Starting your own business?
The questions you’ve been too scared to ask…
Think the idea of starting your own business is too scary to seriously consider? It’s time to face your fear and discover that, with the right help by your side, it doesn’t have to be scary at all. Blackpool Unlimited’s Kriss Wilson explains.
Here’s a Halloween horror story for you. You have a business idea. You know it could work brilliantly, but you’re not sure how to make it happen. Perhaps you don’t have the money to get it off the ground. Perhaps you don’t have the first idea of where to find an office, staff or funding. Perhaps some people try to talk you out of it. So you put the idea on the back burner. Nothing happens. Eventually it becomes one of life’s great ‘what if?’ moments.
If you ask me, that’s a much scarier thought than actually launching a business. So if you’ve got a business idea but have been nervous about making something of it, let’s dispel a few fears.
Should I start my own business?
Sensible head on: if you wanted a life of zero risk you’d never start your own business. Then again, you’d be working for someone else, working by their rules and working to support their success, not yours.
Starting your own business isn’t easy. It’s certainly not something you should do on a whim. But if you’ve done your research, if you’re prepared to put the effort in, and if you’ve got people around you who can help unlock doors, give you the benefit of their experience or take practical next steps, then I’d always say yes.
Is my business idea a good one?
A bit of perspective is a powerful thing. When you’re so close to an idea it can be hard to really stand back and take an objective look at it. That’s the value of a business plan. With the right plan (and some help from your business advisor) you can uncover extra potential in your idea. You can see the risks and put plans in place to navigate them. And you can explore the numbers and assess whether the figures really stack up.
Will people take me seriously?
You believe you’ve got a killer business idea. The problem, you fear, is you. Perhaps you worry you lack qualifications, credentials or experience. Perhaps you worry your gender, age, accent or skin colour might work against you. For whatever reason, you worry people might not believe in you.
To that I’d always say ‘prove them wrong’. A great product, service or business idea has a habit of changing people’s views. And when your business starts to make waves, everyone will take you seriously.
Will I make money?
There are lots of great ideas. But a great idea is not a great business idea unless it makes money. It doesn’t have to deliver Jeff Bezos levels of wealth. It doesn’t have to turn you into a millionaire (as lovely as that would be). But it does have to make a profit at some point.
It’s not always easy to monetize (that is, make money out of) your ideas, but we can help ensure yours stand the best chance of earning you a living with a well thought through business plan and some sensible financial forecasting.
What if I don’t get any customers?
“If you build it, they will come.” It’s a nice line, but it’s from a movie (Field of Dreams) and it takes far more than opening a business to create a successful business.
It’s not about luck or fate. It’s about consistently doing the right things. Good products. Great service. Doing what you promised. And always looking to improve. And if you do all of that, they really will come.
If my business is a huge success, how will I cope?
On the one hand, it’s the dream scenario. On the other, there’s the fear that if you create a monster it will devour your life – that you’ll never be able to cope as the head of a runaway success.
The reality is that most businesses are more of a slow burn. Generally, you have time to adapt and grow into your success. Yet even if your business is an overnight sensation, it’s easy to imagine that you’ll face that success alone. That doesn’t have to be the case. And when you call on the support available to you, even wild success becomes a manageable challenge.
I don’t know where to start
Now that’s the easiest fear to allay of all. Every day, Blackpool Unlimited helps businesses launch and grow. We do it by answering their questions (and there really is no such thing as a daft question) and helping them with the practical things like business planning, forecasting, finding premises, accessing funding or getting some training.
Best of all, we do it for free.
So while we can’t promise to make launching a business easy, we can promise to make it much, much less scary.
I’ve helped hundreds of people get their business started in Blackpool. I’d love to help you. To explore your plans or to ask me anything about starting a business, get in touch with me. Kriss Wilson, 01253 477147