Do You Want To Be Your Own Boss?
Richard Reed, the founder of Innocent Drinks – wants to encourage more individuals to start up their own business. In his words, starting your own business is no more complex than organising a wedding or a group holiday. His own company was founded in 1998 with two friends from Cambridge University.
What’s Running Your Business Like?
Richard states running a business is “about getting a group of people to do a certain number of tasks in a certain amount of time for a certain amount of money”. He went on to explain that “It is all about the idea, your commitment to the idea and your ability to execute that idea”. Reed told us that, if you believe in your business idea and your business plan whilst demonstrating your levels of commitment – you are certain to locate others that believe in it too.
Investors & Lenders
Reed who now invests in businesses, explained that he and his team are far more nervous about investing in a one person entity, as that one person needs to think about not only the finances of the business, but the marketing, the selling and the general running of the business.
In recent years, the Government have attempted to help small businesses by making start-up funds available, Richard explains there are far more available lenders in place for small businesses now, making it somewhat easier for those looking to fulfil their dreams.
Branding, Marketing & Advertising Are 3 Completely Different Things
It can be fairly easy to confuse branding, marketing and advertising – but they are three completely different things. So, no matter what the urge, try to refrain from doing so. The brand is the identity of your product and what it stands for. Marketing is how you market your product and how to create a demand for it, whilst advertising means making your product known (at your own expense). As Richard kindly pointed out, “advertising is a brilliant way to burn through a lot of cash very quickly, so treat it carefully”.
What Are the Risks?
There are plenty of risks involved when starting your own business, in which Reed advises; whatever you do, “don’t bet on your family home”. Reed explained that unfortunately the majority of small businesses fail, which is why you must stay alert at all times. Experiencing your business fail is trauma enough, but betting on the family home will only create more traumas in your personal life.
Running your own business is incredibly hard work, so if you cannot commit long hours and complete dedication, then perhaps it isn’t the choice for you. Reed says when setting up a business, it’s pretty accurate to assume that you have to squeeze 5 years of work into 1 year. This sounds like an awful lot and it is, which is why you need to prepare yourself for a lacking social life and family life.
So whenever you feel tired or question the level of time and effort that you are putting into your business, remember Richard Reed’s wise words “An entrepreneur accepts that the world is the way that it is and goes about changing it rather than waiting for someone to make it easier for them”.