According to research released today by job site Foosle, running your own business is many people’s dream job – ranking up there with pilot, professional footballer, writer, and racing driver. And, while very few people will realise their dream of becoming a professional footballer, owning your own business is something that anyone can achieve if they set their mind to it.
We’ve written quite a lot about setting being entrepreneurial – from various funding options to advice from some people who have set up successful businesses. So we thought we’d bring together all of that advice in one place for you. Here’s the GoThinkBig guide to making your dreams of being an entrepreneur a reality.
There are loads of places you can get funding for your ideas. One great place to start is with O2 Think Big if your idea could work as a community project. Or you could experiment with crowd funding and get people to pledge to fund your idea through a site like Kickstarter or Indiegogo. Or of course there are funding options supported by the government.
Advice from experts
We’ve spoken to a lot of different people who have started successful businesses. And they’ve given us some really excellent advice for anyone else wanting to follow in their footsteps. Here are some of their top tips:
- “It’s important to have a good online presence, even if you’re audience aren’t internet-savvy (as ours aren’t) soon enough everyone will be, and you’ll get left behind. It’s mainly about pinpointing where your audience are going there,” says Ben Atkinson-Willes, of Active Minds.
- Steve Bartlett, founder of wallpark says: “Don’t listen to your parents: If you want to get to where your parents got to in their lives, listen to their advice. If they’re both successful entrepreneurs, and you want to be one too, then listen to everything they have to say. If they’ve never run a business in their lives, then take their advice with a pinch of salt. Only take the advice of people who got to where you want to.”
- Brittney Bean, co-founder of Songdrop says that you shouldn’t listen to everyone who offers to be an advisor. “Some of the best advice I’ve ever received is from a guy who runs Techstars,” she says. “And he said ‘don’t take anyone’s advice unless you can action it as soon as you walk away from them’.”
- Charlotte Bowers started her own food business, her advice is to ask for advice. “I’ve benefited massively from talking to people,” she says. “It helps you not to feel like you’re wandering about on your own. I didn’t realise when I started that I knew so many people who would be able to help, but people love to see others being entrepreneurial. They’re often willing to put in the time.”
- ”Go for it! Crack on and do it now. Just don’t worry, if goes completely belly up, who cares? Crack on to the next one. You gain more from trying than you do for never trying at all. You might find it doesn’t work for you, but you might find that it does work for you,” Adam Ewart of sendmybag.com says.
- Rob Forkan, co-founder of Gandy’s Flipflops says it’s important to have a supportive team. “People told us we were bonkers, that this wasn’t a brand,” he says, “then you get some people who just laughed. You can have a great idea, but you’ll still have to overcome a lot of doubt. If you’ve got a core of believers, they can spur you on.”