Accord to a government advisory paper ,”the UK is one of the best places in the world to run a business.”
Perhaps then it is not surprising that the aspiration to run a business is increasing, particularly amongst the younger generation. Part of this is down to recent interest in TV shows like “Dragon’s Den” and “The Apprentice” which have been around since 2005. Unfortunately their ‘high-drama’ formats do not always give a realistic view of what it means to be start and run a business.
With that in mind, here’s our top tips if you are considering starting a business.
1) Emulate a businessman. Find someone in a similar business and copy them. If they are “feeling up skyscrapers” (to coin a phrase from the movie “Layer Cake”), there will be loads written about them, how they think and what makes them tick. If they are in the less glamorous but equally rewarding world of smaller businesses, grab them for a coffee. You may know them through family and friends already.
2) Write a business plan, but don’t rely on it. We are in the process of setting up a micro-brewery at Evans House, so the whole process from buying supplies to the beer being sold and drunk must be sketched out. Once you have all of these steps, ask yourself ‘can I do all of these steps?’ If not, can you learn or do you know someone who can who could work with you (an employee, contractor or advisor for example)? Once you have overcome this hurdle (it should take you a fair bit of time to do); burn it. I can guarantee that pretty much nothing will go to plan, therefore you either constantly update the plan (which is a waste of time in my opinion) or learn to react to the challenges with the base-line knowledge you already have.
3) Identify who your ideal customers are. Their age, gender and background and why they might buy from you and not from someone else. This will help you decide on your niche market and USP (unique selling point).
4) Develop a network of like-minded people to gather information. Working for yourself can be isolating at times so it is really worthwhile connecting with others in a similar situation and sharing ideas and experiences.
5) Don’t tell everyone you are going to be a millionaire. I have met many aspiring businessmen who have grand designs in life. They all have one thing in common; they are absolute bulls***ers and everyone will avoid them like the plague. Try getting credit from a business supplier or bank with that reputation.
6) Stick to the basics. It’s easy to forget day to day when everything is going wrong and everyone is demanding your attention what you are supposed to be doing. The better planned you are, the better can react to these issues. When it gets a bit tough, remember the ‘4 D’s’, which are ‘do’, ‘defer’, ‘delegate’ and ‘delete’. If a task pops up that can be done quickly or is urgent, ‘do’ it. If it can wait, ‘defer’ it to when you have time to deal with it properly. If someone else can do it, ‘delegate it’. If it does not actually require your attention, ‘delete’ it. I find that having 4 email folders with these titles helps organise my week.
7) Plod. If you push yourself too hard, you will simply burn out. If you do nothing, tasks will simply pile up and you will fail. Best to set yourself simple tasks and perform them for a minimum amount of time per day/week. For example, I hate doing accounts, but if I spend one day a week ensuring they are up to speed, I don’t get bogged down with them.
8) If it ain’t making me money, forget it. You will often be distracted or unwilling to do an important task central to your business because of tasks which in the grand scheme of things won’t make you a penny; so don’t do what isn’t central to making you money. For example, why waste time spending hours choosing business cards. No-one wants business cards these days. If you disagree, think when was the last time that you got a number you wanted to remember and thought, ‘you know what, I know we have mobile phones that can store thousands of contact details, but I just want to carry around a small piece of card representing everyone I know.’ Burned!
9) There is more than one way so skin a cat. There is often an attitude of a right and wrong way to do things. In my opinion, this is not correct, as there are different business models that function well in different ways. There is no right answer. Whatever decisions you take (whether that be what bog roll to put in customer toilets, or which interest rate bank loan you will accept), weigh up the pros and cons, make a decision and live with it.
10) Have (some) fun. Doing something you learn to hate very quickly will kill your soul a little every day. I should know, I’m a solicitor. Try and pick something you’ll like and stay interested.
And now the shamless plug...
If you are interested in starting a business in the Warrington of the North West .generally and need a premises to work from, please feel free to contact us on 01825 411170 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
It's all go here at Evans House now the weather is warming up. Tracey Padmore's Bright and Beautiful Homes domestic cleaning, laundry and ironing service has just moved in on the second floor, and we are getting ready for Mike Ward Fitness Training's arrival in mid June.
In preparation for Mike's arrival we are splitting the top floor into separate training units complete with reception offices, communal showers and toilets and an astroturf floor.
If you know someone who is looking for training space in the Warrington area, please have them contact us by calling 01925 411170 or by emailing email@example.com.
Personally I think it's a bit harsh, but according to the Guardian Newspaper (national , not local press), Warrington is culturally one of the worst places in Britain. Admittedly, when I went through the list of reasons why I thought this was not the case (George Formby, Chris Evans, Rebekah Brooks etc) I came up with a blank because just about everything I thought of had been ridiculed.
In light of this, I would like to ask Warrington townsfolk to come up with the best reasons why Warrington is culturally awesome. The funniest answer will receive a really awful t-shirt, similar to the image left. Terms apply (but I don't know what they are yet).
Please post your comments below, or on Evans House's Facebook page or Twitter page.
For the full Guardian article, please click HERE.
Competition ends Friday 29 April 2016.
A few weeks ago, we blogged about Evans House having a 6745 sqft fitness studio for hire complete with reception, individual coaching rooms/offices and a main training area with an astro turf floor.
We have had quite a bit of interest in the premises from trainers who want smaller units. With this in mind, we have decided to divide the unit into smaller bays for individual trainers to rent one bay (one bay is approximately 14 feet by 50 feet) or more. The dividers are movable, so if more room is needed, you can expand your business hassle free. We are also looking to provide communal showers and toilets on the top floor in the near future.
Know anyone who would be interested in such a business? Please forward their details to us using the CONTACT page and we will get in touch. If the referral results in an lease, we will pay you a referral fee of £250 (terms apply - please contact us using the CONTACT page for more information).
Flexible terms offered including rent free period of six weeks, set rent and services (for easy budgeting), various frequency rental agreements (e.g. weekly, monthly, quarterly or annually) and/or variable rental agreements (pay less rent when your business is quiet).
We also offer assistance with signage, marketing, business development and construction matters.
Just a quick message to say thanks to everyone who read, responded and/or shared the previous post concerning the recent break in at Evans House. Mr Chris McNabb (not above) has apparently now been remanded into custody and been charged with burglary. For the full Warrington Guardian article, please click HERE.
Evans House's Blog author likes the sound of his own voice and couldn't find his a**e with both hands.