So, you’re a first-time business owner?
Like it or not, you need all the help you could get to guide you through your journey in building your business.
The possibilities may appear endless for first-time entrepreneurs, but, just like any toddler taking his first step, starting a business will always be coupled with bumps, bruises, and more often, falls.
Don’t worry, we have prepared this list of useful pieces of advice to make things easier for you before the challenges ahead can overwhelm you and weaken your investment goal.
9 Tips to Remember for First-Time Entrepreneurs
Come back and read through these business tips every time you feel anxious about where you are now or where you’re heading next in your business venture. Every time the idea of giving up kicks in, find motivation in these:
With a wealth of great business ideas our brains come up with, it’s easy to get distracted. The want of doing it all, succeeding in all of them is so attractive it’s easy to lose focus on the things that are currently in front of us. Do not get distracted. Pick one thing, focus on it and be great at it. One successful startup always looks better on paper than 5 failed ones.
2. Do what you love, love what you do
Confucius said, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” Doing something that doesn’t feel like a chore is key. When you love what you do and making money off of it as a bonus, everything becomes less of a “have to” and becomes more of a “want to”.
Loving the things we do makes waking up on Mondays a bit easier. You’d be able to “work” longer without the burn-out. Sure the security of the 9-to-5 is appealing to most but be honest, would you want to be stuck behind a desk for what feels like a million years if you had a choice to get out and be your own boss? I didn’t think so.
3. Be aware
One client or customer lost is one too many for any starting business owner. Always be ready to pitch your business. Whenever. Wherever. Work on your elevator pitch – something that you can use that goes through all the “need-to-knows” of your business operation while you share the elevator with an old man going out for a stroll who could be a potential investor in disguise for all you know.
Be aware. The people you share an elevator with or the person you sit beside the plane with could be your next investor. Be watchful and react quickly. Do not let the smallest window of opportunity close without giving it a shot.
4. Surround yourself with smart, successful people
Aside from your steady capital and intensive training, your ability to succeed in your business also depends on the people whom you could consult with or ask for advice from.
Surround yourself with people who are smarter than you, who’ll challenge you into doing better. Make it a point to surround yourself with capable people who would tell you what you did wrong and teach you how to do it right, most importantly. Surround yourself with people whom you can learn from. Let their smarts and successes rub off on you.
5. Learn from your mistakes – once
There is no such thing as a perfect plan. Spending half of your life drawing up plans for your “best business idea ever” does not guarantee total, snag-free success. Mistakes are inevitable. Mistakes are essential for growth – as long as you learn from them.
Murphy’s Law states, “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.” No one is exempt from this – surely not you or me. Learn to expect the worst without being pessimistic. Rather, be aware and ready so when things go awry, you’d be able to get back on your feet as quickly as possible. Learn from your mistakes. Do not make the same mistake twice.
6. Think big, start small
At the early stages of your business, where you’d probably be doing the funding yourself, it’s essential to think and rethink your idea around your budget. Avoid the temptation of going “big time” right away. Go through your business plan. Dissect your big idea into smaller, manageable pieces and start with those.
Allow yourself to test. Once you have full control of the reins and have a bigger budget to work with, then you can revisit your big idea. It’ll be easier to sell your idea to potential investors when you know all the small pieces work than going at it full-on and large scale without clear proof of concept.
7. Remember “You”
Your determination to succeed is not an excuse to stop taking care of yourself.
As head of your business, it is your responsibility to know how to take care of yourself and all aspects of your life that affect your state of being the most – your relationships, responsibilities, your health. It is important that you are able to take control of your life as a whole and be accountable for every aspect of it.
Avoid the burnout. Netflix binge. Workout. Take a vacation. No one will fault you for wanting to take a breath. You’ll come back feeling refreshed and be more productive.
8. Sell it big
Be your own biggest fan. Be excited about your own product and let it be contagious. After all, it’s a lot easier to sell something you’re a fan of than sell something you yourself aren’t 100% sold to.
9. Know when to walk away
If things have not picked up yet, they probably never will. There is absolutely no room for naivety when it comes to business. Know when to walk away.
Business is a cutthroat world. Everything happens fast.
If you’d rather wait for the light at the end of the tunnel, you should probably rethink your next career move. Don’t dig yourself into a pit that you can’t climb out of. Walk away when you can, pick yourself up and move on to the next.
The Bottom Line
Like in any new venture, you need to be fully prepared when starting a business. Going in blind is a mistake that you can’t afford to make so early on. Think and re-think your business model and look over your business plan. Check for loopholes. Always have a backup plan and maybe a back-up to the back-up plan for good measure.
Seek advice from people who have done it before. They’d be able to tell you about their mistakes and how they were able to come back from them. Remember too that tips, whether given by friends, fellow business owners or the internet are meant to guide and will only prove their worth if you take them to heart.
If you enjoyed these business tips and would like to get more content like this, please remember to download your copy of our 21 point business startup checklist. It is a simple yet in-depth checklist we’ve put together for you to help you get started toward your startup goal.