An excellent and positive start to the day was had by all who could attend this morning’s “Setting Up Your Business & Surviving the Recession” discussion with Brody Sweeney, Bobby Kerr, Yanky Fachler and Daire Coffey.
With so much uncertainty around, such as pay cuts, redundancies and job losses, this uplifting discussion was just the tonic that was needed for many of today’s Irish entrepreneurs and small business owners. Especially if you follow Brody’s line of thought and believe “there’s never a bad time to start a business.”
There were two phases to this discussion; starting a new business and maintaining a business in the current climate. Each member of the panel approached the topics and questions in a personal yet business-like manner, demonstrating what chair, Daire Coffey, stated as the essence of a true entrepreneur; “they want to help and share – they give something back.”
The panel were certainly personable and approachable, accepting audience questions and providing honest answers and insight into how to set up and maintain a successful business in the current economic climate. Thankfully, the message was a positive one.
In fact, the general massage was that there are many advantages to starting a business now…such as lower costs, better conditions for negotiation, clear vision of situation and no need to change habits (new businesses are already reacting to current situation). A recession is a good time to set a platform for making money in two to three years time – and many of the leading companies in 2011 were started in a recession – e.g. Tesco, Microsoft.
So, like Yanky Fachler stated: “A recession in itself is not terribly relevant to whether to start a business or not.” It’s all about your product, your approach and your ability to be your own boss. Of course, there’s no magic wand or guarantees – but the economy cannot be used as an excuse for failure or lack of action.
So what does affect a new company? And what do you need to know to get started?
Rather than talk you through the session, I’d like to provide you with some of the key pieces of advice. After all, if you’re looking to set up a business or have a new small business already, that’s what you’ll be looking for.
Start Up/New businesses
- Have a plan but know that this plan will need to adapt and change (Brody Sweeney – Note, Brody changed the name of his business three times in one year to achieve success)
- Find something you love and do it (Yanky Fachler)
- Make sure you have a market for your product (Bobby Kerr)
- Be really good at one thing and try to be the best at it (Brody Sweeney)
- Know all the costs and do everything yourself in the early stages (Bobby Kerr)
- Surround yourself with like minds and positive people to stave off the loneliness (Yankee Fachler)
- Decide whether you can make the emotional jump from employee to self employed – ask yourself, am I fit to be my own boss? (Yanky Fachler)
Managing established/new business
- Take full responsibility for your business without blaming outside factors and be prepared to do whatever it takes to succeed (Brody Sweeney)
- Look at your business and articulate on one page what your aim is – your unique selling points, your target audience financial model, working capital etc (Daire Coffey)
- Have a clear marketing plan – what is your product, who is the target audience, how will you communicate this? (Bobby Kerr)
- Evaluate your business – ask yourself “If there was one thing I could do better – what would it be?” (Daire Coffey)