COVID-19 has certainly put us through difficult times, but for many, it’s afforded us many unexpected opportunities.
There's a lot of creativity that’s come from such a difficult time, Nic Fren, CEO of Bespoke Media Group explains.
I’ve seen many, now business owners, take a passion or hobby and turn it into something of an asset. Alternatively, I’ve seen those who have struggled to survive, who have fallen into the pitfalls that many entrepreneurs experience.
Not everyone is destined to be a business owner. Owning & running a business are two seperate things.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, show that approximately 20% of new businesses fail during the first two years of being open, 45% during the first five years, and 65% during the first 10 years. Only 25% of new businesses make it to 15 years or more.
So where can it go wrong?
Having owned businesses since 2015 both in and out of the real estate industry, I wanted to share my top 6 tips on what you can do to ensure your idea becomes a success.
1. You will need more than passion
So you have a great idea or love doing something?
That doesn’t necessarily mean it will make you money. Loving something and turning it into a business will require a lot of preparation and thought.
You might love what you do, but you need to be good at it. This is why I think side hustles are really important for those starting out.
This will allow you the time to create, nurture and understand your business, the model you want to develop, while still providing an income in the early days. I’ve seen businesses go all or nothing without getting a feel for the need for their product/service, and ultimately, end up in financial trouble, and have to close down. Take the time to really dive into is this what you really want to be doing. When a passion becomes a job and you have to deal with the day to dealings of business ownership, it can be a very different story.
Look to see what other services are out there are similar to yours.
For example, there’s many social media marketers out there. However, when I started my business, there wasn’t anyone who stood out in this space back in 2018.
I am a licensed agent, had been in the industry for around 15 years at that point, so not only was I known to be good at marketing myself online, I had the industry knowledge and experience to back it up. My advice would be to study your industry and be the leader when it comes to your space. Study how to run a successful and profitable business and seek help from those who have done it. Watch what successful business owners do and take guidance from them. Implement what resonates with you into your own style.
This is where many startups fail within their first year. You need more than a good idea, you need to make money from it. The main reasons are mismanagement of income & expenses, inexperienced when it comes to running costs or, your product or service just isn't in demand.
As a business owner, I'm always looking for ways to minimize my expenses. The last 12 months have been a great kick start for many businesses as everyone found themselves online.
Personally, I find I'm trading most of my day in the car travelling to wrapping up the same amount of meetings in half the time over Facetime & Zoom, giving me more time to grow my business and my team.
Know your worth and stick with it. When selling a product, you need to keep in mind what the product costs you, what markup you will put on it, as well as things like packaging and shipping and labour. For services, you want to adhere to an hourly rate. Know how long your service will take and include preparation and execution in your fees.
Even if you are planning to start a side hustle and grow it from your bedroom you will need money to start. You won’t always need a website, but you may want to put some money into social media ads, a professional photo taken, business cards and more. There are plenty of people out there who will invest if you have a good idea or pitch correctly, so it might be worth engaging with a business coach. You should be able to get out of it for under $4,000.
Be careful giving away your product/services for free.
When we start out we want people using us/our products and are eager to gain momentum. So, we can tend to discount our services in the hopes of getting traction. While this can work, you can also find yourself spending a lot of time on activities that won’t make money.
Alternatively, offer your services as a trial and be upfront that there will be a fee if they are happy with you and want to continue after the trial period is over. Remember this, you are in business to make money, not friends.
4. Surround yourself with the right people
You will have people who will try to take advantage of you, use your success or network for their own gain or play on your inexperience.
Seeing the warning signs early are paramount to ensure you have a good network around you.
Relationships are a two way street. It’s all about give and take. If you find yourself giving more than you get, then it’s probably not a wise choice to stay in that situation for long.
I've had those experiences and they can be tough to deal with. You need to have the strength and drive to put that aside and get on with it. In my experience, they were blessings in disguise. I needed to grow & expanding the business was my focus and what can we do next was always on my mind!
Surrounding myself with people who weren’t focused, didn’t have a business plan or the passion for their business like I have for my own, I wasn’t going to achieve my goals. Be very careful about who you give your time and headspace to.
5. You need to be willing to grow
When I started Bespoke I told myself I'd be happy if I could secure 8 clients. Over 300 clients wasn't exactly on my radar.
I had to build new systems, put on more staff & shift the direction of the company.
Even though I knew I was onto something great when I started the business, I wasn't prepared for the growth it achieved in such a short period of time.
Always reach for the stars. If I'd listened to all who told me Bespoke would never go anywhere I never would have started it. Dream big & plan big.
6. Remove the ego
It’s not all about you. While it’s exciting to have your name as “Director” on a business card, it’s even more important to ensure your clients and your team are happy.
Without either, you have no business. Building loyalty within your brand is the #1 thing that will bring you success. Your clients want to feel they are your only client and your team want to feel part of a team. People want to work with people. Raving fans are worth more to your business than an ego.
Showcase your successes, but remaining humble & approachable will outway chest beating every time.
Bespoke Media Group