Five ways to start a successful business - Hayley Parker of OPS-BOX
Right in the midst of a global pandemic - some might say not the best time to start a business - but for many agile entrepreneurs, this could be the perfect time to become your own boss or expand or diversify your current business with a new venture.
An economic downturn can create all kinds of unexpected opportunities - they say necessity drives innovation and for those able to spot those chances and are brave enough to go for it - the opportunities are undoubtedly there.
In fact, a recent survey from Enterprise Nation found that one in five UK adults are looking to start a business in 2021.
So, what would be our advice for anyone looking to launch a new venture? We've come up with 5 tips to stand you in good stead:
1) Fail to plan, plan to fail
You wouldn't set out on a journey without a map - or more likely a sat nav these days! Your new business is no different - you need a goal - an end destination - and a plan of how to get there. That's not to say you might not get lost along the way or double back and take a different path - but that's the important thing about planning - to know your goal and how you might get there, whilst being flexible and prepared to adapt and change course along the way.
2) Be very clear on your business proposition
Do you have a clear definition of your product and service offering? Its benefits and the problem it solves for your customers? As well as an unbiased view of how it compares to your competitors? Knowing exactly who you are and being super clear on exactly what benefit you offer your customer could be make or break in a competitive world.
3) Actions speak louder than words
Having a business plan is important - but creating a great business plan is just the start, it's what you do with it that matters. Time and time again we see good plans developed, but often you don't see them turned into reality - because not enough action has been taking to support the delivery. When it comes to starting a business, you can spend too much time thinking about what you should do. Our advice is start doing stuff. Start building your website or setting up your social channels. Start reaching out to contacts and talking about your offering. You will start to see your business take shape in front of your eyes.
4) Seek out support
One thing that most business owners will agree on, whether a start-up or an established company, is that running your own business can be a lonely place. Everyone needs a sounding board sometimes - it might be an issue, a challenge or an opportunity, but people within your business and indeed friends and family are often too 'close' to provide objective advice. A trusted partner or network that you can turn to and learn from is an invaluable resource for the road ahead.
5) Keep a close eye on your finances
Finance is regarded as the lifeblood of a business enterprise. It is the basic foundation of all kinds of economic activities and the success of an organization largely depends on efficient management of its finances. In these uncertain times, it has never been more important to keep a close eye on your cost base and cashflow, as well as having a strategy for funding your longer term growth.
How can OPS-BOX help?
We provide a range of business support packages to help start-ups and established businesses, tailored to focus on specific business areas and designed with budgets in mind.
Business brainstorming - a two-hour session to discuss any aspect of your business that you would like to focus on. It might be defining your proposition or your target audience, or just providing a sounding board. We can help you to think critically and enables you to work through ideas in a logical, clear, unbiased way.
Business partner - for smaller business owners, they can't afford the luxury of a large leadership team, but those business owners that have trusted partners around them, are the ones that usually succeed. We provide an ongoing business partner service, which provides the benefit of our experience and connections, as well as providing perspective and an unbiased view on your business.
Securing funding support - we have many years of experience in the finance sector and understand the importance of having the right type of lending facility for your business need. We know what a 'right first time' application looks like for a lender. and with our support you can have confidence that you'll have the best chance of receiving the funding you need.
Hayley Parker is a director and founder of OPS-BOX. If you would benefit from working with a business partner, get in touch today, to find out how OPS-BOX could support your business to be the success you want it to be.
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