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5 Simple Ways to Start your Own Small Business

Starting your own business can be an overwhelming thought. You may think you require capital, a location and staff. However, many small businesses started at home with little to no startup costs!

Being a solopreneur is often the easiest way to start a business. Many who have started as a one-man operation have grown their businesses into something much bigger. Here are my 5 steps to successfully start a new small business!

1. Do something you're passionate about!

If you're stumped on what kind of business you're best suited to, often the best thing is to identify your passions! Do you enjoy making jewelry? Sewing? Working with Animals? Shopping around antique shops? Taking a passion and turning it into a business is one of the best reasons to start a business. Businesses that are driven by passion and enjoyment are the ones that stand out and have a good chance of succeeding. Customers are more inclined to buy from someone who is excited about their products or service.

2. Identify a gap in the market!

Lere Mgayiya lives in South Africa. He always felt the pull towards an entrepreneurial life. With some money he won in a TV competition for budding entrepreneurs, he started a business which, unfortunately, failed. Having lost the money from the competition and being viewed as a failure by friends and family, Lere hit rock bottom.

One day, sitting in a market square, he observed someone who was shining people’s shoes, when he had a lightbulb moment. He realised that this type of venture would be best suited at an airport.

With a mere R1,500 (± $140) borrowed from his mother, and after selling his television, radio and fridge for another R10,000 (± $940), he ordered two wooden chairs from a carpenter. After waiting a year for approval from the airport, he finally launched his shoe-shining business.

Today, Lere has a branch in five of South Africa’s airports and employs around 44 staff.

What can you take from this?

+ Business ideas and opportunities are everywhere and can come at any time! You just need to identify them and be determined to make it work!

+ Failing is part of the entrepreneurial journey. What is important, however, is to keep trying!

+ It's possible to start a business with little to no money, with a little creativity and a whole lot of sweat equity you can have yourself everything you need to get going! Remember, where there's a will there's a way!

3. Have a invaluable set of skills? Become a guru!

You might not have a product in mind but more of a service! Put your skills to use as a consultant or an independent contractor! Your love of fashion could be transformed into a image consulting career! Or your love for computers into a repair or tutoring service! Identify a gap in the market and find where you can fit in the available slot with your skills and talents!

4. Find your unique value proposition!

When you start your business you'll need to stand apart from your competition. Your unique value proposition is what will set you apart from your competition! It might be your ability to deliver quickly! or your product is handmade with love! It might be your exclusive products or even your location! You shouldn't rely only on your price to set you apart.

When shopping around for a product, customers need that extra push to commit to the product they find the best value in! Competing with a price tag will label your products as cheap or low quality. You can be affordable, but you'll need a really compelling reason for customers to choose you over your competitors, who have probably been in the market for years!

5. Reach out for help!!

You're amazing, there's no doubt about that, but you don't always know everything that's needed to get started with your business. If you choose to start your business in the dark you'll end up bumping into every wall or road block that gets in your way! You might be tempted to be secretive in the beginning in case of failure, but that's the fear talking and it will only hinder your progression!

Don't be shy to tell your friends, family and colleagues about how you're starting a business and be open to feedback and opinions, even if you have to take them with a grain of salt. Get connected with a mentor, there are many services and people dedicated to small business growth! You might be surprised at how much we can do to help your business grow from a budding idea to a smooth running bustling business!

Freelance Graphic Designer and Web Developer living in the sunny Hawke's Bay region of New Zealand.

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