How do I determine whether I am capable of starting a business?
start a business

This is undoubtedly a question that many entrepreneurs wonder before starting their own company. Starting a company can be scary as it involves leaving behind the security of a salary for the unknown. On one hand, you get to be your own boss and may ultimately make more money, but on the other, it could end in failure. Many entrepreneurs unsurprisingly are filled with fear and doubt. However, there are certainly some things that you should consider before taking this step.

Do you have enough time?

A new business requires dedication. It may mean that you'll have to work unconventional or extra hours. Yes, even sometimes weekends and evenings. It will probably also require your complete attention. Therefore, if you're undergoing other major life changes, such as starting a family, it may not be the ideal time.

Despite the intense time requirement, you'll also need to make sure that you have a good support system in place. This support system needs to be able to help you achieve some balance so that, regardless of the long hours, you also have enough time to relax and avoid burnout.

Are you good at making decisions?

A successful entrepreneur must be able to make decisions – both large and small. Unlike conventional jobs, you'll be in charge of making all or almost all of the decisions. These decisions will greatly impact the future of your company and will involve some risks.

You should be able to consider all the potential pitfalls and benefits of a decision to ensure your company progresses in the right direction. Most successful entrepreneurs, therefore, can think analytically as well as creatively and incorporate both of these aspects into their decision-making process.

Not only should you be able to make smart decisions and have a clear vision of your company's direction, but you must also be able to make these decisions within intense or stressful situations. With the success of your company resting on your shoulders, stress will be unavoidable.

How well do you know your potential company?

Starting a business requires a great degree of confidence and belief. In order to remain confident in the face of criticism and rejection, thoroughly understanding the product or service you are trying to sell is essential. This understanding will also allow you to identify your unique selling point, which will greatly shape how you market and sell your company. It will also help you to identify gaps within the market, your target audience, and create an effective business plan. This doesn't mean that your direction can't and won't change. In fact, your vision and understanding should constantly evolve alongside the growth and development of your company.

Anything else to consider?

These are only some of the questions that should be considered to determine if you are capable of starting your own business. There are plenty of other questions and logistics that must be addressed before taking the first step and no business venture should be undertaken without careful consideration.

The OM Team

Why Making Business Mistakes Isn’t Always Bad
business mistakes

When I started out in business I was really afraid of doing things wrong. Since I launched out on this I’ve learned that everyone, with no exceptions, makes mistakes - even the successful entrepreneurs among us. What life is really about is learning from our business mistakes, getting up and trying again.

It’s important to keep in mind why you are starting your business in the first place. Some common reasons might be the desire to:

  1. Be your own boss.
  2. Do something you REALLY want to do.
  3. Flexibility - how many of us have jobs and no longer have a life?
  4. To provide more income for your family.
  5. To be able to retire comfortably at some point - and for some of us, the desire to eventually become rich.

Starting up can be both a scary and lonely experience. One can be so afraid to venture out because some people might remind you of all the possible negative things that could happen. What I have learnt is that the more people you bring on board, the more likely you are to succeed. Find like-minded people, exchange ideas and skills, expand your relationship network by business networking or using sites like Opus Matrix and, by so doing, reduce your likelihood of making mistakes.

Remember the quote from the entrepreneur Warren Buffet "You only have to do a very few things right in your life so long as you don’t do too many things wrong".

Debbie Davis

 

 

Be Active in Our Online Community to Win £100 Amazon Voucher
£100 amazon voucher

Winner will be announced 31st December 2015

As a member of Opus Matrix, you have the opportunity to boost your online presence and get seen by a larger audience. Firstly ensure your profile is up to date with a recent profile photo and description of your skills or services. Next, connect with other entrepreneurs and startups in the online community. Then, post blogs, offers, events and projects and you could win points.

The member with the most points by the end of the year will go top of the Hall of Fame and will win a £100 Amazon voucher.

If you haven't already, sign up now to be in with a chance!

The OM Team

 

Shine in our online community
October 30, 2015
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online community

As the days grow darker and the cold wind starts blowing in, it won't be long until Christmas lights are twinkling. Whether you are in business or not, there's no doubt that this is the time of year when things get busy with so much to do. This is where Opus Matrix can help you achieve more if you make the most of your membership plan and help you to shine in our community!

Opus Matrix is more than just a website, it's an online community. It's a wealth of resources and ideas from like-minded people who are interested in collaborating on new projects. Members can skillshare and exchange their talents for mutually beneficial reasons. This can be a great way of getting things done without breaking the bank. For example, if you need a web designer, perhaps they will create one for free in exchange for a discount on your products in your shop.

Opus Matrix is an online community with an effective tool for searching for people with key skills but it is also a great platform to get your voice heard. From your profile, you can post your own blogs and get these seen by a large audience via our social media channels. Also, if you are a Business Plus member and you use Twitter, your tweets will be embedded in our site and shown to every Opus Matrix member when they log in. The OM team would like to encourage members to be active on the site and reward everyone with points for doing so.

As the old saying goes ‘points win prizes’ and we will reward the most active member at the end of the year with a £100 Amazon voucher. Firstly, you need to make sure your profile is up to date with as much information as possible to help you get found through our visitor searches. The more active you are in terms of posting blogs and connecting with others will also earn you points.

Look out for the Hall of Fame page next week, as everyone starts from zero from the 1st November. Look forward to catching up with you on the site!

The OM Team

P.S. We would love to hear your feedback and if you have any issues with the site, please contact [email protected]

 

Who Said That Stay-at-Home Moms Cannot Have a Bright Career?
October 27, 2015
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stay-at-home momsSource: http://users.atw.hu/tavmunkaonline/10.jpg

According to the Center for Women’s Business Research, there are over 11 million of women owning a business in the United States today. Among this great number of ambitious working women, there is a high percentage of stay-at-home moms who manage their own careers directly from home.

It may seem overwhelming for the majority of mothers to only think about managing children, husbands, household chores, finances and various duties all at the same time, that only imagining to add a part-time career to the list of things to take care of on a daily basis might appear unimaginable.

Many women may believe that, once that motherhood hits their lives, any chance to develop or continue a rewarding career will be archived forever, or that investing their time on that job they have always dreamed about, would be practically impossible. However, here there is surprisingly pleasant news for you - even though you are an extremely busy mom with plenty of tasks to manage, you can still have a successful job from home! Just think about all the set of skills you already have. You might have learned some of them in university or college, or you may have developed them because of a strong passion you have always had.

Anything can be a source of inspiration and could potentially lead you to an outstanding job right from the comfort of your own home, allowing you, at the same time, to keep taking good care of your beloved family. All you need is a touch of creativity. By acknowledging the powerful competences you already own, you will be able to put them into practice and create a profitable job that will, not only help sustain your family economically, but also boost your self-esteem and increase your level of qualifications.

Have your friends and relatives always told you what an amazing baker you are and that nothing tastes more wonderful than your dishes, or that no one draws, sews, takes pictures, decorates, manages accounts, organizes events or writes better than you? Well…it is now time to start finally taking all those compliments into serious consideration, because those things you are so tremendously great at doing could open unexpected doors to outstanding job opportunities!

Based on your personal level of knowledge and capabilities, there are a huge variety of lucrative professions which can be undertaken within domestic walls. The 10 most popular activities for home working mums in North America are the following:

  1. Online Marketing Specialist
  2. Medical Transcriptionist
  3. Translator
  4. Web Developer/Designer
  5. Call Center Representative
  6. Tech Support Specialist
  7. Customer Relations Specialist
  8. Teacher
  9. Writer/Editor
  10. Business Consultant

In order to start an overwhelming career, however, it is fundamental to work on the development of a professional network, which will enable you to find clients, investors, or coworkers. This is why it is highly recommendable to create a personal account on professional platforms as Opus Matrix, which, similarly to LinkedIn, will allow you to find the right jobs, to expand your business, or to quickly get in touch with smart experts. Creating an account on Opus Matrix is easy, free and can significantly improve your professional future.

It is now time to make a strategic work plan, turn on your computer and become an outstanding working-at-home mom! Good luck!

the OM Team

Going back to work after having children
going back to work after having children

The day I was finishing work to start my Maternity Leave my employer went into administration; and so began the 5½ years I spent first with my eldest (now 7) and then with my youngest too (now 5). These years were a mix of pure bliss and as well as utter despair and although I wouldn’t swap them for the world, in terms of CPD, possibly not the best.

“Parents - women particularly, but not exclusively, there are plenty of dads also in this situation - face all kinds of hurdles when it comes to returning to work” says Janet Unsworth, Non Executive Director of www.scottishchanginthechemistry.co.uk, an organisation that seeks to increase board diversity. “They may lack self confidence, might have problems finding childcare, perceive they have nothing to offer, might be afraid their skills are out of date, that their requirement for flexibility makes them less attractive to a potential employer, they may be lone parents, or perhaps their partner isn’t very supportive. It can be a real challenge sometimes quite demoralising”.

However, with some positive thinking and a bit of creativity, there are strategies for success if you are planning a return to work. So, here are a few suggestions:

  • consider volunteering – either at grass roots level or by joining a committee, an advisory group to a board or a board itself as Non Executive Director – goodmoves.org.uk is a good place to start
  • explore the possibility of Returnships with potential employers
  • understand where you might need to upskill and seek out workshops, courses, distance learning and funding opportunities to help you achieve these, for example skillsdevelopmentscotland.co.uk
  • reinvigorate your old network – I had some professional correspondence cards made, hand wrote a personal note and sent them to a selection of contacts I wanted to reconnect with
  • seek out introductions from friends and contacts to other professionals in your field
  • seek out networking groups – of which there are many – for new contacts and support. It might take a few attendances to find the right ones for you but once you do, they can be invaluable
  • undertake appropriate follow ups with people you meet: connect with them on LinkedIn and follow them on Twitter not on your Facebook page (professional contacts do not need to see your dinner!). And make sure you have a terrific profile and a decent professional photo, no selfies or holiday snaps
  • invite them for a coffee to explore mutually beneficial ways of working
  • be prepared to give something for nothing in the hope and expectation that the same professional courtesy will one day be extended to you
  • be brave and go for it!

And if all this just sounds too scary to even contemplate, remember you are not the first person to return to work after time spent looking after children and your conversational repertoire can and does extend beyond the emotional wellbeing of your offspring and their associated needs – so go on, take the plunge, you’ll be fabulous!

Cate Nelson-Shaw

[email protected]

Twitter: @YellowBookCnslt

A week goes so fast….on Opus Matrix
October 10, 2015
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3 months free

It's been one week since Opus Matrix launched already and it's great to see some activity on the site with new members connecting and discovering the benefits of collaboration on a global scale.

A week can go so quickly when you are busy, especially if you are working your socks off to get your business idea moving forward. There's always so much that we have to do that it is tempting to say it's not possible or that you'll come back to it at some point. However, it's important to stay focused and remind ourselves how little time we have. Otherwise, nothing will get done.

“You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to….. everyone.”

We only have the same amount of time as any entrepreneur or creative genius. Everyone has little things that get in the way of executing your plans from childcare to shopping trips.

For those who find themselves stuck in jobs they hate, it's worth spending time on planning your way out or even simply quitting as every minute you spend is effectively wasted if it is not what you want to spend the rest of your life doing.

If you haven’t already, take advantage of our Autumn offer and get 15 months for the price of 12 on all membership levels. Read more here.

The OM Team
Skill Share your way to success
September 21, 2015
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skill share

Skill share your way to success 

It is a sobering thought to think the Apple, arguably the most valuable company on the planet, started as a home business, just where many are or are hoping to be very soon. Steve Jobs got a head start because very early on, he was able to partner with someone who had the skills he lacked. Jobs had the vision, and together with Wozniak, created the Apple I and Apple II computers. Wozniak was responsible for the electronics, while Jobs concentrated on the design. Both worked to their strengths and in so doing, built a superior product from the word ‘go’. The rest, as they say, is history.

Apple’s head start began because of the simple fact that the power of two heads working together can be disproportionately greater than the power of only one. Forming Skill share partnerships early in your business life, can increase the possibility of making those first steps into business much bigger, more productive and making you (both) more likely to succeed. In many other ways, relationships like these are also beneficial to your health and well-being. Going it alone can be a lonely road.

2015 has seen more and more highly-skilled older women ‘managed’ out of the workplace, turn to self-employment. This has been going on for some time and is likely to go on for the foreseeable future. Their need to make extra income means that there is now a huge skills base for people to tap into.
How do you find people with whom to share skills?

Here’s how:

If you are an aspiring entrepreneur or even an established SME (in which case you can skip point 1

1.   Ascertain your goal, think big, think long-term, e.g. to create the best Cake Shop in Crewe, London,wherever

2. Create a list of your skills and the resources you need in order to fulfill this ambition

3. Create a list of the skills/resources you don’t have

This will give you a good idea of the sort/skill type of the person (s) you need to find to skill share.

Opusmatrix.com: the way forward  

Using a website like this would be invaluable at this point. This website has a sophisticated search engine which can help you pinpoint that key person to barter or share skills with. This kind of working can mean acquiring the expertise you need in the areas you need, and inexpensively, whilst not compromising your business idea.

Opusmatrix.com is a supportive community for entrepreneurs formed from individuals just like you, at various stages in their business life. It’s a community of people with the skills - and sometimes the resources - to form that ideal business partnership.

Opusmatrix.com contains all the tools, resources and people you need to take your business idea to the heights you've always dreamed of.

Sign up now for a FREE TRIAL

"Together we're working"

the OM team

Collaborate and create work together
July 30, 2015
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skills

When I had a business idea, I knew that initially, I didn’t have the skills I needed to do it myself.

As a means of achieving what I needed, I found others with the skills that were necessary to get started; eventually I would learn enough to make my own contribution and collaborate. What I have found so amazing, is how much more can be achieved by 2 people vs 1, and by 3 people vs 2.

Now I strongly believe that working interdependently and collaboratively, success is collective and as we all do well, everyone benefits from this arrangement. This is THE way forward and the advantages are many:

Read more

The Best 10 reasons to start your own business
start a business

You, and only you, control your own destiny!

No more ‘zero hour’ contracts. No more bullying. You get to build your own dream.

You choose a way of working that suits you best.

As you are the boss, you can design working hours around your life. Ok, admittedly, at the beginning, it may seem you have no life, but for many people in gainful employment, that is the reality……for their entire working lives!

You don’t have to commute (depending on your business). You can work from anywhere.

If you have to travel long hours or sometimes even drive in dangerous conditions - especially during the winter months - this will be a huge bonus for you.

Read more