I was just wondering from the business owners among us, what piece of advice do you wish you'd been given before you started your first business?
I've got a few which Id like to pass on:
Cheap generally means bad.
I'm a big fan of doing things on the cheap and I don't think you always need to pay top dollar for something but if you get a friend of a friend to do all your own design work, or help with you build a website, you're going to end up with products that you're not happy with. Its too hard to go back and forth with someone you're paying mates rates for so I recommend either paying full market value, or completing a VERY detailed brief beforehand.
Your belief in yourself determines your success.
From day one you'll face obstacles in all areas personal, professional and practical. Plans will change and sometimes you might not know where you are from one day to the next. Without doubt you're always going to have to find an ulterior way to do something and its these decisions which will be limited by your self-belief. If you don't think you're capable of achieving something, these hurdles will break you, You need the attitude that ANYHTING is possible, and you WILL achieve.
Everyone likes to give you their opinion.
Mostly, people are only trying to help but that will never stop everyone commenting on how you should run your business! This can really grate however if you can smile and let it wash over you you'll find that's the best way to deal with it. I think that essentially people are only trying to help (much as it can be annoying) so try not to get too irritated that Bob down the road knows your target market better than you!
You need to be able to multi-task.
When you first start out the chances are that you were the hats of every single department - marketing, sales, customer service and accounts all while providing a product or service. Don't be fooled into thinking you'll EVER catch up! You'll always have a to-do list as long as your arm so learning to do two things at once and prioritising will be your best friends from the second you take the leap!
Its OK if not everyone likes your service.
Because we put so much love and care into our product or service, we expect everyone else to have the same love for it sadly, a lot of the time peoples taste and opinion is completely different to ours. That doesn't mean you're not good at what you do though so don't lose faith the next person will love you I'm sure!
There are lots of things that I wish Id been told before I jumped into my first business, what are some of the things that you wish you'd been told?