I hope you’ve settled well into 2017. 2016 was a little shaky for a lot of people, but 2017 is so far proving to be a far better year; Southampton has opened a fabulous new cinema and restaurant complex as part of its West Quay expansion (I can recommend the Thai place and Bills Restaurant!), the sun is starting to shine on a more regular basis, and we’ve all just been treated to the newest Game of Throne promo! Exciting stuff!
So anyway, moving on. 2017 is going to be great. And if you’ve been thinking of starting a business, now is the time to do it. Why? I’ll tell you 10 reasons why…
1. You don’t need to be tied to a desk anymore
Set up a drop shipping company from the comfort of your own home, or start a travel blog and get paid to see all the corners of the world that most of us dream of! The internet and social media has now made it so easy to get a business up and running, there’s really no excuse anymore.
2. Smartphones that can do your work for you
There are so many apps out that can help you run your business. From managing your accounts, to invoicing, advertising and PR. There are so many ways to automate key business processes now – so what are you waiting for?
3. The barriers to entry have all but disappeared
Previously if you wanted to start a business you’d have to write a business plan and go to the bank and try and get a business loan. Nowadays you can just have an idea and be up and trading by the afternoon. Lower barriers to entry are helping entire industries to evolve as new innovative companies start up and break through previous ways of working.
4. You no longer need to know it all
Back in the olden days, if you wanted to run a business, you needed help from other people – finance whizz kids to help manage your money, sales people, logistics managers… however now you can do all of these jobs yourselves. Either software is available to help you manage these processes, or you can self educate online. There are so many valuable how-to-guides and courses online now, that these previous barriers no longer exist.
5. Hello low interest rates
Not great for anyone with substantial savings, but for everyone else investing in their business, low interest rates are great. Knowing that you can get a loan and won’t be paying crazy amounts back in interest can be the difference between starting a business and it staying a pipe dream. Take your profits and re-invest them in the business, rather than paying it to the banks!
6. You don’t even need the banks anymore
Low interest rates are great, but bank loans are now just one way of getting funding. Crowdfunding has gathered a huge amount of momentum in the past few years and is now a legitimate and respected way for start ups to raise the initial funds they need to get started.
7. Connect with your prospects on a social level
With social media, it’s never been so easy to reach out to your target audience. Show them your businesses, your products, your motivations and corporate ethos. Engage with your customers and prospects like never before and build long lasting, loyal relationships.
8. Get creative with you marketing and messaging
Traditional marketing used to be about crafting a message and transmitting it to everyone and hoping some of it stuck. This was never particularly effective or welcome. In 2017 people now have the option of taking a different route – by getting creative with your marketing ideas you can tailor your messaging to those who really want to hear it. By hosting small events, going ‘live’ on Facebook or Instagram, making creative Snapchat stories or sending relevant emails to your customer base, you can build loyalty through effective marketing.
9. See opportunities where others may miss them
There are many challenges in society today – an overworked, underfunded NHS, social integration issues, lack of education across the world, global warming… I won’t list them all, we’ll be here all day. However, take a look at the challenges we face and see where the opportunity lies. Can you help make a positive difference and a profit at the same time?
If you’re a This Is Us fan (I love it!), you’ll recognise this quote: “I like to think that one day you’ll be an old man like me talkin’ a young man’s ear off explainin’ to him how you took the sourest lemon that life has to offer and turned it into something resembling lemonade.” Make your sour lemon into a profitable and successful lemonade business!
10. Why not?
What have you got to lose? Many people don’t quit their day jobs the moment they start to build a new businesses. Sometimes they’ll work at it for a while before having the confidence to go for it 100%. Or maybe you’re the kind of person who’s willing to take that leap straight away. Either way, if you have an idea and a dream, what’s stopping you. Don’t let fear get in the way of what could be an amazing opportunity.