Today’s the day. According to research by Virgin StartUp, the first Friday in January is the day that people thinking about starting their own business will take the first steps towards making it a reality.
To support new founders, Virgin StartUp is running a free business support line today for budding entrepreneurs to chat with an experienced business advisor. Last year, Virgin StartUp saw a 50% increase in Start Up Loan applications during January.
If you missed out on a call slot, Virgin StartUp has got your back, as it’s bringing together a panel of founders for its first digital MeetUp of the year. Grab a free ticket to hear about how to turn your ideas into a reality, and chat to the Virgin StartUp team afterwards for advice.
If you’re thinking about starting a business this year, here is some great advice for getting your idea off the ground:
Get support from your nearest and dearest
You’re going to need a good team around you if your business is going to be a success – and we’re not just talking about your business partner or employees.
“Before you go any further with your idea, have a chat with your husband, wife, partner, kids, parents and other close family members and friends,” Virgin StartUp business advisor Ollie Collard recommends. “They’re coming on this journey with you and you need to know that they’re going to support you when things get tough.”
Have a plan and a vision
You can’t expect to be successful in business unless you plan. Ollie suggests developing a business plan, business model canvas and cash flow forecast before you get started. Set some stretch goals to keep you focused and motivated.
“Studies have proven that entrepreneurs with a business plan have lower failure rates,” he said. “Planning will also give you more confidence and it will make you consider all aspects of your business – including any ‘what if’ scenarios.”
Develop your vision and know your ‘why’. This will be your north star to guide you.
Find a mentor
Mentoring can be so helpful for early stage start-ups. Having someone who truly understands what you’re going through and can offer insights and advice will help you to launch, grow and thrive.
James Couglan, who launched his business Reef in a previous January, says: “January is the perfect time to start a business. Start the new year by setting yourself a goal for 2023. Find a mentor who can help hold you accountable and make the most of the free business advice line on Founder Friday.”
Jeroo Doodhmal, founder of Pip and Henry, who also launched her business in a January adds: “Virgin StartUp is very good at connecting you with the right mentors at the right time, so if you are ready to speak to someone who is an expert in your field, then see if Virgin StartUp can help. The New Year is a good time to get started.”
Don’t let fear stop you
Starting a business can be scary, especially if it’s the first time you’ve branched out on your own. But you shouldn’t let fear stop you, especially with all the help and support that Virgin StartUp can offer.
Victoria Poon, founder of Alpaca Coffe and another January founder, says: “Take the first step, it’s always the scariest. There’s no other way to achieve your dreams than by taking action. You can figure it out along the way.”
Nicky Bentley, founder of Crown Connective, adds: “Don’t wait for the perfect time to start a business. It doesn’t exist, the time is now.”
Ready to hit the ground running? Visit Virgin StartUp for advice, support and Start Up Loans.