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Pioneer of the Week: Aaron Clarke of The Starting Point

Thought Leader

Pioneer of the Week: Aaron Clarke of The Starting Point

 

2.jpgName            Aaron Clarke
Location        Manchester
Business        The Starting Point

 

My business, The Starting Point, aims to take your start-up from business idea to launch in a unique kind of way!


Two interesting facts about me -

  1. I used to play American flag football for England
  2. I once pitched a business idea to David Cameron

How did you start your business?

I’m currently working full-time, but put all my spare time into my start-up. It’s a challenge but if you love doing something it doesn’t seem like hard work (cliché I know - but it’s true).


I wanted to start a business for at least 9 years and with no business knowledge, it was hard to know where to start. There’s so much information on the internet – so where do you begin to learn? I thought there would surely be a loose structured path people could follow if they wanted to start-up, but couldn’t find one. I started this business so that anyone who wanted to take their business idea to the next level could find a place to help them through every step.


What do you love about being an entrepreneur?

Being the big boss. It’s a great feeling knowing I don’t have to answer to anyone else and all the decisions made are mine (good or bad), it’s a sense of freedom you don’t get from working for someone else.


What has been the biggest challenge so far?

As I’m still in the early stages, everything seems to be a challenge. I’m currently looking for a web developer at a price I can afford that can build a website with the functionality I need. When your starting up, it can be a chicken and egg situation. You’re looking for investment for a product but need the investment to build the product!


What helped your business VOOM?

Going to networking events has really helped validate my idea. My target market is people who are starting a business, so to speak with like-minded people and having them tell me I have a good product has really spurred me on to go to the next level.


Where do you work?

I have a little desk in the corner of my living room. It’s certainly helped over the last few months. Recently I’ve bought a hot-desk in the centre of town to help me focus a little more. It sometimes can be difficult to focus if The Flash or Arrow (TV shows) are on in the background!


What do you wish you knew when you first started?

That what I was doing was leading me down the right path. It can be difficult never really knowing if what you’re doing is right until it works or it fails. If there was one thing I could tell my younger self, it would be that you can do this…


Three tips for my industry -

1. Plan – each week set yourself a task list of what you need to complete and stick to it!

2. Research – know your market and competitors. Assess the market you’re going into.

3. Get feedback – It’s essential to speak with people (not just friends and family) to gauge what they think of your idea. Don’t be afraid to ask for their opinions. Feedback will help you define your idea and tell you if it’s viable.


Can you help @aaronclarke88? -

When my new website launches, I’d love Pioneers to give me feedback on it. If you can help please comment below!

Connect with Aaron by tagging @aaronclarke88 in the comments
Or follow him on Twitter.

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