Self-motivation and discipline in business start-up is a key success factor

With business confidence continuing to rise and opportunities gathering pace, many people are choosing to go into self-employment and start their own business. It’s not just people who are established in working life either, it is a dream of many graduates to enter into the world of running their own business without first considering a career with a firm.

Whatever the reason for deciding to launch your own business, there are many things to consider – from researching the marketplace and financing the business to deciding whether to take on staff and premises – the considerations are endless.

However, one very important area in running a business is self-motivation. Without a boss to crack the whip, colleagues to bounce ideas off and run decisions by, work can feel like a strange place. If starting off working from home for instance, creating a workplace feel and discipline can be tough.

For someone who has previously been employed this can be doubly hard. There are a few tips that can help in these difficult early stages.

Create a workspace – if working from home to keep overheads down, ensure there is a dedicated working space. If there is a room available in the house that can be dedicated to an office, that’s ideal, but if room is tight, think about creating workspaces in unused areas such as under stairs – or even a corner of an under-used dining room. Sitting on the sofa with a laptop isn’t a great start to a working day!

Lay ground rules – successful businesses need dedicated owners and that means establishing what is ‘work time’. It can be easy to be distracted by friends of family who think they can ‘pop in’ for a coffee during the working day because you’re at home, but a ‘quick coffee’ can easily turn into an afternoon whiled away. That business won’t build itself!

Form a commute – the benefits of working from home would definitely be not having to endure a commute, but the journey into work can provide some downtime to think about tasks ahead or fully wake up to the day. Consider taking a brisk walk before sitting down to work, which is not only good exercise but the fresh air will help get blood flowing and provide some invigoration for the day that caffeine alone won’t provide!

Walk the walk – sitting at a desk all day isn’t good for anyone’s posture, and staring at a screen isn’t great for the eyes and can case headaches. Schedule breaks to get up and walk around, grab a drink or lunch. Walk around when taking phone calls to avoid the desk slump.

Join a networking club or group – it’s not everyone’s cup of tea and can be daunting at first, but joining a local business network not only gives a good excuse to get out of the house, but holds the potential for real business benefit. Don’t commit straight off, as many involve a cost, but most networking clubs will allow you to come along and trial the event before committing to joining. Try as many as you like before deciding which one holds the most benefits for your business.

Create associates – forming associations with synergistic businesses not only offers the opportunity for further networking, but will mean you can offer an added value service to customers by being able to recommend products or services that might complement your offering. It also provides a good opportunity to bounce ideas around, as quite often, businesses that aren’t in direct competition with each other can help the other see the bigger picture.

Taking the plunge to start a business is a huge step and one that will often be fraught with challenges. But going into a venture with the right mindset, a good dose of motivation and support and people to lean on when in need of advice is a good start.

For further information about other aspects of starting a business, visit our website resources, or get in touch about our fixed fee start-up business advice package.