20 Things I Should've Known Before Starting A Business
You have given yourself time to think and now you're ready to start on your next adventure - Owning your very own business.
Starting a business is can be the best decision you'll ever make and scary all at the same time. It's like riding a bike down a slope with no brakes - in a crazy rain storm. Even after this scary phase, I have good news. The longer you're an entrepreneur and have got a couple of hiccups along the way, you can navigate through that stomp with less worries and more confidence you'll get pass without an accident you can't handle.
See how this points have drastically changed the way a approach everything I do in life.
1. Start A Business You're Passionate About.
Don't start a business that won't keep you alive and you'll want to shut it down in 3-5 years. You should always focus on your passion, what ticks you to wake up every morning and what gives you a vision you can build on for years to come.
2. Statistics That Say You'll Fail.
If you read a lot of business publications, there is a trend about businesses failing left and right. Some statistics state 95 percent of business fail within the first 3 years. Let stuff like this fall on deaf ears, this will simply make you want to give up on your dream and likewise the stats become true. If there is any statistics on why new businesses fail, it's because most people don't like to commit, they give up when the money doesn't appear from the sky or it can be this simple - they are not good at managing their fund and spend their way to debt.
3. Starting Off - You Will Not Know Much.
This should be a fact, you have never stated a business before or even know what it takes to start one. Why should that stop you? My advice - Start now and learn later, through the process of starting - you'll be learning how to follow through and with that, you will get to understand what can work and what might not.
4. Say "No" To Designing Business Plans.
All stationary doesn't really matter at this point. They will just suck your money. Instead focus on building your business and stop doing busy work that makes you feel like you are accomplishing something when you actually wasting time.
5. Don't Be Confused Between Being Obsessed And Dedicated.
If you love what you do and are totally obsessed with it, then don't give a grab - set no limits to how you want things to happen and keep you head up. Never let anyone tell you that you are too obsessed with your idea. I for one enjoys everything I do. With obsession leads to dedication, so stay obsessed but be true to you goals and set realistic ones with no time limits. If you are in it to succeed, it doesn't matter how long it takes - you will succeed when the time is right.
6. You'll Be Horrible At Managing Other People.
When starting out, its okay to mess up. However, this is one task you must get better about as you bring others in to help grow your business. If your budget permits, hire an assistant right away, even if it's only a virtual one that can manage you work schedule. It will give you some great training on managing and will help you understand a 1 or 2 things about communication and understanding other people.
7. Bring In The Big Ticket Item First.
See what product or services will yield the biggest revenue and focus on building out those first. Don't focus on the dollar about, rather focus on the profit margins and time needed to get there.
This is different with every business but for example: if you sale software and it cost $199.99 with a profit of $69.99 per subscription and $299.99 for a higher package and a profit of $29.99 per subscription after all expenses. Then you're better off pushing for people to by subscriptions at $199.99 then up-sale to the same customers down the line - that will be less acquisition cost and you will make a much larger amount with your higher subscription plans, maybe even a 60 - 80% profit margin depending on your expenses.
8. Always Try To Finish What You Started.
Most entrepreneurs will tell you the same story - started this and that but you'll never hear what happened next. We enjoy the started part but just the starting part, because it gets harder as you keep going. In other words, if you are a good entrepreneur, you'll have a lot of great ideas that you can always bring to life. Most of them would probably work out well and make you a lot of money and some will fail but you will always have a good ending.
9. Partnerships should be mutually befitting to both parties involve.
Partnering with someone because it makes you stronger will make you weaker. The wrong partner will drive you nuts and act as a distraction rather than an enabler who will give you strength and ideas This can make you lazy and end up causing more problems than they solve. In most cases, your business will fail. I've been down this road but it's always a lesson you can recover from if you are totally independent.
10. Keep your day job until you're confident about income and expenses.
Don't worry, if you are dedicated and obsessed about what you do - Yes, you'll have more than enough time to invest in your business, but let's be honest: there are 168 hours in a week, only 40 are consumed by your job and another 50 by sleep. You have plenty of time if you would just hustle on your tasks. If you think you have the funds to focus just on your business - the blessing is all yours, quit you job ASAP and focus on your new business.
11. Say No to Debt.
Capital is never the key to start a business, so top giving excuses that don't matter. "I need $50.000 in loan to build this idea" - if you keep waiting, well you keep waiting. That $50,000 loan is not free, and might also hunt you for a long time. Some businesses do need capital to get started and grow, but yours might not.
12. Cherish your spouse and kids not your business.
Don't be stock in the notion that your business is your baby. Yes, I love building things but having a family that cares about you and will stand by your side if the business is dead, is more important. I don't have a full blown family - so this might be an off advice. But what I know is much important about the future as I build one. Just never forget that.
13. Try to Meditate often.
Meditating doesn't mean you should lock yourself up in a dark room for hours. Simply close your eyes for a few minutes when you're alone and breathe naturally. Thinking or - don’t think. Then think. Try this every day. At least 10 - 15 minutes per day. If you don’t have any time ( you really should) within the day for mediating, then do it for about 30 minutes at night before bed.
14. Rise up every morning like a Phoenix.
Rising up early in the morning makes your day longer but productive. It is not hard to try - you can, and you should try waking up before 6 am. I don't care if you are not a morning person (what is that anyway? are you a night person, I don't think so). It's an excuse lazy people use to breathe ear into their laziness. If you are a morning person, please try reading "Crazy Lazy: A warning against laziness" By: Alistair Begg. So you might want think before making yourself miss out the value of life.
15. Reading will change your world
As usual, If you don't have time to consider reading, listen to motivational audio-books in your or on long flights. Books to consider: Self-help books, success books, fiction books, business books, biographies and yes, even a magazine. Just read and feel inspired.
16. Mentors can inspire you to grow.
Find a mentor, someone who has done it before and buy them a lunch or dinner. Ask them about their challenges and how they navigated through them, then explain what you are doing and ask if you can follow up questions by email or phone to pick their brain. Build a relationship and ask mentor-ship in a polite way. See if you can meet once a month where you will buy them lunch or dinner and ask more questions or advice on challenges within your business. Always be humble and gracious about the advice. there are no limits to mentors, find a few who can help you on different topics.
17. Take notes of situations and events.
Get cloud storage account and save your notes, so you can access from anywhere with an internet connection or with your smartphone or write on paper and keep it saved. Write about challenges you face, about your failures and successes, not too much about your feelings. Your life story is written and you'll thank yourself in the future. It's easy to forget the things that make you - who you are!
18. Raising money should be a dream not a necessity.
If you're constantly in need of money for what ever reason, then maybe you don't understand what you are doing. Focus on building a business so incredible people throw money at you when you are ready. Don't look for it, let it find you - no matter how long it takes. When you get your business to where it can't be ignored anymore, investors will find you. It takes time, but everything that is good comes with time if you working towards it.
19. Running an organization - be organized, your life should too.
Get organized or you will go crazy on big thinks. Make your organization a habit that serves you and your business well. Once organized, you can see the falters that surround you or what is not working well with your business.
20. Never, I Repeat - Never Rush Important Decisions.
Who you choose as a spouse is important, who you choose as a business partner is also important. Structuring your partnership is equally important. What type of business you start is greatly important. What I'm trying to say is - Take considerable time to analyse this changes. Be suspicious if you are being rushed or pushed into making rash decisions than you should have otherwise. Be doubly suspicious when you tell yourself you don’t have 24 hours to consider an important decision.
Like riding a bike down a slope with no brakes in a crazy rain storm, starting a business can be a little tough - well if it was easy, who will work for you?. My hope is - some of this tips will help you wither the storm when it arises if you are a startup, just remember this: keep rising down the slope and through the storm. The future will be all yours for the taking! Stay positive and keep on pushing, there are no limits to achievements road blocks that turn to fall apart if your dedicated and love the work you do.
Divine Tumenta is an entrepreneur and professional digital marketing expert based in Los Angeles. He has worked in digital marketing for more than 8 years. He is currently founder and CEO of backlinkfy.com and a go to consultant for startups and small businesses in the USA.