Author Amanda Patterson, Business Research Support Officer, Small Business Research + Enterprise Centre
You have passion, you have an idea, and you want to make it a reality, but what do you do next?
There are a lot of resources out there, trawling through these can seem challenging and daunting – especially when all you want to be doing is getting on and running your own business. This is where speaking to a Business Adviser comes in; they can help you understand what information you need and why you need it, what actions you need to take next and why – ultimately so that you can focus on your passion and idea and make your business reality.
Wendy is one of the Business Advisers with at the Small Business Research & Enterprise Centre (SBREC). “We help support pre-start-ups and those trading by helping them source relevant and valuable information, we do this via one-to-one sessions, group training and events.” The Business Advisers at SBREC have their SFEDI Professional Business and Enterprise Service Support Level 5 qualification, and a passion to support businesses and those thinking about starting a business.
“Research can feel boring or scary or both, and this is where we come in,” says Wendy. “Before you decide whether you should work for yourself you can get invaluable insights from conducting research into your finances, your industry sector, your competition and your customers.” She adds, “sometimes the word money can be seen as a dirty word, but the reality is that you will need money to make your dream a reality. You need money to be successful; to pay your rent/mortgage and utilities, internet and phone, and all your living costs. You also need money to pay your suppliers. Having a healthy cash flow allows you to be able to pay the bills – many people I work with are not comfortable with numbers or budgets, so a Business Adviser can help here too.”
“While it’s nice to be unique in your business idea, you don’t have to be. What matters is that there is a demand for your product or service. Your idea doesn’t need to be radical; it can be something that’s been done before as long as there is enough customer demand. Your Unique Selling Point might even be that you are someone that people love to do business with. By taking the time to carry out research you will be able to learn about whether there is likely to be space for your business, and help you identify if you need to tweak your original ideas or look at different locations, and it will help you work out that all important budget and financial forecasting.” SBREC provides access to key market research databases to help you with the information you need for writing your business plan.
Wendy’s favourite part of supporting new businesses is working with so many enthusiastic people. “Meeting business people keeps me enthralled! The passion, the drive, the energy and the knowledge my customers bring is incredible. I never cease to be amazed at how creative and skilful people are. I love that people are so good at what they do that they are able to make a great business from it and create something that without them wouldn’t exist.”
*We strive to do our best when supporting small business and their growth. Our business databases can give you information and data that can help you with advertising, market research, company information, and industry factsheets. If you ave already taken the plunge, we would love for you to join us at a seminar, our workshops cover digital marketing, business model canvas and planning, demystifying taxes and intellectual property to name a few. Visit our events page or website for more information.