Friday, March 31, 2006

Getting serious about starting a business...

I posted a piece a couple of weeks back about the many folks I'd heard from who were beginning new careers and starting their own new ventures. Yesterday, I came across a piece on the same theme posted by Erick Shonfeld on the Business 2.0 Blog. So, in considering what may be of the most interest to you, I thought I'd come back to this topic and share a few more great resources. Many of the folks that I run with have design-related talents, and even for those who don't, there is some truly great advice packed inside of two recent feature stories from Computer Arts Magazine in the UK. Some of the advice is UK-specific, but the ideas behind them will likely translate into resources that are available in other countries as well. Here are the two stories, which I highly recommend: (1) Set up your own design studio, and (2) Build up your business.

Among UK-based design studios, few have built-up reputations or accomplishments that equal those of my clients at ATTIK, which James Sommerville and Simon Needham founded 20 years ago with limited means, and is now firmly established as one of the most innovative full-service creative agencies in the world. Several years back, co-founder Simon Needham was asked by the editors at to provide advice to others starting businesses. Here are his top five tips: (1) When you take risks, prepare yourself for some losses but always have a backup plan in place. (2) In the initial stages of starting and running your business, never let your thoughts get past the first year of trading. (3) Get yourself known – if someone’s already heard of you they’ll come knocking on your door. (4) Even when things aren’t going as planned, stick with what you’ve got and you’ll get through it. (5) Grow reluctantly and only when you need to and use freelancers (no fixed overheads/costs) wherever possible. Good luck!