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How to Start Your Own Business (Posted by Michelle Mone OBE, Founder of Ultimo)

Wed, 10 December 2014

Starting your own business is hard work – seriously hard work – and can quite often feel like you’re on a rollercoaster. But if you believe in what you're doing, it can also be the most rewarding job in the world.
One of the most important things when starting your business is to come up with a plausible idea. Sounds simple, but this requires a huge amount of thought and passion, as your new business will consume a great deal of your time and money.
 
Sometimes good ideas are right in front of you; so why not start up a business based on a need you have yourself that is not properly addressed by existing businesses? Is it something that people would actually pay for? Will it turn enough of a profit to be viable? Ask yourself these questions - and whatever your idea is, be sure it’s as unique as possible! This will help you eliminate or significantly contest the competition, which will in turn help to make your business more successful.

Once you have your idea, the next big step is to put together a business plan. A good business plan is absolutely essential and has many functions from securing external funding to measuring success within your business. Your plan should include details of your objectives, strategy, sales, marketing and financial forecasts. One of my career mottos is “fail to plan, plan to fail” - and you wouldn’t build a house without a blueprint, so don’t start a business without a plan!  

Next, you need a good, solid business name – something effective, memorable and that will set you apart from your competitors. This would also be the time to explore logos and domain names for your website.

Now, what about funding? Of course, starting up any type of business requires capital – whether that be through savings, securing a bank loan, grants, crowd funding or business angels. Whatever your route, the task of securing investment is notoriously difficult, so this is the time to employ some determination, tenacity and a thick skin.

Also, on the financial front, get an accounting and cash-flow system set up before you begin - so you don’t find yourself buried in invoices and receipts a month in. “Cash is king” for all businesses, after all - so maintaining accurate, up-to-date information about cash-flow is absolutely essential from the get-go.
 

About Michelle Mone

Michelle is one of the UK's most successful female entrepreneurs and founder of international lingerie brand, Ultimo. She is also the ambassador for the Kalixa Pro Spirit of Small Business Awards. The award-winning 'Bra Queen' and co-owner of Ultimo Brands International has built her success on determination, self-belief and hard work which led her to be voted as Britain's Number One most powerful woman in business by Glamour magazine as well as receiving an OBE from The Queen in 2010 in recognition of her services to UK business.
 
You can find out more about the Kalixa Pro Spirit of Small Business Awards on Twitter @KalixaPro. You can also follow Michelle on Twitter @MichelleMone
 

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