How to start a business when you have no experience

There’s a misconception that you need to be a seasoned entrepreneur or have years of business acumen or even have any experience in the field you want to do business in.

If that’s what’s been putting you off biting the bullet and starting your dream business – read on, and get ready to change that mindset so you can start your business.

How do you start a business without experience?

Start with what you know – it’s probably a lot more than you’re giving yourself credit for. After all, we all shop, use other businesses, and if you’re interested in this area of business, you’ve probably been doing some research already.

There are so many things in business that we take into our subconscious and conscious as we just live life that we may not even be aware of because we are not making a conscious effort to do so. Have you ever been in a store and observed a good supervisor or manager dealing with a customer complaint? Maybe you’ve been on the receiving end of some excellent customer service, or poor service that left you bewildered – that’s all experience you can use in your business.

What do you need to get started?

Research is the most important thing to do when you’re walking into unknown territory – business or otherwise. Find out as much as you can about your chosen area of business: what are the new trends; what are the common services or products that every business in that sector offers; and what can you do better or differently to set you apart from the competition?

This is all part of the research process. Use Google and YouTube to bridge any gaps in your knowledge by reading or listening to experts in the industry discussing for how they started and what the new trends are.

You might consider doing a short course in your area of business so you can really update your skills. Does your chosen business require any professional qualifications? Do you posses those qualifications or will you have to get them or have a member of staff who does? These are all important questions. 

Have you thought about the needs of your target audience?

It’s one thing wanting to start a business, but have you done some research to see if your target audience (potential customers) will want your business, need your business or would buy it from you?

Have you thought about whether there is room for your business in the area you’ll be based in? I’m always amazed at the number of hairdressers and newsagents on one high street. When you walk past them in the daytime and they are effectively empty (bar the staff who usually look mind-numbingly bored), I always wonder if it’s worth it financially for them. They usually have more or less the same opening hours, same sort of prices, the same products and services. And true to my concern, after a few months, one of them always seems to shut down.

The message here is that if you’re going to run a local business, check out the competition and position yourself in a place where there is a huge range of choice for the products or services you’re providing.

How do you choose your industry wisely?

So, what if you don’t have an industry, but what to start out in business? The above applies…but you need to add interest in there. In other words, choose a business that you are interested in. While you mat see pound signs in other business ideas, if you have no interest in them, it will make life a lot tougher when the stresses of running a business creep in every now and then.

It’s also quite difficult to inspire your customers to buy products or services you are nonchalant about. A business that you’re passionate about will mean your delivery will be infectious, which will make customers want to know why you think those products or services are so great for themselves. 

Do a test drive

If you want to do a test drive, how about selling someone else’s products first? You can use a direct selling products like Avon or Kleeneze, or affiliate products online to test the waters, and build your confidence in selling to customers and running a business.

Get a mentor

if you’re still lacking confidence, or want the support of someone who understands the business start-up process you could consider getting a business mentor. In many ways this is a must for all guy sinless mums, as you’ll always have someone following up on what you’re doing and pushing you to reach your fullest potential.

A good business mentor can help you draw up a roadmap of what you need to do, highlight important things you need to consider in the startup process and more, be it for the web design phase or social media, legal structures and bookkeeping. They are worth their money in gold.

Written by Joycellyn Akuffo

Founder and editor of www.motherswhowork.co.uk, a mother of two wonderful children, wife, entrepreneur (check out www.geekschool.co.uk) and journalist.

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