3 Tips for Starting Up

3 Tips for Starting Up

Advice on what to think about when starting a business.

By Marcia Smith

1. Gain business skills

There are a great many ways to get the necessary know-how to build and run a successful business.

Universities around the UK offer degrees at an undergraduate and postgraduate level, some of which accept portfolio applications in the place of A levels. If conventional education doesn’t suit, there are a range of courses offered by local colleges, the Prince’s Trust Enterprise Programme, or internationally through MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) run by some of the worlds most prestigious organisations. Beyond this, a lot can be picked up by asking peers in business, or simply from the hands-on experience of running a company yourself.

2. Find someone to run your business

Start off by clearly defining what you’re looking for in an ideal CEO or general manager. Do you want someone who’ll think for themselves and be creative, or someone who will stick rigidly to your way of doing things? Focus on their skills and what they can bring to your business. If you think it’s essential they have prior experience in your industry, make that one of your criteria.

By defining these targets, and by setting out a clear job description and specification, you’ll reduce the risk of hiring the wrong person and encourage the right kinds of applicants. It will also help you to choose between candidates. As for finding candidates for the job, in addition to regular advertising try specialist recruitment agencies, and make use of networking and your business contacts.

3. Get business advice

If you’re seeking advice from other business people, look to those who’ve enjoyed more success than you. Those in very similar positions are less likely to novel, useful things to say.

As a startup, for example, you may get a little useful information from other startups, but you’re likely to get a lot more from entrepreneurs who have already taken their business to higher levels.

You should also consider that if business people are similar enough to you to be operating in the same market (i.e. your competitors), you should take care not to divulge any information about your business that could grant them a competitive advantage.