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10 top tips for first-time entrepreneurs

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Congratulations! You’ve finally decided to take that first step into starting your own business. It takes courage to start a company. As a first-time entrepreneur, it’s an exciting journey that you’re about to embark on – but it can be daunting at the same time.

To help you along the way, here are 10 top pieces of advice for first-time entrepreneurs to get you started on your journey.

1. Do a start your own business course

Your Local Enterprise Office will have details of this course. They are usually subsidised so aren’t expensive. The start your own business course can really help you set up in the right way. It’s also worth registering your business with the Companies Registration Office.

2. Sit down and discuss with your family

You will need support to run your business. Whether this means extra help for childcare while you attend meetings or if it’s to get extra housework done by your partner so you can work more, there needs to be a heads up for the family as they are the ones who will be watching your ups and downs.

Make time for your family. Set certain hours that your family will have you all to themselves. You are doing this for your family after all.

So make time for them away from work and your business. Simple things work best. They usually only want your time. A walk in the park, movie night or just hugs and a story at bedtime will go down well.

3. Surround yourself with like-minded people

In other words, find other entrepreneurs just like you. Seek them out. You can do this in person at networking events or via online communities.

Ask other people in business if they would like to meet up and go for a coffee. You could even join a business network – great for sharing advice and getting support.

4. Create a business plan

A business plan can really help you with your planning – covering numerous areas, from who your customers will be to how much you’ll charge for your products or services.

Be honest with your figures – there’s no point in conjuring up figures that don’t work. Your business plan is important. This is your guide to where your business is going and where it should be.

5. Get a good team around you

If you are not good at accounts, get an accountant and pay them to do all of that for you. If you are not good at emails or creating presentations, try using a virtual assistant. It’s worth paying someone for the skills that you don’t have or you are not good at.

6. Promote your business to your potential customers

Using social media can help you find out where your customers are, so you can promote your business to the right people. Are they on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram?

Explore all of the different platforms and find one that is right for you and your business. Social media is a great free way to connect with your customers and build relationships.

7. Write a press release

Once you’ve created it, send it out to the media. They are always looking for great start up stories. Tell your story. We want to know all about you, what made you start your business and what makes you tick. So write it down.

And it’s also worth posting it on your blog too – it’s a great way to drive traffic back to your website.

8. Blog about your business and area of expertise

Share your knowledge, By doing this you are helping others and showing that you are the best in this area. The sales will come as a result.

9. Get a mentor

A mentor is someone who has worked in a similar field or someone who you admire who is already successful. Choose someone you trust and someone who you know really gets you.

This form of business support can work wonders, both for the development of your business and for you personally in your new role as an entrepreneur.

10. Make sure you have a website

Buy the domain name of your business name. Create your Facebook page, Twitter and all other social media platforms with the same name (but don’t feel that you have to be on every social site). Keep your branding the same on all platforms. Protect your name by trademarking it.

Reach out and ask leaders for help. Most leaders in the business world are very happy to assist if they can. Listen to their advice and keep good folk around you at all times. It’s an exciting time for you, so make sure you look after yourself and keep an eye on your health as well.

Entrepreneurs tend to work far more than others. And if you’re always thinking of ideas, try keeping a notebook by your bed or stick notes in your phone when you get ideas. Good luck!

How to start your business

Want to start your own business but not sure how to proceed? Read this guide for tips on creating a business plan, working out who your customers will be and much more.

Download your free guide