Independence, flexibility, and the chance to work in a field that you truly love are just a few great reasons to consider starting your own business. Not all start-ups make it beyond the first year – but a whopping 80% do! Here are five key actions you can take to ensure that yours is one of them.  

Find a niche (and a need!) 

The base of any successful business is a brilliant idea – and a brilliant idea starts with demand. Do you have a product that would make life easier, a service that is not working effectively? Is there something that could streamline your life?  

Discovering these pain points or marketplace gaps are the key to a brilliant business idea, and a sure-fire way to find a need is to know your product. Many (but not all) entrepreneurs have experience in their chosen industry, so they know the pitfalls of what’s on offer. If you haven’t got experience, take some time to get to grips with it. 

Do your (market) research.  

Investigate what is already on offer in your chosen market. It’s time to track down your competitors, look at what are they doing right, and figure out how you could do it better!   

It’s also crucial to pick the brains of your potential audience. Friends, family and social media can all be valuable assets in smoothing out details and targeting your business correctly. If you want to be thorough, why not hit the streets and ask the public? If you’ve already developed ideas for branding, this is the time to test if it resonates with your audience.   

Define your audience  

The golden rule of any business is to identify your customers, so do this early on. Your market research will uncover common traits, interests and behaviours, which in turn will inform your marketing strategy. Think about which social platform they are most likely to use and what your voice should be. Remember to keep an open mind as there may be more than one group who will benefit from your services.   

Get customers on board right away. 

You’ve proven a need and done some market research, so if you can get people on board BEFORE your service or product is available, even better. Immediate sales validate the need for your business and provide a much-needed cash flow. You could take this a step further and secure pre-orders if you are sure you can supply the product.   

Kickstarter is a fantastic example of how businesses can utilise their story, get a head start and build a loyal customer base. 

Ask an expert! 

Why do it alone? Take advice from the aeons of business owners that have come before you and ask the experts. Starting a new business is an exciting time that will likely introduce you to a whole new circle, so it’s time to network, network, and network some more. Join a business owners’ group or attend one of our networking events in the area.     

 Are you in the Manchester City Region and are considering starting a business? 

The Women’s Organisation is running fully funded e-courses to assist those wanting to start their own ventures, including a course called Business Planning Made Simple running on May 24th & 26th. Get in touch today to find out more and book your place – e-mail us at or phone us on 0161 327 0967 for more info.