Seven powerful tips to start your own business – from seed to garden.
Starting a business should be organic, something that grows naturally from who you are as a person. It’s about taking responsibility for your own life and enjoying the results. Seed is all about giving women the practical and emotional skills to create a business based on the feminine values of integrity, connection and personal growth.
1. Planting the seeds
Preparing to start a business is like planning a garden. We have to nurture our seeds – or ideas – and allow them to bloom into a healthy plant – or enterprise.
2. Clearing the ground
It’s important create the right environment to grow your vision. You need to clear the clutter from your life, internally and externally. You’ll need physical space to work – a desk, kitchen table, so get set on clearing away all the excess stuff to make room.
3. Finding mental space
When starting up your own enterprise, you need to listen to your inner voice. Finding quiet time must become an essential part of your daily routine if you want to succeed. You need to clear away the noise in your life to prepare for your new venture.
4. Be true to yourself
Pin-point your strengths and weaknesses and learn to recognise the gifts and passions that will help you become a successful entrepreneur. Knowing what you do best is vital to the success of your venture.
5. Work on your vision
Feel your way into your future by thinking about the qualities and feelings you want in your business. Create a vision book of all images and words that inspire you and are important to you. Keep adding to it and not only will this help you to create your enterprise, but it will be a constant source of inspiration to you.
6. Money talks
Many women feel uncomfortable talking about money. Creating a budget is essential to running a successful business. Follow this basic rule: whatever money coming in has to cover what is going out. And don’t give up your day job until you’re at the point where you’re sure of the viability of your enterprise.
7. Creating a community
Even if your business is a one-woman enterprise there’s plenty of ways to connect with other people. Connect through networking, social media, partnerships and co-operatives. Always carry business cards and don’t be shy about distributing them.
Clarify Your Motives
Understand your motives for starting up on your own
Dig deep and use this knowledge as a guide to building the business you really want.
Are you completely clear why you want to start a business? If you simply want an easier life, then stop here, because having your own business is not about having it easy.
On the other hand, if you want creative fulfilment, challenges, fun, and the knowledge that you can achieve your potential, together with a tremendous amount of hard work, then read on.
This might be a good opportunity to clarify your thoughts and make a list of all the reasons you think you want to start your own business.
Finding Your Inner Entrepreneur
Uncover your skills, resources, knowledge and contacts to start your own business
I believe we all have an entrepreneur inside. For example, you need to be an entrepreneur and time management expert if you are a mother and home keeper, juggling the workload, organising your family’s schedules and overseeing household budgets. You need to be an entrepreneur if you are an artist or a writer. You have to buy your tools, produce your work and then, most importantly, sell it. Whether you’re a corporate executive or a secretary, you organise your work in a creative, entrepreneurial way. We all have the potential skills to have our own business.
It’s easy to forget how much knowledge we have accumulated or learned over the years. Don’t take for granted that you’ve always loved cooking and create great original recipes or have tremendous taste in clothes for yourself and others. Maybe you’ve been studying natural health for years and have become an expert on nutrition and herbs.
What about the art classes at school that you loved but abandoned when you decided to study law?
Gardening, personal finance, nurturing others, good with animals, shopping, do-it-yourself around the home, you’d be astounded by what you are an expert on and how such skills might translate.
In addition, there are skills that you’ve picked up during your career that you’re probably not even aware of: office management, interior design, scheduling, budgeting skills, salesmanship, presentation, psychology, marketing, writing – I’m sure the list goes on and on.
As for contacts, you’d be surprised just how many people you know who could be very useful when you start your own business and would be delighted to be so: ex-bosses and ex-colleagues who may be able to advise you or introduce you to people who can; supportive friends and family; people with money to invest; and acquaintances in the media, who might help you to publicise your new business.
Remember that friend of a friend who is a graphic designer and would be happy to design your logo for free, or cheaply, or an uncle who is a printer and could give you credit on your first marketing materials. Think hard if you know anyone who is, or is married to, a tax expert or a lawyer. They can be very important.
Don’t feel guilty using people. Just be prepared to help others in return.
Take some time to think about this and be as honest as you can be. Are you trying to prove something to other people probably your parents, friends, or partner or are you creating a business for yourself? Is it to make money or do you want creative fulfilment? Do you crave recognition or just freedom? Do you want a business so that you can contribute to society or so that you can retire early? Or is your motive a combination of all of these?
And think about whether you really want to start your own business or simply want to work on your own as a freelance consultant.
Take the time to clarify your motivation. It will help you later when you decide what kind of business you want. If you crave recognition, for example, you won’t mind working in a high-profile enterprise. But if you just want to make enough money to retire early, you may decide to open a business which may not be your burning passion, but will guarantee to make you a lot of money.