Over the past few weeks, dozens of pre-startup and startup businesses have been reviewed . And prior to the current lockdown, literally hundreds of startups were reviewed and their startup requirements recorded.
And a major reason for the general lack of progress, or complete failure, is confirmed.
People were asking for advice in the wrong place or were asking for the wrong kind of advice. And were never progressing enough relevant issues at a point in time.
“ I want to start a business and am looking for funding” No business plan, no idea of how to set up or run a business.
“ I have a written business plan” , but on inspection, the ‘plan’ is only a collection of ideas 3 of the people who attended a recent webinar on selling and getting customers. Two were currently trying to get customers in completely the wrong places… Both needed to understand their markets and change the way they looked for prospects, before trying to improve sales tactics and skills. The third, desperately needed to improve the basics of person to person communicating skills, and, needed to understand how to start a business. This third person really needed someone strong enough to tell him the facts of business, and that people buy from people !!
Regarding this issue of advising people of their weaknesses, or the lack of credibility of their business idea. If our team has a conversation with someone and realises that their business idea and plans are just not viable. We will ask if they want to hear our honest opinion based on experience, and not be offended. When they agree , we advise that what and how they are planning is not viable, and the reasons. Frequently the feed back is . “ thank you very much, I have been looking for an honest opinion !!”
And people will go to a network event once, and not return to develop relationships. Many will attend a ‘Business Startup’ course ( 1, 3 or 10 days ) but will not follow up any, or many, of the areas relating to their business. . They will track down a 1-2-1 meeting with a specialist in a certain topic, in, say, London, and not really progress interest in other areas.
In a pre-business checklist, there are up to 15 or 20 separate areas that need to be addressed to plan, start and run a successful business. One individual will never achieve this on their own. it requires involvement of others who are specialist or competent in their particular fields. Ask anyone who has built a business if they involved others…. And they will list off the people who have helped along the way. ( paid or unpaid)
The number of people who are looking to start a business, part time or full time, is increasing by the day.
If you want to be one of the minority who actually starts and makes success of a business, you need to seek ongoing advice, talk to as many business people as possible, plug into as many ( free ) webinars a possible, get an early ( written ) plan to get the activity started.
Adopt a mindset, “make some progress today”, “take action now” , don’t say “I’ll do it when……….”
So the question is. How to attend the right events and ask the right questions, and seek advice in particular areas ??
With assistance, create a list of the issues to be addressed to go from startup to profitable operating, ( as mentioned above, this could be 15 to 20 issues , or areas ) Then go through and identify the ones where you need information, help, contacts, funding etc… and find where you can get the answers…. Earliest requirement ones first !!! ( not “how to sell, before you have a working business model” To see a startup checklist, see the Blog on the Croydonbusinesshub web site .
Read the biographies of the high profile successful UK business people … and hey will acknowledge help and assistance form literally dozens of people along the way. Need recommended business development books ? ….email the Hub
Croydon Business Startup Hub