January 17, 2023 4 min read

This newsletter is the start of a series of Business focused Newsletters and Blogs ill be writing.

Today I will focus on the choice of whether to start a business or not.

I started Coffee Hit 11 years ago. According to statistics, this is rarified air.

According to Fundera.com 20% fail in the first year, 30% in their second year, 50% in 5 years and finally 70% in 10 years.

I believe these sort of statics put people off starting a business. But this shouldn't be the case. I believe these statics are due to lack of training and education around starting and running your own business. Especially at the high school level. It's a great shame that kids aren't taught how to start and run a business. Instead, they are taught how to work in other peoples business and believe the corporate ladder is the ultimate goal. 

Running a business isn't some secret formula very few know about or pure luck or re-inventing the wheel. Its really straight forward and the basics of starting and running a business can be implemented into ANY business.

Over the course of the next few months, I'm going to go over some key things I've learnt (the hard way) in running a business.

I hope these inspire you to start your own business or if you have a business give you some ideas you can implement in your business. I love talking to other business owners so get in touch with any questions you might have (just reply to this email).

 Should I start my own Business?

You first must understand why you are starting your own business.

To succeed you need to have one or more of the following attributes:

  1. Quality
  2. Price
  3. Convenience

You cant have all 3 but you must have one and ideally 2. Then focus on the one thing you're REALLY good at. The thing that you LOVE doing. It brings you happiness when you do it well.

Combine all this with your work and life experiences to give your business its own personal DNA. Don't copy your competitors. Your business needs to be different and have a personality.

Think about who your best customers are going to be, what do they really want? What will make their life easier? You may have heard the phrase "Scratch your own itch", this means if you come across something that bugs you in work or life, then chances are others have the same experience, and as you know the issue well you can perform to high standard to come up with a solution to fix the itch. It must be fun for you. Know what you stand for, then find like-minded customers and suppliers.

The most risk-free way to start your business is to start it while you're still working. It's hard, but it lowers the risk. You'll work nights and weekends. These are things I'm against but at the launch of your business, it's tough. It's tough on family, friends and yourself. By staying in employment you at least have cash coming in the door. 

When your business starts generating cash equal to your salary then you can leave.

If you need to leave work to start your business I suggest having at least a years salary saved as a contingency. This cash isn't for the business. It's for you, in case things don't go to plan.

I feel sorry for people who work 60-90 hour weeks. They wear it like a badge of honour. This is crazy, you will burn out. By running your own business imagine a life of working 20-40 hour weeks. Wherever you want. In today's world, this is totally possible and with current technology, it's easier than ever. So get thinking, don't over plan and just get started!

Don't just start a business that's the same as your job unless you 100% love and believe in what you do.

I've seen people who were good at there job, but didn't particularly enjoy it, but thought they could earn better money by working for themselves. Don't do it! 

What you will create is just another job. Except in this job, you work more hours, get paid very little if any, have no holidays or holiday pay. No sick benefits, no pension scheme. Then you may have been good at your job but you now also have to deal with cash flow, suppliers, banks, HMRC, accounting and so on.

You need to be able to stand out from the crowd. Luckily there is a lot of boring mediocracy out there. Dazzle your ideal customers. Over-deliver most of the time.

I truly believe anyone can start a business and I highly encourage you to. The younger you are the more you should just do it. But its never too late. 

Starting a business can be the most rewarding, both emotionally and financially, single thing you can ever do. 

But there are many things you need to be aware of and my plan is to teach you some of these things over the next few months. Stay tuned!