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10 top tips for setting up a successful business

Ever thought about setting up your own business? Bev Crighton, Employer Engagement Lead at the University of Derby, gives 10 tips for budding entrepreneurs.

By Bev Crighton - 23 March 2017


Don’t scatter gun, opportunities come along all the time so don’t waste effort getting involved in distractions. Stay focused on what you want to achieve. When things get tough, remember why you started the business in the first place.

Don’t start a business to become a millionaire

Start in order to learn and develop your ideas – if you chase money it runs from you.

Do what makes your heart sing

If you put all your energy into your passion it will reward you.

Develop your 30-second pitch

Be able to articulate your business to anyone who asks, and don’t bore them with detail.

Be humble

While it’s great to be knowledgeable about your business, no one likes a know-it-all. Even if you think you know everything, be sure to act as though you don’t, that way people will offer advice.

Be careful who you listen to

There are so many support schemes, specialists and people who have done it. Listen to everyone, but learn how to sift what’s good for you from what is good for others.

Look after yourself

If there is only you to run the business, what happens if you get ill? Manage your health as well as the business. If you have weak spots, be aware and don’t push too hard.

Don’t believe that anyone will give you money

They may say they want to invest, but usually they will want something in return.

Work hard

Hard work doesn’t kill you – worrying about it does. It’s easy to say and hard to achieve, but worrying won’t help any situation, working at it will.

Enjoy what you do and learn from your mistakes

Starting a business should be fun, it is what you want to do, so remind yourself of that every day. Remember – if someone tells you that you are a horse once, think about it. If someone else tells you, think long and hard. If a third tells you, then buy a saddle.

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About the author

Bev Crighton

Bev Crighton
Senior Lecturer

As a senior lecturer, Bev teaches across several Business subjects and sits within the Business and Management team. She is passionate about external engagement and increasing student’s employability skills and is known for connecting businesses with students to achieve mutually beneficial relationships.

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