Top five tips for starting a business

By Jana Bringmann, Marketing Project Intern - 16 December 2021

Being an entrepreneur isn’t just for those studying business courses. With a strong idea, determination, and resilience, you could take the leap to launch your own business. Whether you are looking to follow your passions, or want to be your own boss, or are sitting on a bold innovation that needs to become a reality – starting a business might be the perfect route for you.

It’s not going to be easy though, so here are some top tips to help you start your business:

1. Get comfortable with the uncomfortable

Starting a business is defined by tackling unknown situations on a daily basis. Getting into a state in which you can confidently make decisions without fully knowing their outcomes is crucial for early decision making. Entrepreneurship is not a straight line, there will be highs, lows, global pandemics – being adaptable is part of an entrepreneur’s DNA.

2. Use the right tools

Building a business from scratch is usually a costly undertaking. Making use of the right online tools can save a lot of money and help to streamline your workflow. Some free online tools include: Slack, for easy messaging; Canva, for any graphic design; Mailchimp, for your day-to-day email marketing and Trello, for effortless project management are just some powerful tools.

3. Try again until you get it right

The fact that no one gets it right the first time is a given. Learn from all mistakes you will make along the way and use them to improve, but do not let them divert you from your path. Eric Ries’s Lean Startup methodology focuses on the importance of learning and iterating through the ‘Build, Measure, Learn’ cycle to encourage you to keep trying and experimenting and accepting you’ll never have a ‘perfect’ product.

4. Do the research

Having the necessary knowledge of your industry is one of the key factors of any successful start-up. Therefore, thorough market research can set you apart from many failed businesses. Here are some effective and free online tools: Survey monkey, for straight forward feedback on your product or service; Google Trends, for historic data on previous trends; Make my Persona by HubSpot, to comprehensively gather the information, you have collected and Think with Google’s market finder, to explore new global markets. 

5. Validate your product

In order to prove that your idea has substance you will need to validate it in front of an audience. Therefore, make sure that you test your idea with customers, to see if they are willing to put their money into your product. As a first step Rob Walling, Co-Founder of Drip, for example, looked for 10 people who would be willing to pay his asking price.  

These tips can give you a place to start, but there is a huge amount of support available for aspiring entrepreneurs. At RGU, our Regional Startup Accelerator gives entrepreneurs the opportunity to gain five months of business training, £5,000 in seed funding, co-working space, mentorship and more to boost the development of their ideas. The programme in 2022 is open to anyone living in Aberdeen or Aberdeenshire with an idea from any sector. Find out more and apply by January 2022 on our website.

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