someone else who was in the same position as me last year.
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5 things I learned from launching my first business:
1. DO YOUR RESEARCH
I had the idea for my business for quite some time, trouble is I knew what I wanted my brand to represent but not exactly what the product offering was going to be. Maybe you already have the idea for your product but not the brand. Either way, research the market, competitors and look for any advantage you can gain the market. What are others not doing well at? Have you found a niche market? Don’t choose a product without researching first, this is going to give you the best chance of success.
2. MAKE A PLAN
Having studied business at college and university the idea of a business plan was not news to me. Some people may not think it is necessary to do so but I feel it was definitely worth having on those days where you don’t feel confident or have lost your way. It helps you go back to basics and remember your why. Once you have completed your business plan, break down the areas and timelines of launching and marketing into smaller goals. It is very easy to lose track and time will pass very quickly if you don’t have a clear plan of action.
3. UTILISE RESOURCES THAT WILL HELP YOU
Nobody is an expert at everything, there will be times when you need help or you need to learn something in order to progress forward. This is something you shouldn’t shy away from. Determine the areas in which you can learn and the areas that it is easier and will save you time by outsourcing. I used so many online guides that helped me with every step of the way.
4. STARTING A BUSINESS TAKES TIME
Unless you already have thousands and thousands of potential customers to easily market to. Your business is going to take time to get off the ground. This is why creating a solid marketing plan is so important. What’s crucial is that you stick to it and are consistent. As I previously mentioned, it is so easy to get lost in time and it passes so quickly. You need to keep consistent on social media and building a list of email subscribers.
5. THE BEST THING YOU CAN DO IS GET STARTED
Being a business owner is ultimately taking a risk. There is no way of knowing if your idea is going to make sales unless you jump in and just do it. If you set aside some money to invest in your idea, write it off in your mind. That way if it goes wrong, yes you spent the money on a business that is not viable long-term but you will gain invaluable experience that you will only learn from going through the process.
WHY I DECIDED TO CLOSE MY STORE – ‘SAYONARA’
My main goal for 2019 is to become fully self-employed. I have many ideas that I am looking to pursue in the coming months which I am really excited about. As mentioned, I had the idea for the brand of Sayonara way before I knew what the product was going to be. Since then I have found it pretty difficult with where to put my focus. It felt like nothing truly fit what I had in my head. I did have plans to relaunch with a new product line but have since decided that these products could be sold on different platforms, without the branding. For me, I have proved to myself that I am able to set up a business from scratch and bring it right up to launch, this is something that I am extremely proud. Throughout the process of setting everything up, you face lots of hurdles and wonder if your idea is good enough or will anyone like it. The reality is that you have to find something you are passionate about and build a brand around it and then go for it.
I will be heading into 2019 with lots of new ideas and the confidence to pursue them. Throughout the past year, I have gained invaluable knowledge in e-commerce and what is involved in making it successful. None of this would have been possible if I hadn’t taken the risk of leaving my job last year, read about this here. It may be scary but when you find an opportunity you need to pursue it. If you do not the opportunity passes. Most people that end up running successful businesses have had many attempts beforehand. If an idea doesn’t work or you decide you want to pursue something else, it doesn’t mean that you have failed. You have gained the confidence in seeking opportunities and seizing the idea. No matter what happens everything is a learning experience, of which you can use to really propel your next idea.
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