The Do It Yourself guide to starting a business
(5 things I have learnt, or 5 things I wish I knew sooner)
For many years now, Lyndal and myself have wanted to start a business. In the first few years of our marriage, we dreamed and even planned of owning a small boutique wine business in the upper Blue Mountains. This never came to pass. There are many reasons that this business never got off the ground, and many reasons why this new business (Brown’s Wellbeing Centre) is now here. I have learnt some simple yet hard lessons over this time and I hope to share them with you.
- Prepare yourself
When we went into the wine business, I knew next to nothing about wine. Certainly, after 12 months on the job I knew a lot more, but to be honest I still felt at a loss. In contrast, I have spent the last 3-4 years training formally to be a Naturopath and have learnt many things from the safety of the classroom. I now can put those things into practice with the confidence that comes from being a professional.
Prepare yourself in advance, do not enter into business lightly
- Find support
This can be broken down into two areas: social support and seed money. In regards to social support, we had no idea just how much would come our way in this form. Many of our friends and family have supported us either in person or via social media. The promotion from friends, the response on Facebook and people such as our neighbors being right behind us has helped push us along.
The other support you need is seed money. Back when we were buying the wine business, one of my colleagues talked of seed money. Seed money what you take and put into the business to get it started. This is also known as capital (?). Seed money is also needed for many expenses, such as furniture, goods and overheads.
Find support; both socially and financially
- Enjoy yourself
One of the best surprises in owning and starting a business is the fun you can have. There certainly is endless paperwork and there is a lot to get done, however there is a lot of enjoyment as well. Lyndal and myself are a legal business entity and have created something wonderful from completely nothing. Brown’s Wellbeing Centre wasn’t here a year ago, and as one of our friends said, it started from the ground up. While it’s a lot of work, it is also very enjoyable and rewarding. As you may know, enjoying yourself is important and why else would you be in business?
Enjoy the rewards along the way in owning a business
- Check you motive
Why are you in business? Is it to help people? Great. Is it to call something your own? Wonderful. Is it to be famous? – Well, maybe or maybe not. This may just happen, however if your single motive is to not have a boss and become world famous, then perhaps you should consider weather your unhealthy ego is your motive. I believe that a strong healthy ego is crucial for a business owner, however there will be a lot of nights when no notices you, no one calls, and you may be at a low. This is particularly true in the early stages. Be patient, keep the faith and check your motive. Do it for the joy, do it for financial reward, however don’t enter into business thinking that the world is there to notice you.
Motives matter, so check that yours is not coming from a unhealthy ego
- Work the market
This is something I learnt a few years ago. Naturopathy like any product or service appear great to one person: you. Consider what it is like being a consumer for a moment. They need to be well and they need a product or service to do something. You see, the end is more important than the means. Results matter just not particularly how you get there. Sell results, not methods. Work the market and sit in your client’s shoes.
Consider what your customer needs are, not just the service you offer
Thank you for joining us. Although it is early days, I have learnt alot from managing and creating businesses. I look forward to seeing my business and yours grow further, and sharing tips along the way.