Today, right now, thousands of people are sitting at their office desks dreaming about running their own business; they're desperate to escape the rat race; sick of the nine-to-five and they know exactly what they'd do differently if they ran the company instead of their boss. But very few of them will take the leap and follow their dreams because they're afraid. And that's a shame because today is a great day to start a new business!
People who have the energy, commitment and courage to start a new business right now have so much going for them. They have huge advantages over those of us who set up their first businesses 20 years ago. It's not necessarily simple to set up on your own these days but it is easier than it has ever been before. So what are you waiting for? Do it now! If you can't start a business today then you probably never will.
The internet creates successful entrepreneurs
The internet has revolutionised all our lives. It has changed the way we communicate and the way we learn - and it has radically altered the way we buy and sell. The internet has created millions of new, highly motivated customers all searching for the next big thing. And it has also created the perfect business environment; one that allows first-time entrepreneurs to try out new business ideas without the risks associated with big start-up bank loans. The world is really a global village with sourcing, logistics, administration, telephony and marketing all available online.
By creating a free website, using online marketplaces such as Ebay and building a brand through social media, anyone can start a business from scratch at practically no cost and take advantage of the global village. Growing your business is easy too. So many elements of running a successful business can now be done virtually; bought as software-as-a-service or outsourced remotely.
The best thing about the internet is that it doesn't care who you are or where you're from. It doesn't tell you that you don't have the right background to start a business and it doesn't judge you. Many highly profitable and very successful businesses are now run from very modest surroundings. People of all ages and backgrounds now run multimillion pound companies they started on their home computers in their spare time.
Customers want something different
The internet has created a culture of discovery. Today, when we shop we're looking for quality but we're also looking for things that are a little bit different. Twenty years ago if we wanted a new shirt or a new sofa, we just went to the high street in our local town and if we couldn't find what we wanted we went to the city centre stores instead. Whatever happened, we knew our sofa was the same as thousands of other people's but there just wasn't that much choice. The internet changed all that. Today we know the choice is almost limitless and if we want something different we're prepared to spend a very long time looking for it.
Today big is not always better! People want to deal with smarter, smaller businesses and do not necessarily want to deal with the big businesses. Clients want friendly, personal service rather than a big, anonymous company. Customers feel comfortable with small businesses because they like to know who they're dealing with; they would rather trust an individual or family business than a huge faceless company. People know that they'll get good customer service from a smaller business and they like the idea of spending their money with people who really value them as customers.
This new culture means start-up businesses with good websites and strong brands that communicate with people directly through social media have a much greater chance of success. The internet means that if you have sealable quality products or services that are different from your competitors and at the right price, you will succeed.
Don't wait to start your new business
I've met so many people with great business ideas who have never had the confidence or courage to just do it. It's so very easy to keep telling yourself that you'll start a business one day but in the end, never even try. Everyone has the ability to start a business and these days everyone can use a second or third income stream.
Sometimes the best way to start a business is to collaborate with other co-founders who have the skills that you don't. This saves money and brings with it valuable assets. Your collaborators don't necessarily have to be involved full time and neither do you - you can still keep your existing job. It doesn't matter if it starts as something you just do in the evenings or at the weekends. It doesn't matter if you're only a part-time entrepreneur. Everyone starts small - there's no shame in that. What matters is that you don't let fear stop you from seizing every opportunity and trusting your instincts. If you want to start a business then there has never been a better time. Don't wait - just do it!