BLOG: Top tips for would-be entrepreneurs
As Global Entrepreneurship Week draws to a close James Benamor teaches Your Money how to get a business off the ground.
I started my first business at 18, employed my first member of staff at 21 and at 30 I was the 8th richest young person in the UK. But things didn’t always look so bright for me. When I was 15 I quit school, left home and made some bad decisions – though I had some luck by finding some online jobs for 14 year olds that did help me out. By the age of 18 I had managed to turn it around and get out of the cycle and set up a legitimate business.
It wasn’t always easy to get the help I needed when I started. As its Global Entrepreneurship Week we should remember that budding entrepreneurs don’t have to be born with a silver spoon in their mouth to get a start in life. In support of this important week, I’ve compiled my top five tips on starting your first business.”
Do the leg-work
When I started out I couldn’t afford advertising so I printed loads of leaflets and delivered them by hand myself. In fact, I delivered 30,000 leaflets in just a month, pretty good going I think. It shows that you have to put the work in – you won’t get anywhere by resting on your laurels.
Overestimate how much you are going to spend and underestimate how much you are going to earn
I’m not saying don’t be ambitious, but be realistic. Being an entrepreneur isn’t just about being the next Richard Branson overnight. If you’re proven wrong it’s an added bonus, but you can’t expect to make tons of money straight away without any hiccups. That’s why it’s so important to have financial support in place to guide you through the tough times.
Keep your finances in strict order
If you’ve taken the time to set up the business make sure you know what money is coming in and out Be meticulous and pay attention to detail. Spreadsheets are dull – unless you are a lover of Excel – but if you get to grips with them they’ll be your savior when it comes to tax returns and knowing who owes you money.
Solve a real problem
Don’t build something that’s just okay. If you have a choice to create a product or service that a million people kinda want, or a product or service that just a thousand people desperately need; go for the smaller audience.
Trust your gut
Believe in your entrepreneurial spirit. If you feel that something is right go ahead and do it. People will tell you what they think you want to hear, not what they actually think is true. So, trust your gut on your business idea. If you think there’s a gap, go for it. Just make sure you have a good business proposition to hold it up.
James Benamor is CEO and managing director of Amigo Loans and owner of The Richmond Group.