So you want to start a business, but need advice on the best approach? MiNDFOOD caught up with Ingrid Thompson, the Founder of Healthy Numbers, a training and coaching business to pick her brain on the best advice for first-time business owners.
Recognised as one of Australia’s leading voices when it comes to small business start-ups, Ingrid Thompson is devoted to helping business owners set solid foundations while ensuring they are under no false illusion about cost, commitment and consistency. “Starting a business is an exciting adventure, and at the same time is a rocky journey filled with ups and downs, potholes and curves in the road to success, many of them completely unexpected,” she explains, likening starting a business to launching a rocket into space – it takes enormous momentum and force to overcome the gravitational force of the earth.
To be successful in a new business venture, Thompson says, requires basic foundations. To help guide new start-ups or those who have an idea for a winning business, she says initially there are a few key questions to consider:
- Who are you to start a business? This is about you; are your personal finances in order? Essential. Do you have a business mindset? Being in business is different to having a hobby or a side hustle. Are you prepared to learn new things every single day? No 2 days will ever be the same again. Are you resilient? Tenacious? Do you believe in yourself 100+% Being in business requires all of this and some!
- Is your business idea financially viable? Just because you are in love with your idea, with your product – doesn’t mean that everyone else will be! And even if they love it – will they pay money, and enough money, for what you offer? Do you solve their problem? For a business to be successful it needs to be financially viable which requires people to take their money out of their pockets and hand it over. The secret to financial viability is when revenue exceeds all costs and expenses.
- Do you know who is your ideal customer? And do you know where to find them? Can you sell? The number 1 question that people ask me is “How can I stand out from everyone else? From all the other businesses?” The answer is simple: be really clear about who is your ideal client, totally understand what is their biggest problem and be able to communicate to them how you solve their problem for them?
- Do you know how to make money? And do you have a roadmap or plan to make money consistently? Being good at what you do is not enough to generate money. Money doesn’t just happen, it requires a plan, a roadmap and systems and processes to ensure consistency.
Creating and being in business is actually quite straightforward, according to Thompson. “Get clarity about the answers to these key questions and tip in a ton of hard work and a ‘just get on with it’ attitude, and pretty much any dream business idea can come true,” she says.
Ingrid is also the author of So You want to Start a Business; the 7 Step guide to Create, Start and Grow your own Business.