How long does it take to start a business

By The Rebel School CEO, Simon Paine.

Well the first thing that comes to my mind is how long do you want it to take? And what do you mean by start. I’ve been running businesses for two decades on and off and it does depend a little bit on what you’re selling and so on.

What I have learned is that the more you enjoy the thing that you’re doing the faster you’ll get the progress that you want.

Start with sales.

Sales are the lifeblood of any business if you haven’t got sales then you haven’t got a business. The more sales you’ve got, the faster it is that you build it.

The fastest way to start a business is to get a customer and pitch to them. The more customers that you pitch to, the more likely you are to get a yes and then if you can get those customers to pay in part or in full in advance, then you have a business and that could launch really quickly.

I remember in the early days before we started The Rebel School myself and the co-founder Alan would have really cool conversations about business ideas and projects that we could work on and by the time I got home, Alan had rung three people pitched and sold one.

How to pitch your business?

One thing about pitching is don’t get too hung up on the word pitch. What I mean by pitch is contact someone who you think might be interested in, tell what it is that you’re selling and say to them something like this:

“I had this idea I’m not sure if it will be interesting to you can I test my picture on your bus because before I take it out to the Market I wanna get some feedback”.

It’s kind of a soft sell. Think of sales as a transfer of excitement from one person to another. If you’re not excited about your business and no one else is going to be.

It's good to have an idea of what you are doing and how to do it.

Now once you’ve sold to one or two people you’re gonna get a really good sense of whether you enjoy what you’re doing and what it takes to go from sale, to delivery, to cash and so on and at a certain point, you’ll know whether you want to keep going or not.

If you enjoy what you’re doing and you’re making money and the answer is probably yes in which case you have a business.

Treat the business like a mini experiment.

Now during that time period you’re going to take the opportunity to register your business with tax authorities in your country. What we say to people is running a mini experiment first. The best way to start a business and the fastest way to start a business is to treat it like a mini experiment.

So who are you going to pitch to and what are you going to say?

Simon Paine

Simon started the Rebel School (formerly Pop-Up Business School) with Alan in 2011.

As well as helping start-ups realise their business dreams, he has coached, trained and facilitated senior leaders from some of the world’s most famous companies including Microsoft, British Airways, and Thomson Reuters.

Find out more about Simon on our team page.