When you first start a business you need a lot of support. Start-Up Loans provides funds and mentorship to help get new businesses off the ground. Virgin Money, Virgin Unite and our partners are supporting the scheme, and a great example of this took place last week at our home in the UK.
We brought together some of the exciting young companies benefiting from Start-Up Loans and lots of really good mentors. I believe a good percentage of these businesses will be successful, whereas they wouldn't have been without the help of mentors and Start-Up Loans.
Here are five tips for a new generation of entrepreneurs that came out of the day:
5. Get the business model right
Neil Stephenson, CEO of Onyx Group, stressed the importance of making sure your business model works. You need to find a market that is ripe for disruption and make sure your product is better than your competitors - having a sound business model will help you to do this. If you have a great product and a brilliant team then success is far more likely.
4. Trust your instincts
Sam Driver, Director of Thousand Yard Films, highlighted how crucial it is to trust your instincts. I have made hundreds of decisions that accountants and lawyers completely disagreed with, because I had a feeling they would work. Sometimes the rulebook is only there to be thrown out, and the right decision is your initial instinct.
3. It's down to you
Ellie Fox, Founder of Ticky Turner, said that if you dont do it, nobody else will. Personally, I would advise learning the art of delegation and finding like-minded people to work alongside. Then you can free up more of your own time to think about moving your business forward. If there are not enough days in the week, work smarter not longer.
2. Believe in what you do
Jason Petsch, Commercial Director of GRITIT, pointed out why entrepreneurs need to have self-confidence. This isnt arrogance, its belief that what you are doing can make a positive difference to peoples lives. If you dont believe in what you do, who else will?
1. Give it a go
The great thing is these people are just getting on and doing it. They are trying to learn from running a business and I think that is the best way of learning. You have to say screw it, lets do it and give it a go.
If you agree, perhaps you should come forward with a business plan and make an application too there is still 700,000 of funding from The Department for Business Innovation and Skills to be awarded in the North East and Cumbria during 2013. Give it a go!