10 Things You Shouldn't Forget When Starting a Business
So you've had a great idea and you are now looking at turning it into a business, exciting times but scary too.
I've not only started my own businesses I've helped others get theirs started too. When I started my first business it was like being in a vast lightless cave with nothing but a candle to light your way, it's hard to see up ahead and you occasionally trip on a loose stone or discarded twig and you can't see things until they are literally on top of you. However, the longer you are in business (or in the cave), the easier you learn to navigate your way round.
I have been in and out of that cave for the better part of 15 years now, I thought I would spend some time and jot down 10 lessons I have learnt over the years building, growing and evolving that business. Consider these items things I wished I'd have known when I started out. Here they are...
1. You don't know anything.
Accept this as a fact, regardless of how much you do actually know. When you first start out you aren't going to know everything you need to, in fact, you may even discover some of what you think you know isn't the case either but don't worry you'll learn what you need to know on the job it's the best way to learn too as there are some things even the best teachers can't teach.
2. Make sure you enjoy what you do.
A bit obvious perhaps, but, if you start something, make sure in 10 years time you will still enjoy it, because if you're successful you can be pretty sure you'll be doing it in 10 years.
3. Don't listen to Statistics
You see them all the time, things like 95% of businesses fail in the first year etc. etc. etc. Don't pay any attention to it, it's just there to make you feel okay about quitting, quitting is not okay, though, even if that number is correct. Many people don't fully commit and they don't follow things through to the end or they didn't do the necessary planning and budgeting, many failed businesses are just ideas not seen through till the end.
4. Finish what you start
I am so guilty on this one, the amount of ideas I've had that get stuck on back burners or sit scribbled on bits of paper that just take up room in my drawers or cover my desktop. The best way to deal with this is to choose an idea and see it through to the end. Many ideas could make you some serious money if you just gave them the attention and focus they need, other ideas will die rather quickly and that's okay too they are meant to die to make way for the good ones.
5. You will be a bad manager
In the beginning, you will be terrible at managing your staff, it's ok, we all do at first but this is one thing you must get better at. In fact hire someone right away, even if it's just an assistant for a few hours per week, you need the practice and there is little downside.
6. Only ever partner with someone who adds to your strengths
This is more important than you think, many new partnerships are born out of convenience and that can be really bad especially for you. If the person you partner with is someone who drives you crazy you'll just end up hating your work and that'll cause more problems than it will solve.
7. Get an understanding of SEO
You don't have to become a whizz kid on computers or become an SEO expert, but with most business relying a lot on their on-line presence such as websites and social media understanding SEO is an important skill. Even if you pay someone else to do it for you, knowing what you are paying for and avoiding scams and bad SEO services can not only save you a lot of time and money it may also generate more money. I have written a basic guide for business owners and you can download a copy here. SEO Business Guide
8. Don't give up your day job too quickly.
It would indeed give you more time to build your business, but let's be honest 50 hours of sleep and 40 hours a week on your job leaves 78 hours to spend on your new business okay there are other things you need to do too but do you really need to watch another season of your favourite TV show right now?
9. Read a lot
Read and learn about everything surrounding your business, if you don't have time to read listen to audio books whilst you work, self-help books, books on success, training books, guides, even your competitors blog all will give you something and sometimes they can even lead to your next big thing.
10. The most important item on the list, Family
Never forget they are more important than your great idea.
Just like wandering around in the dark, starting a new business can be a scary undertaking, hopefully, some of the things above will help shine a light into that darkness and clear the way a little.
Do you have any tips you would like to add, please drop them in the comments and if you think that someone you know could benefit from these tips share it with them and one last thing if you are starting up in business contact Primo plc for your insurance, they will look after you.