1. Starting a business is stressful
This is one of the most important things to be aware of. Now you may think this is an obvious point, however you can never be fully prepared for the stress that comes with starting your own business. From the start you need to be surrounded by a good support system who can advise you, calm you and bring you back down to earth when things all get too chaotic.
2. Take the small things seriously
When you first start your business it’s important not to skip over the small steps as these will eventually come back to bite you. Regardless of the tedious processes that come with the set-up of a company, you will be thankful that you did everything properly first off, rather than a mountain of issues coming your way 6 months later.
3. Keep your customers happy
Don’t get too big for your boots, you need to remember to value your customers and remain loyal to those who have supported you from the start. You need to make sure you continue to address your customer’s needs and keep their requirements at the front of your business plan. Without their commitment to your product, your company will not reach its potential.
4. Hire your weaknesses
Although no one likes to admit they have a weakness, this is one of the most important aspects of a successful business. You need to identify your strengths and weaknesses early on (ask people what you are bad at if you need to) and then get hiring! You need people in your team who will take over the bits you aren’t so great at and do them better. Don’t let your ego get in the way of the company’s success.
5. Be prepared to sacrifice
Having your own company requires a lot of sacrifice (especially social). I can’t tell you the amount of hours I do in a week, because I have lost count! Often i’m in the office on a Sunday, working late most week nights and rarely get out to socialise with friends. However, in saying this, it is also really important to get out and have fun with your friends and family, after all they will keep you sane when things get tough! If something isn’t urgent put it off until tomorrow, sometimes you will need to prioritise your sanity, whether that means going to a gym class, turning off your emails for an evening or having dinner with your family, sometimes these things aren’t negotiable!
6. Hiring great people is difficult
You need to start looking for the perfect candidate a few months before you really need them. Finding the perfect person that ticks all of your boxes can be really tricky so you definitely don’t want to leave it until the last minute.
7. Build great relationships
Whoever you talk to, treat them well. Regardless of whether it’s a supplier, press, team member, everyone is connected so you need to make sure you treat everyone well. This is so important when you are starting out because your brands reputation is built around you. So make sure you are respectful, professional and value your network, as they will be the ones who help you get out of any sticky situations.
8. Embrace mistakes
When you start your own company, you aren’t going to do everything right, that would be impossible! When hiccups happen (and they will) you need to go with the flow and stay optimistic. There is no point getting overly stressed about something that you can’t fix by yourself. You need sit down, think things through and then speak to the people who can help you. Things wont always be smooth sailing so don’t stress!