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Business newbie here...help please!

(8 Posts)
nectarini1983 Fri 17-May-13 10:36:44

Hi there

I wondered if you lovely ladies would be able to share some words of wisdom with a novice. ....please.

Ive got what I think is a fab idea for a small business for me to run from home online using my skills and experience.

I know I need to do a business plan but my questions are...in what order should things be done...ie setting up website, po box address, going self employed etc. As surely this all needs to go in business case?

And also what start up grants are available? The government ones only appear to be for people on benefits.

I just feel im in a chicken and egg loop and not sure what fo do first to try and get this baby off the ground!

Any advise will be greatly appreciated! !

lovefreelance Fri 17-May-13 10:50:41

A business plan is a great place to start. I wrote one right at the start of planning my business (pretty much at the stage you're at now). Now because I needed it to get funding, but I needed to get my head around my business idea and find out how it could work. It gave me a structure around which to think about my business, and covered all the areas I needed to think about. It also showed me where the holes in my thinking were, allowing me to come up with solutions. This page gives you some tips on getting started with a business plan and some templates to use:

www.talentedladiesclub.com/all-help/how-to-write-a-business-plan/

I tried using several different business plans before finding the one that worked best for me (HSBC).

I also looked into grants, but found there was nothing right for my business available at the time I was looking. This page give you advice on where to look and what you need to consider and has a grant searching tool:

www.smarta.com/advice/business-finance/small-business-grants/how-to-find-a-grant

The government also has business finance and support finder:

https://www.gov.uk/business-finance-support-finder

It may also be worth contacting your local council as there may be local grants available. I found a site for my county that listed all grants available.

Finally, the biggest help for my business was using a business coach! I had toyed with the idea of starting my business for two years. Five months after biting the bullet and using a business coach I was ready to launch. There is no way I would own a business today if it wasn't for coaching.

Good luck! smile

nectarini1983 Fri 17-May-13 11:36:22

Thanks so much lovefreelance....thats all really helpful! It's quite scary deciding to put yourself out there isnt it?! Suppose there's only one way to find out. ...

lovefreelance Fri 17-May-13 12:06:51

No problem - and yes it is! Partly because all the time a business remains just an idea it can be a huge success (in your head!). But making it real runs the risk of failure, and then what do you dream about?

But if you approach starting a business properly, it will have a decent chance of working, and you'll be in the enviable position of actually living your dream. So yes - the best thing is to just do it!

I love Will King's (of King of Shaves) motto (a mix of two famous straplines): Just do it. Nothing is impossible.

If you don't try, you'll never know smile

SoftKittyWarmKitty Sat 18-May-13 22:52:19

lovefreelance how did you find your business coach? Are thy expensive?

Costs vary by industry & what you need. I would say £500 for 1 day is reasonable & £100 an hour thereafter, but that's just my own experience. Your industry could be v diff!

I've discovered recently that agencies will also offer training as an alternative to retainers & I've been taking advantage of that (getting PR training, for example).

You can PM me for more info if you like (typing laboriously on phone while toddler is clambering on me!).

Sorry my point about training is that's how I know the general current day rate in my industry, which applies to coaching also.

lovefreelance Sun 19-May-13 12:58:55

softwarmkitty my business coach was a friend of a friend. She had just qualified and was looking for a first client to get started. So I had a couple of free sessions and then paid. It was a lot less expensive that I expected - and a lot more valuable.

If you would like my coach's contact details, send me a message and I will forward them. The sessions are all over the phone, so it doesn't matter where you live.

Otherwise, have a look online for accredited business coaches, and pick a few that you like the look of, and get in contact. It's important to find the right fit for you.

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