5 things that will give you confidence to launch your start-up in 2019
Over the years we’ve supported countless clients, friends and networking buddies to launch their own exciting start-ups. And we know that one of the biggest hurdles is usually confidence. After all, stepping out and launching a new venture is a big step!
There’s nothing wrong with a few nerves. In fact, they show that you care and can help keep you focused on your goals. But if you’re thinking of launching a start-up in 2019 - whether you’re looking to set up as a sole trader or start a side hustle - and are feeling overwhelmed, then we’ve got some tips for how to reduce those jitters to manageable levels.
1. Create good habits
When you’re starting out, the sheer volume of tasks to get through can be daunting. It might seem there just aren’t enough hours in the day.
It’s so helpful to get into a pattern of good work / life habits to make sure you stay productive, avoid procrastination and give your new business its best shot. We love the phrase ‘eat your frogs first’, meaning before you do anything else you should do the one thing you’re absolutely dreading. That way the rest of the day will be a breeze.
We know that different things work for different people but we’ve found that it’s really helpful to try and eat well, get enough sleep, and create a regular morning routine that sets you up for the day. That might be something as simple as going for a quick walk, putting on your favourite playlist as you get ready or taking five minutes to sit quietly with a cup of tea and do nothing.
2. Make sure your business looks great
Appearance isn’t everything - not by a long shot - but it does have an impact on the impression we give others, not to mention the way we feel. If you’re going to an important meeting then chances are you’ll spend that little bit more time on what you’re wearing, for example, to give you extra confidence when you need it.
A beautifully designed logo and branding will do the same for your business. When people come across you, whether that’s in real life or on social media, they’ll immediately draw conclusions about your business from the first impressions it gives. If your branding stands out for all the right reasons, you’ll draw attention and importantly confidence from your audience, making them more likely to invest in you.
What’s more, if you feel pride in the way your business looks, you’ll feel more confident in selling your services - not to mention charging what you’re worth.
3. Surround yourself with support
When the going gets tough…the tough ask for help. On those dark days when the doubts drown your thoughts, the negativity niggles and your confidence crashes, it pays to have a friend on hand to help fend off the demons.
A mentor or coach can be a great investment to keep you on track and give you the ammunition and the self-assurance to keep on keeping on. But if you’re not ready to spend out there are plenty of other options. Join networking groups, find a local business buddy to meet for coffee, or even ask a trusted friend to allow you to bend their ear.
Just knowing that someone has your back can give you the mindset makeover you need.
4. Know your numbers
One of the biggest reasons start-ups don’t succeed in the first year is because they run out of cash. And as business owners who’ve been there, we can see how it’s possible to get pulled so far into the day-to-day running of your business you miss the bigger picture. Especially if numbers aren’t really your cup of tea.
But if you don’t take some time to plan and budget properly, you’ll find things will quickly spiral out of control. As a minimum get cosy with your profit margins, turnover targets and burn rate and you’ll soon find yourself making confident decisions about what to charge, when to increase your rates and whether you can actually make ends meet.
Your local Chamber of Commerce – for example Business West, which covers Bristol, Bath, Gloucestershire and other areas of the South West – will provide reasonably priced courses to help you learn more about financial planning in business.
5. Understand your audience
When we’re discussing new branding ideas with our clients, we often find ourselves reminding them that they don’t have to appeal to everyone. Not everyone needs to like you! What’s important is that the people who are most likely to benefit from your services – your target audience – do.
And the best way to make sure that’s the case is to spend some time getting to know them. Think about who they are, where they live, their interests and desires, the things that keep them up all night and where they hang out online. Then use these observations to come up with a strategy to get in front of them and create a sales pitch that stops them dead in their tracks.
When you understand your audience, you’ll feel more confident about the best way to approach them and even better, you’ll learn to quit worrying when people from outside your target group don’t engage with you.
After all, you’ll be so busy you won’t need them anyway. Now that’s the kind of positive thinking we’re after!
Set your start-up off on the road to success in 2019 with branding that gives you the confidence to bounce boldly into the world of business. Contact us - we’d love to help get you started.