10 Little Known Facts New Business Owners Should Know : Under30CEO 10 Little Known Facts New Business Owners Should Know : Under30CEO
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10 Little Known Facts New Business Owners Should Know

| May 30, 2012 | 10 Comments

Here’s a little secret when it comes to starting a business: starting a business hurts, and not in a good way. Great business ideas are nagging pains that will keep you up at night. The pain only begins to lessen when the idea comes to light. But the obsession, sweat and tears don’t stop there. During that painful startup process here are some things entrepreneurs should know to make their transition into entrepreneurship easier:

“Good artists borrow ideas, great artists steal them.”

Hear me out when I say this, but no great idea is ever really that original. Twitter is a form of “micro-blogging,” something users were doing on Facebook for years before Twitter existed. And before that people were putting captions on to photos that could have been considered tweets. Quora is a new form of forums. Pepsi is a new Coke. Wendy’s is a new McDonald’s. iPods are the new mp3 players. Get the point? It’s okay if your idea, service or product isn’t all that innovative. Your approach is what matters.

“Keep it simple.”

Many young entrepreneurs have 10 good ideas. Instead of 10 good ideas, focus on 1 great idea. Don’t be like Jack Kerouac and jump from one shooting star to the next until you fall.

“Location. Location. Location.”

Location is not only important for real estate. If you want your business to be seen then make it be located in an area that is relevant to your customer base. If you are an outdoors company, is there really any reason why you should be located in Texas? If you want to go up against the big hitters in your industry don’t be based out of some small town.

“Numbers are more important than words”

If you’re about to spend weeks on writing a business plan, don’t. Your business plan should be a spreadsheet rather than a word document. Figuring out metrics are way more important than writing down how you’ll use social media. All that stuff will change over time. For now focus on the numbers.

“Do it right the first time”

Don’t cut corners. For example, don’t hire an inexperienced graphic designer because they are cheaper. When they come up with a crap graphic design and you have to re-do the whole thing you’ll wind up paying double. Not to mention the time you’ve wasted.

“Sales are Secondary”

Sales do not equal cash flow. When you have a limited amount of capital, cash flow is what you need to survive.

“Find workers who can not only read the book but can write it, too.”

Hire people who won’t just do work but instead will add value to your company. Able bodies won’t cut it in those very vital first years.

“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.”

You can learn a lot more from people’s complaints rather than people’s praises. Because you are a start-up many friends, family members and associates might not be capable of giving you the cold hard truth. Your customers will.

“Life Plan before Business Plan”

Manage your personal finances and your business finances separately. Make sure you consolidate your personal department before moving forward with your grand idea or else you’ll never get ahead and get the loans you need to make your company successful. Your business is a way to make your life better but your life is not a way to make your business better.

“Showing up fashionably late is fine, but existing doesn’t work the same.”

Lastly have a serious exit strategy to make your company transferable, sellable or self-sustaining. Know when to hold them and know when to fold them.

Money doesn’t make you happy in life, but for some reason everyone wants to learn this the hard way. Doing something you lose sleep over might cause you temporary pain but once you get the ball rolling you’ll live a much happier and more successful life.

Teresa Dahl is an established freelance writer in many areas. Included in her experience is writing for Consolidated Credit – a leading credit counseling agency located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

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Category: Startup Advice

  • Chuksogbodo

    U said it all Teresa. I started a laundry care production company here in Nigeria and have been implementing most of the points u said. It is refreshing to know that somebody somewhere feels the same as me. However, I must admit that it wasn’t easy doing it right the first time: hiring the best guy around; great location, etc., but with great determination, u can always surmount the challenges. Thumbs up!

  • http://www.smartbusinesscashflow.com/ Kclark

    I agree that it’s important to understand your cash flow when starting a new business. I suggest that as part of the planning process, a cash flow projection is set up for a 6 to 12 month period to start with. Then estimate where the initial funds will come from, when you anticipate revenue will start to come in and what your start up costs and monthly overhead costs will be.

  • http://smashmoney.com/ Aaron Wright

    Great post. I especially agree with the point about your customers being your greatest source of learning. I once started a website, created a survey on survey monkey, and shot out a link to my social network asking for feedback on the new site. I didn’t get one response. I realized that the lack of responses in itself told me a lot, so I began to ask users what they thought. It was only then that I began to get useful feedback, and most of it wasn’t good. I think my friends and family just didn’t want to hurt my feelings, despite me stressing that I wanted brutal honesty. Long story short, most friends and family won’t give feedback that might offend you, so just ask the customers.

  • a free voice

    Some very valid points however I disagree with “Great business ideas are nagging pains that will keep you up at night” If we wanted to turn off people from coming up with great ideas and they listened where would the world be?

    We need innovative ideas and they come from passionate ideation. If working on the idea is painful – then go work for somebody with ideas and save yourself the pain of failing.

  • Info

    Really impressed with this post i have just started my own advertising company and I was thinking all business tell me its easy but it is so hard and I am happy with this post company is called Virtual Bristol http://www.virtual-bristol.com

  • Ramudzuli Richard

    A must read post to all business starters out there… great article indeed

  • Ramudzuli Richard

    A must read post to all business starters out there… great article indeed

  • Ramudzuli Richard

    A must read post to all business starters out there… great article indeed

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