We now come to the end of our Startup Business Guide. I’ve put all the experience I’ve gained over my career as an accountant and business owner to create this guide which I hope can help as many small business owners as possible to avoid some of the mistakes I made and hopefully make a success of their business.
I leave you now with my ultimate, top 10 tips for starting a business.
I cannot stress this enough. As I mentioned in the Marketing section, make sure your USP’s are, in fact USPs. They need to be hard hitting, in your face, borderline shocking. The bigger and more out there the better. Do this, and every aspect of your business will be a hell of a lot easier.
And I mean zero. Not a few hundred in the bank, actual zero. There is a probability this can happen and I’ve seen business owners here, who ultimately break. What would you do if you had zero money? How would you eat? Figure this out now, so if it happens, you now how to push past it, take the failure, and keep going.
If you’re serious about starting a business, don’t do it part time whilst you still have a job. Whole-ass one thing, rather than half-ass a few things. If you’re not totally committed, no one else will be.
It doesn’t matter what business you’re in, you need to be a bloody good salesman. I’m not a natural salesman, but I’ve become one, because I had to be. Not just selling to customers, but suppliers, lenders and your team. You need to learn to not just speak up, but shout about how great your business is and tell the story so everyone that hears of you will buy in.
Know now, that there will always be more to learn. You’ll learn new, better ways to do things and how to implement them. Buy business books, go on courses. You’ll get small ‘nugget’s of golden information from each one. Just remember, the moment you stop, you’re not moving forward, you’re standing still. And when you stand still, you’ll fall behind, as those around you will push past.
You need to know your limits, and you need to know when you need a break. As a small business owner, it’s very likely you’ll become addicted to work and could work straight for days, but there will be times you need to step away. Have a bath, go for a walk, sit in your pants and eat monster munch for a day. I know when I’m having an ‘off’ day, and there isn’t much I can do about it. So I embrace it, and take the day, and start afresh the next time. It’s not a crime, and it makes much more sense than pushing yourself to do something you just can’t right now.
I’ve failed many times in business, some big, some small. But I’ve failed, not because I don’t know what I’m doing, or I’m useless, but because I’m pushing boundaries. I’m seeing how far I can go, how far it can be stretched and still work. If you don’t fail, in some small way, you’re not trying hard enough. As Steve Jobs said, Fail, Fail Again, Fail Better.
I’ve seen it happen so many times, 50/50 with a friend never works. You need one person to lead. Whether you know it or not when you start, one of you is the stronger one and will ultimately lead. If the other one doesn’t like this when the time comes, the business is dead and so is the friendship. No Shareholder agreement will save it.
Diverso is essentially an expression of my own personality. That’s why I’m so passionate and why its successful. Particularly in the early days, people are buying you, so don’t be afraid to allow your personality to shine, and definitely don’t pretend to be something you’re not.
Give it your absolute all. Literally, blood, sweat and tears. If it fails, and you don’t, you’ll regret it.
Start your business!
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If you missed our previous blog in the series, Support, take a look here.