Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 17 September 2014

Starting a business in turbulent times

Commercial feature

Business coach Ann Rodgers

In 2012, thousands of professionals will see their income decline, and some will give up, change careers, move on or go solo by starting their own business.

As a soloist, starting your own business today, you have the advantage of being able to learn from those who have gone before and enable you to make money now.

“If you have an idea and you have the research to back it up there really is no time like the present to start up a business,” said Ann Rodgers, award-winning, Certified Personal Life and Business Coach. InfinitePeopleSolutions.com

Ann's Top Ten Rules for Business Success are:

1. What do you love?

You're going to devote a lot of time and energy to starting a business and building it into a successful enterprise, so it's really important that you truly deeply enjoy what you do.

2. Create A Powerful Vision.

Why are you in business in the first place? What's the inspirational dream that convinced you to go out on your own? There may be times when you doubt yourself, but if your vision is strong, it will be the thing that sees you through those times.

3. Plan, plan, plan and plan some more.

An active business and marketing plan will be your greatest asset at this early stage in you having your own business. Without a plan it will avoid sinking your time and money into starting a business that will not succeed as it will be a sure recipe for disaster.

4. Money Money Money.

For startups, establishing cash flow as quickly as possible is vital to keeping your operations going through your critical first year and beyond. Create clear financial goals, a strong pricing model, a robust payment process and measurements systems that will lead to larger profits, increased cash flow and a healthier, more successful business over time.

5. Create a ‘customer first” attitude

Look after your client list. Create a good database of customers and prospects and ensure you look after it through regular email and telephone contact with clients, former clients and prospective clients. Let them know you're thinking of them.

6. Start your business plan before you start your business

How long can most people live without money? Not long. And it may be a long time before your new business actually makes any profits. Being employed while you're starting a business means money in your pocket while you're going through the starting a business process.

7. Surround yourself with successful people and don't do it alone.

You need a support system while you're starting a business (and afterwards). Surround yourself with successful people who will motivate, support, challenge and encourage you.

8. Hire the best team you can.

Successful business owners know what their skills are. Outsource those things that aren't your specialty, and use that time to go and get some new business.

9. Save Time and Money by creating professional business processes from day one.

Everything about you and the way you do business needs to let people know that you are a professional running a serious business. Establishing key process or systems from day one will ensure your success, professionalism and you as someone customers can trust to deliver.

10 — Be realistic and have belief.

Give yourself time to build up your business and don't expect to get rich overnight. Every successful business is built one step at a time, give yourself time to learn. Self-belief is an entrepreneur's most precious commodity. If you don't believe in yourself, then you can't expect customers to.

If you really want to get your business of to the best start, check out Ann's coaching packages and her client's success on www.infinitepeoplesolutions.com or call her directly on 028 9045 7045 to get started to day.

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