I get asked on a daily basis: “How did I start my business?”
My best advice is this – start now. It doesn’t matter who you are, you can start today. It’s not about creating the next technology giant overnight; it’s about taking those small steps that will get your idea off the ground.
If you are interested in creating a fashion label, start a blog and start to create a culture for your brand, build a following and interact with your followers to understand what they want. This gives you direct access to your potential customers to validate your idea.
Create a few pieces of clothing, sell it to them, ask for their feedback and do it again. Just because you want to start a fashion label doesn’t mean that you will create the next ASOS overnight. Start small.
Overcome the fear
Do you know what’s on the other side of fear? Nothing.
Anybody has the ability to become successful if you know what makes you tick. And if you have a vision, all you need is the right people around and the resilience to never give up. I do not believe in quick, cheap fails. I believe you need to just start something, anything, start learning and start growing. If something isn’t working, make a change and keep going.
I believe an entrepreneur is someone who has two things: strategic agility and the ability to be resourceful. Both are skills that can be learnt progressively through experience.
You just need to start something and never give up.
Use your experiences to develop your idea and business
Your story is what makes your idea or business unique. In a world flooded by startups, your life experiences will become a defining factor in developing a truly unique business.
Your past plays a major role in becoming the person you are today. It has influenced your values, developed your interests, your beliefs and your perceptions of the world. Think back to your past and what you’ve learnt, and use this to guide the development of your idea and business.
Stay true to your values
This starts with the simple question – what do you truly value?
Values are critical in business. If you don’t state them and ensure that everyone within your company knows your values, you will not be able to create the culture you want. Your values should become the guiding principles of your marketing, customer value proposition and company culture. If you don’t instil a culture early, you will struggle to grasp the true passion you once had for your idea.
Create a list of values you think are important. Here are a few to get you started: integrity, teamwork, transparency, helping people and creating an impact.
Strengths and weaknesses
As great as it would be to be good at everything, it’s not possible.
The key is to understand your strengths and accept your weaknesses. Build a team of extraordinary people whose strengths compensate for your weaknesses.
Spend every spare minute doing things that are valuable. Work on things that you know you can do well and collaborate with others to create diversified ideas and strengthened concepts through a variety of perspectives.
Weaknesses are not bad, it’s simply about being aware of them; be strategic and use your strengths and weaknesses to overcome challenges and become a driver of your success.
Don’t try do everything on your own … do what you love and do what you do best; even if you feel great at the start, you will eventually burnout.