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Developing confidence

For many people, starting their own business is one of the most nerve-racking things they’ve ever done. After all, it’s a big risk and there are lots of unknowns. What if your business idea doesn’t hold up or you can’t find any customers? What if the people of Birmingham doesn’t welcome your ideas? What if something goes wrong, or you don’t know the answer, or you get in too deep? And what if you fail – what will your family and friends say? For other people, the fear is not failure – but rather success: what if everything goes right and your business gets out of control?

The important thing to remember is that you’re not alone in these feelings and you can overcome them – in fact, it’ll be one of the most rewarding things you ever do. But you do have to harness these feelings and decide to move forward, making a commitment to arm yourself as much as possible so that you’re ready for whatever comes up.

The Outset programme is designed to help build your confidence through a mix of personal and business skills development. The first stage of our online learning programme, Outset Online, focuses on building your personal skills like time management, stress management, decision-making and goal setting, always relating these important skills back to the running of your business to give you clear structures for thinking about and approaching new situations.

Then in the second stage of Outset Online, we work through more of the specific business skills you’ll require in order to feel secure with moving forward. We’ve got sections on business models, branding, marketing, finance, social media and sales techniques, and you can use our video tutorials, interactive quizzes, activities and other tools to make yourself feel more confident about getting started and put your learning into action.

Outset Online is all about helping you figure our what you as a (business) person ‘can’ do. We’ll walk you through the process, step-by-step, helping you to build the foundations of your future business and breaking down all the ‘big’ tasks into more manageable, bite-sized chunks so it seems a bit more manageable.

Plus, don’t forget we’ve got user forums filled with other business owners, mentors and advisors who can also act as a good support network, helping you to think differently about questions you’re unsure of or brainstorm ideas and new opportunities.

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Feeling good about finance

If it’s the thought of finding finance for your business that’s keeping you up at night, you should contact our Outset Finance service, who can help you apply for a Start Up Loan for your business.

Start Up Loans are part of a special government scheme to support people that have been (or are likely to be) rejected by the bank and are in their first (or sometimes second) year of trading. As well as finance for your business, all successful Start Up Loan applicants are entitled to 12-months free mentoring support, which can be an enormous confidence boost and psychological safety net when managing your finances and making big decisions about your business.

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