Orient Magazine Issue 83 - August 2021 - Page 42


Upcoming Webinars

Bookmark our Upcoming Events page at www . britcham . org . sg / events to register for the latest live webinars . DATE NAME TIME THEME EVENT PARTNERS
09 Sep 2021
Stress Busting Tips to Boost Mental Resilience
4:30 PM - 5:30 PM
14 Sep 2021
Planning For a Smooth and Tax Efficient Move to the UK
4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
21 Sep 2021
Team Building : Arctic Survival Expedition
5:00 PM - 6:30 PM
23 Sep 2021
Battery Storage for Asia
4:00 PM - 5:30 PM
28 Sep 2021
The Future of Green Data Centres
4:00 PM - 5:30 PM
04 Oct 2021
22nd Annual Business Awards Ceremony
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
COMMITTEE CONTENT 43 STARTING YOUR OWN COMPANY how will this be financed, and if you need staff to help you with this. It might also be worth contacting an accountant and solicitor to understand taxes and company responsibil- ities and rules. And it’s certainly worth talking to your local Chamber which has a readily available network for help. in this crazily busy world of ours, nobody will care about my product or service. Friends will be naturally supportive, prospects may tell you they like the idea, but there is a huge amount of effort needed to get people to buy something that is new. To be on the safe side, try starting your company while moonlighting so that you can build up enough revenue to support you and any staff and services to get going. It may seem a little mercenary and it will mean a huge amount of work but, as we will mention again later, sales and thus cash don’t suddenly appear. Inexperience of managing a business—or an unwillingness to delegate—can negatively impact small businesses and coupled with a poorly visualised business plan (which we talked about earlier), can lead to ongoing problems once the firm has started. And naturally, remember cash is king. Yes, it really is king. When companies go out of business (and about half do in their first 3 years) it’s nearly always because they have run out of cash. That’s why having a tool in Excel or an accounts application to manage cashflow is very useful. There will always be times when cash is tight and knowing exactly where you stand allows you to take the emotion out of decision making. Also, it will really help if you get a separate bank account and split your personal and company finances into separate groups. What’s the biggest mistake you see when someone starts their own company? There are a few but the biggest one for me is not doing enough market research and assuming that business will suddenly start pouring in immediately. In my experience sales are a gradual process. For example, a very long time ago I helped set up a business that made short videos to take the jargon out of IT. I was in IT and my business partner was in filming. We took the view ‘if you build it, they will come’ and had the hubris that we could rival Hollywood with our production. Our mistake, not testing the market by doing a pilot and finding out how and where we would get advertis- ing or other revenue before committing further. Starting Your Own Company James Price, member of the BritCham Startup, Entrepreneur and Small Business Committee talks to our Business Services Director, Nicole Wharfe So James, what are the considerations for someone want- ing to start their own company? So passion is a good place to start. What other factors are needed? I’m assuming there must be lots. To start off, you need to make it a reality. Everyone has a good idea. For example, I’ve loved the idea of running a bar. I’ve gone into some detail how it would work. Could it hap- pen? Possibly. Will it happen? No. I’m not that passionate. And to have your own company you need to be very passion- ate as there will be lots and lots of hurdles in the way to make it survive. Oh yes. Running out of money is a small business’s biggest risk. Owners often know what funds are needed day to day but are unclear as to how much revenue is being generated, and the disconnect can be disastrous. But to get started, it’s best to start off by creating a business plan. This will give you some focus. What are you going to sell, how are you go- ing to sell it, in which markets, at what price, and who is the competition. List down what is unique about the thing or the service you are going to sell. What marketing you need to do, Now, If I’m trying something new, I always take the view that Remember to constantly strive to make sure what you’re selling is better than your competitors. It might be by the slimmest of margins (and in a lot of occasions this might be all it is) but remember in sales you get nothing by coming second. And finally, set goals and milestones and celebrate these when you hit them however small. Any final thoughts? James: When you start a company you need to remember that it’s not for everyone. And for the first time it feels like jumping into a void, even though the reality is that void is less that half an inch deep. It will be a rollercoaster ride with massive highs and lows. And it does helps if your family are on side to share some of these experiences or to understand what you are going through. Don’t forget, if it’s your business it’s really hard work! I’ve always said running a business is a 24/7 commitment. Are you the sort of person who’ll be thinking about it for 168 hours a week? Can you switch off? Who will you go to de- compress? Not everyone will share your passion. But ignore them. When it works there’s no better feeling of accomplish- ment. Plan properly and then, just go for it! Find out more about our Startup, Entrepreneur and Small Business Committee here. COMMITTEE CONTENT STARTING YOUR OWN COMPANY