Start your own business

If you are thinking about starting your own business, it’s important to know what you want to achieve and why you’re going out on your own.

You should have a rough idea of what you want to do, and how you want to do it, but that doesn’t mean having a rigid business plan, just be honest with yourself.

If you do what you love, you'll never work a day in your life

What do you want to be?

Let’s be honest, in the start up world, the self employed and small businesses far out number the big tech start ups many times over, but most courses, articles and books assume that we all want to be the next big thing!

Focus on your passion

Whether you want to be the next Elon Musk or just want to spend time doing what you enjoy, the decisions you make and your own preferences will have a greater impact on the approach you take than any article or book you’re told to read or course you attend.

be prepared to pivot

One great approach is the Lean start up, which suggests that a plan is a set of questions not answers, and as we ask each question you learn more, pivot and get closer to the final shape of your business.

Some questions to get you started

What do I want to get out of this?

For most of us, we start doing something we enjoy, and then look for ways to make a bit of money out of it, or we want to be our own boss. Others are looking for the next get rich scheme, or looking to get and spend a load of VC cash. Whichever approach you are into, your decisions and plans will be very different, but remember, none of them are wrong!

Who is my audience?

If you have an audience that respects you and is interested in what you have to say you can find a way to monetise it. Understanding your potential audience will help you develop marketing and content strategies that you will need to promote your business, and help develop and define your products and services.

Why am I doing this?

According to Simon Sinek's Golden circle, people buy into why you do what you do more than what you do, so having a passion and mission are very important, and will help you make the right decisions going forward.

What are they trying to achieve?

People don't want products, they want solutions to problems that they often don't understand fully, leading to a lengthy research process. Understanding what your audience needs help with lets you build a sense of authority and relevance to the audience long before they get to a purchase decision and can help you build a broader range of products and services.

How do I think I can help them?

It's likely that your business will pivot many times before you get to a final product but you have to start somewhere. The lean startup approach suggests you treat each idea as a hypothesis to be tested, not an answer set in stone so you should be open to feedback and revisions to your initial idea whilst it's being optimised.

Get a mentor.

Most Governments have enterprise offices to support local businesses, so engage with these and see what support they can offer. In Ireland, the Local enterprise offices provide business mentors who can help potential, new and established businesses define their direction and support growth.