I want to run a strong business but I don’t know where to begin?
Here at the Yorkshire Powerhouse, we hear this comment frequently. The unfortunate truth is also disturbingly brutal … 18,000 businesses per year fail in just the Yorkshire region alone and that’s simply unacceptable.
So, how do you ensure you don’t become another negative statistic – build a strong business, of course. However, this is easier said than done … strong businesses need strong business owners with experience, knowledge, skill, and training … the majority of pre-start businesses don’t immediately have this but that doesn’t mean they’re destined to fail … but they do need to be SMART!
In part, this is why we set up the Yorkshire Powerhouse so read on and find out where to begin;
FACT 1: Most people thinking about running a business are already good at doing the job – the cake shop owner who already bakes amazing cakes, the plumber who’s already a fully qualified employee and wants to set up on his own, etc. What we’re describing here is the ‘technical’ work of a business but this ignores the other aspects of running a business itself – the accounts, banking, marketing, administration, branding, etc, etc. It’s these ‘managerial’ and ‘entrepreneurial’ tasks that often get overlooked (or avoided) and that ultimately lead to ruin!
Download our business plan template
FACT 2: Even if you have no skills in these managerial and entrepreneurial tasks, you are not doomed to fail … but you do need to be aware of your weaknesses and you then need to plan for, and build, a STRONG business based on this acceptance.
But … how do I know what I don’t know – where to begin?
Our suggestion is to work through the following steps to help you work out where you need help:
Step 1 – planning
Download our business plan template – it’s free and available here. A business plan helps you think about all the various aspects of running a business and, if done correctly, should take a lot of time and extensive thought! Just for the record, a full business plan is normally a weighty document and not easily accessible … BUT, its the thought processes that were needed to complete it that are important. Take a look at our recommendation to then follow up on your full plan by getting a slimmed down, graphical, one-page business plan then produced that becomes a day-to-day reference.
Step 2 – filling in the plan
Start filling in the sections in the plan that you can easily answer – perhaps the description of your business, your ideal customer, etc. Doing this first means you’ve made some visual progress but even the easy questions should start making you think more deeply about your plans.
Step 3 – filling in the blanks
Now look at the sections in the plan that you’ve not answered because they weren’t easy to complete. If you do understand them then you need to really start thinking … but it’s more likely that you’ve discovered sections where you simply don’t know what it means. For instance, unless you’ve been taught about SWOT analysis you will struggle to guess what SWOT stands for (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats)!
Step 4 – develop your learning
Now it’s time to really use the Yorkshire Powerhouse website. Use the search tool or simply scroll through all the advice articles we provide to start learning about these areas that you need to understand. Read up, use Google too to research (it’s amazing what you can find out now), take your time and learn as much as you can. You’ll probably find that learning about these things starts changing some of your existing plans – that’s good!
Step 5 – seek professional help
For any areas where you still feel you don’t understand, you now have clarity about the rest of your business. It’s now time to start investing in your venture (‘free’ and Google searches only take you so far!) and seeking professional help from other business people who can support you – accountants, coaches, mentors, consultants, solicitors, designers, marketing experts, etc. YES – they will want to charge you for their expertise and time but this is only right … YES – you should view their help as an investment in your own learning and it’s a genuine investment in your business.
The risk here is that you do it yourself. DIY in business almost always ‘looks’ DIY and that’s a big deal because that image generally cheapens your appearance and risks your professionalism. Don’t DIY you business – Do It Right!
One area Yorkshire Powerhouse is happy to help is to introduce you to quality business advisors and support organisations who we know are credible and reliable so if you want an introduction to someone, just let us know?
Where to begin? Yorkshire Powerhouse, of course!
Now you’ve read our thoughts on where to begin, have you any more questions?
Here at Yorkshire Powerhouse, we’re happy to help as much as possible – is there anything else we can do to help you, do you have any further questions or can we help introduce you to an expert – please let us know:
Building a strong business is genuinely hard which is why most businesses don’t do it properly - but it's worth the effort to avoid failure! Read >