Edinburgh Napier alumnus, Jamie Boult, founder of J Boult Designs, lets us know his 5 top tips on starting a business.
To read the full article, visit the Edinburgh Napier Alumni blog post here.
Tip #1: Start small
Selling on Etsy or starting a low-cost website is a fantastic way to trial your business idea. Website builders like Shopify and Squarespace allow you to build a professional looking website for very little cost.
As long as you can fulfil your orders, and reduce the things you pay other people to do, the overall costs can be quite low.
Tip #2: Start now
Starting a business at university, or just after you leave, is the best time to do it. You won’t have to leave a safe job, and you probably won’t have a mortgage or dependents relying on you.
If your business doesn’t take off like you expect it to, remember it will still look great on your CV to say that you started a business during this difficult time. Plus, employers are on the lookout for intrapreneurs – individuals who can use their enterprising skills to develop new products and services within an organisation. Your experience of starting a business will demonstrate your ability to do just that.
Tip #3: Attend trade fairs
If Jamie did things differently, he said he would’ve exhibited at trade fairs much earlier than he did. Trade fair seem expensive; however, they are great places that give you the opportunity to put your products in front of buyers who are from all corners of the globe. There are also often discounts available for new businesses.
Tip #4: Use inexpensive marketing techniques
Don’t overlook low-cost marketing methods like writing press releases; sending wholesale catalogues to potential stockists (remember lots of shop owners appreciate having a hard copy and are more likely to look at it rather than an email); working with bloggers and influencers; and having an active social media presence.
Tip #5: Price wisely
Jamie also recommends pricing products so you have a good profit margin, and making sure your minimum order is high enough. When you deal with overseas customers, shipping and transferring money can eat into your profits – so it’s something to consider when setting your prices.
Thank you to Jamie for sharing his top tips with us! We hope you find them useful.
Remember, if you’re an Edinburgh Napier student or alumni with a business idea, or a growing start-up, our resources and support available at Bright Red Triangle is free and there’s no time-limit.
Find out how we can help you here.