Mark Wright

Mark Wright is the founder of Climb Online, the award winning digital marketing agency started in partnership with Lord Sugar after winning "The Apprentice" UK in 2014. Recently named in the list of 100 top British entrepreneurs, Mark gives regular talks to small businesses and has partnered with leading companies and employers in the UK, including Groupon and Be Wiser Business Insurance.

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Starting a business can be very difficult, especially since more than 50 percent of UK startups fail within their first year. In our guide to starting a business, we provide a proven method to become a business champion by positioning your company successfully and allowing staff to establish themselves in the industry. Below are five tips for starting a business:

Go into an industry you have a passion for

When starting a company, you must be doing something you are passionate about. New businesses require a lot of working hours, so you genuinely need to enjoy the work, as it will make the whole process easier.

It also helps if you have experience in the industry, such as working for a similar company for a number of years. Above all, potential investors will always want to know you have spent time in the industry and know the sector a bit.

The more you learn, the more you earn

You need to learn as much as you can about that industry whether it’s finance, retail, tech or sports. It is worth putting time aside every day to read news articles or magazines related to your business area. Check out competitors and what they are doing and attend regular conferences and seminars on your subject matter.

By doing so, you will start understanding the trends in the industry, know who the big players are, companies and ideal customers – and this will help you grow your business.

Also on How to Become an Entrepreneur

Become an expert in the industry

Position yourself as an expert in your industry. This could mean writing regular blog posts and sharing them on Linkedin and Facebook, because your peers will start thinking of you as a knowledgable voice.

Volunteer to speak at events or conferences, where you will get good practice at refining your trade and emerge as an industry leader.

Network, network, network

Part of becoming an industry expert is knowing who is who. By attending regular events and even speaking at them, you will start to see the same faces and you will become recognizable. Exchange business cards, utilize Linkedin and soon you will become part of the discipline.

Practice what you preach

Eating your own dog food, or whatever you want to call it. If you provide web design as your business, make sure your website looks good, as this is the first thing that potential investors and clients will judge you on. So for whatever your business, be a leading example of what you want to represent. Even if you’re a personal trainer, make sure you get that six-pack.

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