Moving from a director-level position to entrepreneur is a step into unknown terrain that can bring great success and satisfaction, but it’s not guaranteed. The potential reward outweighs the risk and spurs entrepreneurs on, but not without a degree of trepidation.Having worked as an executive board director at a FTSE 250-listed recruitment company, I decided to start my own venture, Sonovate, so I’ve experienced first-hand the mixed feelings of excitement and uncertainty. So for those aspiring to develop a successful new business – but are unsure how to get started – here are some important points of advice: (1) Establish clear differentiation There’s no sense in entering a competitive market with the same old, same old. For your business to be even stand a chance of succeeding, it needs clear differentiation. In my case, the inspiration for a unique business idea came from almost two decades in the recruitment industry. This experience gave me an in-depth knowledge of the ongoing challenges and opportunities facing the contractor market. I spotted a gap for innovation, and launched Sonovate to alleviate the age-old – but unresolved – financial and administrative burdens recruitment agencies face when placing contract and interim staff. Innovation and differentiation are integral to entrepreneurial success. So, too, is commitment. Make sure to hire staff who have clear commitment – along the necessary skills and experience – to helping you drive your vision. (2) Secure funding Getting a new business idea off the ground (and keeping it there) requires financial assistance – and often a lot more than you think. There are many different options available, so you need to carefully consider which is best suited to your business. Don’t knock on a hundred doors; rather, build a focused list of potential investors who are a match for your vision, and only contact them once you have a solid business plan in place. Attracting capital investment takes a well-crafted action plan, and is ultimately won with a competitive go-to-market business strategy. Investors are often interested in long-term business returns: get your business off on the right foot and you could attract further important funding down the line. Read more about alternative finance:
- Alternative finance for 2016: what are your options?
- P2P finance exploded in 2015 as loans from Lending Works grew fourfold
- How UK’s equity crowdfunding success will take tech investments to $8.2bn by 2020
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