The BEST piece of advice for a new business owner?

3 replies
Let's face it, I think most of us in this forum have taken a risk and made a leap when, with hindsight, we probably didn't know as much as we needed to. I remember when I started my first business every day was a lesson and I possibly could have been a bit more equipped before I made the leap. (Not that I regret a second of it because life is too short for those!)

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?
#advice #business #owner #piece
  • Profile picture of the author ShanayaRodolfo
    Thanks for sharing these valuable tips. I totally agree with all your suggestions especially first one that cheap means bad because I personally experience this.


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  • Profile picture of the author debburns47
    Balancing the Stress

    I think most people need some stress to work at an optimal level but too much stress and it gets in the way. You talk about "Taking the Leap", and I agree it's important for us all to take a leap of faith with online businesses, at some point. Otherwise, we stay in a comfort zone of income from elsewhere and our online business remains more of a hobby.

    The trick is to always have the success of our online business in our sights and wean ourselves off other incomes steadily, even though it feels uncomfortable. We can use the fear to strengthen our skills and our motivation until we're ready to completely let go of the offline paycheck.

    Take the leap of faith but make sure that you're leaping onto something that won't scare the hell out of you.
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    • Profile picture of the author adamcurran
      Originally Posted by debburns47 View Post

      Balancing the Stress

      wean ourselves off other incomes steadily, .

      That's a good point. I would also say to make sure you have an income stream sorted to have your outgoings covered for a period to give you breathing space to build up your business.

      I didn't do that and it meant I was taking jobs which I wouldn't now just so I could pay the bills. I think if I had that financial security from the outset then I would have got where I wanted to be a lot faster.

      Or maybe wouldn't - maybe, like you say, it was that fear that pushed me harder and faster than I'd ever been pushed before!
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