Even though every startup is different, there are a few universal truths to entrepreneurship.
But most small businesses only learn them through trial and error.
They asked startup veterans to answer one simple question: “What do you wish you knew before you started a business?”
Some of the answers are not that surprising (“I wish I would have known how unpredictable things can be at ALL times…”), but many have valuable insights that most first-time entrepreneurs might not think about until it’s too late.
Here are some highlights, from Under30CEO:
- “At the time of founding it I was so focused on survival I didn’t think about the exit strategy.”
- “I wish I had taken a class, or gotten practical experience in, using business accounting software. The investment would’ve been minimal, and it would’ve saved me (and my accountant) hours of frustration.”
- “I wish I had seriously thought about branding and the longevity of the brand. Looking back, I should have thought about what was going to define my company, what would be a look that would last for years and not go out with the trends, and what image I wanted my customers to see when they first started researching my company.”
- “Before going into business I wish I knew the importance of having an established “Advisory Board”. Having a mentor is one thing but having a counsel of people who are not only experts in various business related functions but are also cheerleaders and coaches for your success is another.”
- “It’s important to get customer validation early on. You can have the greatest technology, or website, or service, or whatever, but it’s ultimately meaningless if you haven’t verified that there are actually customers willing to spend money on or around what you do.”
- “Trademark/ Copyright info – 3 months after we had started one of the businesses we had to completely scrap all the branding and build a totally new site, social media, EVERYTHING due to a legal issue regarding trademark.”
- “Financially, I learned that you should get incorporated and need to have a great accountant that specialises in small business taxes.”
- “I wish I would have realised earlier the importance of having a core group of target customers. Find a handful of people and build a trust with them. Test various products and services on them and eventually use their passion and your business to fuel evangelism to grow as you refine your business model.”
- “I wish I knew it didn’t take tons of money to get started, so I would have started it sooner. I think that holds a lot of people back.”
Read the entire list at Under30CEO >
Watch videos about business startegies:
– How To Make Your Company Stand Out In The Startup Crowd
– Figure Out Your Revenue Model And Adapt It When The Economy Tanks
– How ‘Project Runway’ Contestant-Turned-Entrepreneur Kicked Butt Despite The Recession
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