One of the most exciting parts of my work these days is my classes both the design and retail ones. I love talking to people who have an idea for a business or are already up and running and need a bit of further advice. Figuring out if you’re going to actually take the leap and launch a business is a bit like figuring out if you want children!  There is no perfect time, you’ll never been in the exact right place there will never be enough money it’s a hard decision to make.  Plus like children businesses have their ups and downs. There will be moments of near debilitating anxiety and despair but don’t despair, read this instead!

1) You are not launching this business or have gone into business purely for your ego or because you are bored with what you are currently doing. You’ve made a business plan, you’ve figured out a gap in the market and you’re as certain as you can be that your business is going to make money. Right? In my early days it was never about ego but nor was it about making money. I’m not driven by money I just wanted a beautiful store with beautiful stuff in it. BUT then reality hit in. Why was I working really hard, for what purpose if I was just breaking even month on month. I figured that although initially I wanted a lifestyle business I now in fact wanted a brand that took me to places and lead me to opportunities that I never would have dreamed of. Once I started dreaming big as opposed to thinking small big things happened! You are not in this biz purely to buy items for yourself

2) Darn really that’s the best perk of the job! In all seriousness it will never work, your business has to sell goods to a target market. Of course it’s a perk of the job and I’m in a lucky position in that I only buy what I love but I am more commercial these days than I have ever been. I often pass up on products because by the time we’ve put our mark up on them I don’t see them selling. You have to make money, lots of it right!

3) Thing big, work on different strands that enhance your business so you are never reliant on just the one thing. For me that is writing books, interior design, the school, TV, designing our own product range. Multiple strands equals multiple cash flows! Cash flow as we all know can bring a business down in a second so the more channels you have the more likelihood you will succeed. All of my strands are inter related to my core business my retail store so they enhance, complement and work alongside it!

4) Get off the shop floor as fast as you can. I don’t say this lightly as I manned the store for way too long, which prevented me for working on all those other strands and moving my business on. It is so easy to get wrapped up in the minutiae, the day-to-day.   You as the owner have to think of the bigger picture. If you want to open a retail store inside the White House, then start working on how to bring that concept to fruition. Oh and tell me about it I would quite like to revamp it into the Black House.

5) Fake it till you make it. If it all goes Pete Tong (wrong) fake it otherwise known as impression management. The most successful people in business have this internal drive that tells them that they can succeed, so that they persist even in the face of failure. To the outside world everything is successful inside may be different but exuding an air of confidence is super important.

The more you believe in yourself the more confidence you will get and the more capable you will be. You’ll not be successful in everything but you will be able to handle way more challenges than you ever thought possible. Oh and remember this there is one person who is always on your side that you can depend on no matter what and always has your back. Yourself!

Believe in yourself, and great things can happen.

Check out the weekly biz column archives for more tips and business advice.

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This is our ultimate A-Z guide for anyone thinking of starting their own business, or looking to take the next step in building their retail empire.