New entrepreneurs always ask me how long it will take them to start up their businesses. I usually ask them as many questions as I can in order to give a more accurate answer. During our first consultation, I often realise that entrepreneurs have not done enough research or initial study in the market to understand where their businesses will be heading to. The most important lesson you should know about starting up your own business is: Do your research and ask yourself as many questions as you can before you invest a penny.
Most of the entrepreneurs I know are very good salespeople. The vast majority of business owners I have been in contact with tell me that they attach more importance to selling to a potential client than finding the ideal client for their business. But in my opinion, attracting, finding and reaching out for the right client is more important than selling to them.
Imagine you’ve had a business idea recently. You’ve prepared your business plan and you know how much money you will need to invest in your business to launch it. But you’ve realised that you don’t have enough money to start. You think about how other entrepreneurs have overcome the same financial challenge when they started their businesses. Should you invest all your savings? Should you invite one of your friends or someone from your family to become your business partner? Should you talk to your personal bank manager? Perhaps an investor?
We know of many successful entrepreneurs who started their business from home. Steve Jobs from Apple is perhaps the most famous example. I have given advice to many people in the UK looking to start their business from home.
The first thing you need to be aware of is that you can’t start just any business from home in the UK. Most types of businesses in the UK need to have a special licence to operate, or at least a local registration in the Borough Council. You may also need permission from your mortgage provider or landlord to run your business from home.
Does your business suffer from an increase or decrease in sales during particular days, weeks or months? If it does, you are not alone. Most of the businesses I have given consultancy or get involved with in a way or another suffer from seasonality. Factors such as the weather or holiday periods can affect your business performance.
Seasonality is a characteristic of a time series in which the data experiences regular and predictable changes which recur every calendar year. Any predictable change or pattern in a time series that recurs or repeats over a one-year period can be said to be seasonal.