Starting a business...is it for you?

Hi, Lewis here, Co-Founder of WOOD&HAM. It may (or may not) surprise you to know that this is not the first business I have co-founded...my previously un-successful attempts to summit the business mountain include designing and selling t-shirts, reviewing tennis rackets, customising sports equipment and selling watches. Sounds a lot right? Well these aren't taking into account the countless ideas left stewing in my notebooks over the years, ready to be dusted off and used at some point in the future...some good ideas, some distinctly average ideas and a vast amount that must never see the light of day!


So is starting a business for you? Well here are some pointers, learned through experience, for you to consider.


Love what you do:


To quote Steve Jobs "the only way to do great work is to love what you do" and certainly from our perspective, that couldn't be more true. We started our business whilst sustaining full time jobs and it was hard, bloody hard, and still is in fact. Early morning sessions, lunch time meetings and brainstorming late into the evening, on repeat, for 7 days a week. When we would tell friends and family about our working schedule they would say "what a nightmare working that many hours" but as any business owner who loves what they do would say, it just doesn't feel like work. Every tiny win feels euphoric, addictive in-fact, as you dig your way to creating a business dynasty...or at least that's what we tell ourselves!


In short, if you don't love what you do, you will likely fail...because why would you dedicate countless hours to something you don't love. You would have to be mad!


be prepared to wear many hats:


When Immie and I co-founded WOOD&HAM, we did so on the foundations of our expertise in design and content writing. Fast forward 3 years and designing and content writing has been just a fraction of what we have needed to do to get our business where it is today. When starting a business, you must embark on the whirlwind journey knowing full well that unless you are lucky enough to start with a work force, you will be quickly wearing the hat of finance manager, quality control, marketing manager, product packer, post manager, chief sales person and a considerable amount more.


Being realistic about what lies ahead is crucial to pacing yourself well. Learning all these skills in small quantities will set you up for when your business expands and give you a well-rounded view of how a successful business operates. After all, reconciling those bank accounts isn't done by the magical finance fairy!


enjoy it:


For goodness sake enjoy the experience. There is no doubt that starting a business will bring with it stress, pressure and immense challenges but it is absolutely crucial that you look upon these hurdles with excitement. A very small percentage of people even consider starting a business and even fewer actually go for it...so embrace your bravery and use the setbacks as fuel. Once you throw yourself into the process, we promise that those early morning starts and those late night finishes will feel no more out of the norm then reading an exciting book in the evening.


So even during the dark times, look for those little wins, hold on to them and remember you are doing something incredibly brave and admirable. Well done you!



go all guns blazing:


The unfortunate reality of business is that the statistics for success are against any new business owner. Data from the BLS shows that approximately 20% of new businesses fail during the first two years of being open and that percentage drastically increases in the following years. Kind of a bummer huh? The reasons for failure vary enormously and many of them are out of the control of the person starting the business, which means aside from your amazing idea, that leaves you in full 100% control of the most important ingredient to any business...EFFORT. That big beautiful glorious word is yours to own...how liberating is that! A quote I heard as a youngster always stuck with me and that is "work hard and everything will follow", which is such a beautifully simple phrase that is so easy to remember and apply.


This would be my number one advice to anyone considering starting a business, go all guns blazing baby!


how we can help:


If you are looking to start a business and want to get the foundations of your brand nailed, but not sure where to start? Look no further, WOOD&HAM is here to help. Logo, websites, typography, visual language, brand values...leave it to us, we got you.


Just get in touch to start the process!