Starting a small business

You might have had an idea brewing for a while, be desperate for a change from your 9–5 routine, or want to launch an income-generating side hustle. Starting your own business has never been more popular but where do you even start? Before even thinking about building websites, designing logos or any of the fun stuff, you need to lay your foundations correctly.

WORDS Matt Deasy

STEP 1: Spot opportunities

Have you found yourself making any of these statements recently? Because if you have, other people probably have too. 

I wish I could find X

I wish we had X here

I’m fed up of X problem

These are a great foundation to build a business. Business is nothing more than fixing a problem that someone has, with them being willing to pay for it.

STEP 2: Be introspective

If I was investing in your business, the first question I would ask is ‘why are you the person to fix the problem (from step 1)?’ 

And don’t worry, you are probably much more qualified than you think. Many skills are transferrable, and your backstory could offer a unique twist to the solution.

STEP 3: Speak to the potential customer

You need to speak to people to ensure they suffer the ‘problem’ you identified in step 1. Be careful not to put words in their mouth and listen carefully. Your target audience will give you all the clues you need to be able to solve their problem.

STEP 4: Look at the competition

To stand out from the competition, you need to do things differently. Look at everyone who provides a solution similar to yours. How can you stand out? Tip: Don’t try to differentiate solely by being cheaper. There is probably a reason these other businesses have set their prices as they have.

STEP 5: Get advice

And finally, get help. Nobody can build a good business on their own and having other people involved increases your chances of success and makes it much more enjoyable! 

Matt Deasy is a coach, author, and speaker specialising in helping entrepreneurs build purpose-driven small businesses, sharing lessons he learned from 15 years as an entrepreneur with multiple businesses across Europe. His book Fire your Boss and Change the World is being published in March 2023.

+351 964 999 388


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