Every business has to start somewhere – even ours. From big players like Google and Microsoft, to the local restaurant or bakery on your block, every business began with an idea.
Getting started; making it happen
Their book, (“MAKING IDEAS HAPPEN“) deals with the obstacles of turning your ideas into actions and making them a reality. The ideas behind any business, whether big or small, are often just the beginning of a long road. “Taking the plunge” and putting your everything in to practice is often the first step that causes the biggest internal struggle; leaving your job to ‘go it alone’.
Online resources and Communities
There are plenty of resources online for providing advice and support, like StartupNation and Entrepreneur.com. For those starting off on their own, sites like FreelanceSwitch provide great tips, tools and advice.
We caught up with Dan Sharp who recently made the choice to ‘go it alone’ and set up Screaming Frog – a small and highly passionate search marketing consultancy. We asked Dan about leaving his job at an agency and starting his own PPC and SEO business…
What made you leave your previous job to ‘go it alone’?
“Ultimately leaving my old job was down to my desire to achieve more – I have always had a burning desire to run my own business. While my previous role working for a company gave me some great experience, it didn’t allow me to develop as quickly as I would like to achieve the targets I had set myself. I continuously needed a challenge and the confines of a company just don’t always allow that.
I have always admired people with ambition and an entrepreneurial spirit, so starting my own business was almost the natural path. By taking the plunge so to speak, it allowed me to have full control and direction of my own ambition.
And are you worried about the risks?
There is that risk factor, but if you believe in yourself and what you can offer then you have to give it a try. I have the freedom to take the path I think is right, while it’s certainly more demanding, it’s also so much more rewarding! While business is certainly not everything in life, running your own gets you closer to achieving your own potential.”
It sounds as though Dan has taken a big first step, and we wish him the best of luck for the future! Thanks Dan for telling us your story.
Where did it all begin?
Some of MOO’s customers have also shared their “taking the plunge” stories, which have led to some great advice for other small businesses. If nothing else, their stories will help you avoid the same mistakes they made, as Jacqueline exclaims: “it is OK to seek out the help and advice of others. There are plenty of other people who have gone through or are going through what we are, so take the opportunity to learn from their experiences, their mistakes and their successes, and glean some valuable knowledge”. The top ten tips you shared with MOO were:
1. Make a business plan (especially the financial section) – it really helps you see where your money is going to be spent.
2. Make sure you speak with an accountant and learn all of your tax requirements.
3. Take your time and really sit down to get a clear picture of what you want your business to be.
4. If at all possible, start your business without any debt.
5. Be careful with your choice of business partners and make sure everything is written down and recorded.
6. Resist the temptation to work for free.
7. Don’t feel that you have to take every single piece of work that comes along.
8. When quoting for jobs, don’t only consider the time of length and difficulty, but also the value to you.
9. Network with local “competitors” and build a business community of other people in the same boat as you.
10. Make sure that you have passion for whatever you choose to do, because when times get stressful/tough/money is short, you need to have that passion to keep you moving forwards.
And finally, one of our favourite tips from Katherine was to “always go for a walk around the block before starting work so you feel like you’re going to work, otherwise you end up taking important phone calls in you PJs from your bed, which is never good”!