Some organisations offer free support to people setting up a business. This can include business planning, mentoring, training and co-working spaces. These are sometimes called business incubators or accelerator programmes.
A mentor is someone who supports you and your business. They may have had lots of experience running a business and be able to give you advice.
You could try getting a mentor through a local start-up network, contacting someone you admire on social media or through a mentor scheme. You may need to contact several people to find someone so keep trying!
If you’re at college or university, see what business and mentoring support is available. Ask your tutors or search for things like:
Testing your product or service can be a great way to see how it will work and what people think of it. Test with your friends or family first. Ask them to be honest as well as encouraging.
When you are ready, trial your service, perhaps at a networking or trade event.
You could try selling your products at a local market or on social media. Ask people for their first impressions and any feedback. Remember you can learn from negative feedback to improve your products or service.
Check that you’re ready
Running a business can mean working long hours. Some people feel lonely working for themselves. But many entrepreneurs say that starting a business is the best thing they’ve ever done.
You may want to ask yourself:
Am I ready?
Am I passionate about this idea?
Do I feel motivated to take it forward?
How will I deal with negative feedback?
Who can I talk to if I have problems or need some emotional support?
Putting your idea out into the world can be challenging and rewarding. But the internet and social media has made it easier than ever to market your offer and connect with customers. And there is lots of help available if you ask.