7 May 2015

As the inaugural Inspire Manchester event draws even closer, I’ve been getting a grilling from my team on the types of business lessons I can share. It got me thinking about the very early steps of setting up in business and the most useful tips for getting that initial momentum going and turning your idea into a working reality.

Save the fancy furniture for later on when your business is well-established

Save the fancy furniture for later on when your business is well established

I suppose one of the first things I’d always advise a cautious approach to is money. Whilst passion is integral to the success of a business idea, spending your life savings on it or taking out a huge bank loan is not necessarily the best move in the early days.

What I’d also point out is that it’s incredibly tempting to spend money on things when setting up. However, whilst buying a car or nice office furniture is appealing, I’d sooner sit on a beanbag than have the company have to pay for something not intrinsically linked to its success. So, what would some of my top tips be?

  • Firstly, be careful what you borrow money for and always ask yourself, “Do I need this?” As I mentioned before, if you’re buying fancy furniture to make the office look great, it’s not essential for the growth of your business.
  •  If you take out loans for frivolous things very early on, you might not be able to get funding when you actually start gaining momentum and want to expand further down the line.
  • Whilst it’s tempting to reward yourself with more pay after a successful month, there’s nothing worse than an unexpected bill. In my experience, costs that you haven’t factored in will invariably pop up now and then and, depending how big they are, have the power to wipe out a start-up.

Of the many people who talk about setting up their own business, few go on to take the plunge and even less succeed long term. It’s a crying shame, as anybody can succeed with the right kind of mentoring and advice.

If I can do it, so can anyone. All it takes is that hunger and drive to succeed, and the discipline to not overspend in those critically important early days.

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