Starting A Business. 10 Tips From Entrepreneurs
If you’re looking for advice for starting a business, the best place to find it is from other business owners who’ve already trodden the path before.
They’ve no doubt already made those inevitable mistakes and can now reflect on what they’ve learnt, giving you the benefit of hindsight.
As you probably know, much of how we grow, develop and adapt our businesses, and the success we achieve, is reliant more on our mindset, rather than specific tools or strategies.
Growing a business is never easy and the journey often seems like it’s a pathway littered with challenges and obstacles.
Consequently overcoming these never-ending challenges requires real determination and resilience.
Starting A business guide
The discovery of that ‘you’-shaped gap in the market is often accompanied by the entrepreneur’s lightbulb moment – a burst of inspiration that either dwindles and settles in an unmarked page of your notebook, or one that blazes into life.
Either way, this spark will have likely caused the inevitable Google-ing of ‘tips for starting a business’ – and if we’ve done our job right, here is your simple guide to starting a business!
But we don’t want to just give you our tips, we want you to hear from entrepreneurs that have been in your shoes and overcome those self-starting obstacles in order to grow their businesses.
At Bizmosis, our mission is to support small businesses in both the initial stages of development and the maintenance of consistent growth.
Our network has a diverse range of business owners, all with their own unique experiences, and we believe that sharing these learnings is the key to small business success!
Often, we find that business owners withhold their success secrets but we believe there’s enough room for all small businesses to grow so we should all be open about our struggles, the obstacles we’ve faced, and our strategies for overcoming them.
So, in the spirit of sharing and helping all small businesses thrive…
I asked some of our members this simple question:
“If a friend of yours was thinking a starting a business, what single piece of advice would you give them?”
Now, boiling down the learnings from your entire entrepreneurial journey might seem like an impossible task, but when we spoke to our members, we found most of them had one golden piece of advice to share.
So, we thought, why not put them all together and get your business off to a flying start with ten tips from the combined knowledge and learnings of all our business-owning members.
Here’s what they had to say;
All small business owners know the initial intimidation of starting a new business; the sleepless nights and the pay-day panic, and while challenging, it’s important to not give up in the face of hard times.
You might hear the phrase ‘leap of faith’ commonly used when referring to entrepreneurship but when you truly believe in the value of your business and the worth of your offerings, it’s not so much a leap into the unknown, as a propulsion towards success.
Be bold with your business decisions and secure your trajectory by knowing your worth and developing a strategy which you truly believe in.
Don’t compare yourself to others
This is a slippery slope that most business owners will have tumbled down at some point in their career journeys. Comparing yourself or your business to others in a negative way will not serve you as a person or as an entrepreneur!
While, it is productive to keep an eye on competitors and have an understanding of trends, critiquing your own journey as being not as successful, or not as fast-growing will not only put a dampener on your motivation to succeed but it could also harm your unique product or service.
It’s so easy to get sucked into over-analysing how others are succeeding, particularly with ever-scrolling feed of social media, that we forget our biggest USP is U!
You can respect other people’s success and admire your own at the same time.
This little word could change your entire career. While we don’t advocate blindly agreeing to every opportunity that comes your way, we do think being actively open to saying ‘yes’ could transform your business.
It’s painfully easy to say ‘no’ to things outside of your comfort zone, particularly when you don’t have a boss to nudge you intro ‘growth opportunities’ (AKA presentations).
Being open to new experiences and taking on new challenges could mean that you learn a new skill and build your network – you open doors for yourself!
It’s also a really great habit to get into for further down the line. As experts in their field, we often see business owners become resistant to new ideas or approaches despite the fact that it could be exactly what they need to grow their business, expand their reach or solve a problem.
Always be open-minded. Bizmosis Member Christina also suggests reading ‘The Year of Yes’ by Shonda Rhimes!
Remember why you started
When times get tough, or you face the many obstacles of starting a business, it’s important to remember your ‘why’. Why did I create this business? What did I want to achieve? What where my goals?
This is a really powerful tool to help you navigate tricky times and remind yourself of the original motivations for this career venture.
Too many small business owners fail to actually recognise their own wins and see how they have succeeded.
We often get bogged down in the numbers, so bringing it back to the qualitative or ‘human’ reasons for your business creation will help you reignite your aspirations for growth and your belief in your business’s success.
Build a network
Being self-employed can sometimes mean we get stuck in our own bubble and it’s hard to pop that from the inside!
Building a great network of like-minded business owners with varying skills will not only give you access to great tips and advice, it could also present you with new opportunities.
For most small businesses, word of mouth is incredibly powerful and referrals are a game-changer.
A good network is a great way to grow your business with advice and support while forming relationships with people you could be working with in the future #collaboration.
Remember, you can’t do it all
As entrepreneurs, it’s tempting to think that you’re naturally a Jack-of-all-trades, but fortunately you are not!
We say fortunately because by outsourcing you could be saving your business time, and therefore money, and (while it can be hard to admit) get a far superior piece of work – all while supporting another small business.
It’s worth swallowing your pride to admit that your weaknesses are somebody else’s strengths in order to make your business work better.
What better way to find someone to outsource to than through your network!
Do what you love, not just what you know
While industry expertise is near-essential as a small business owner, it’s important when starting your business to keep a close eye on where you’re directing your attention and time.
So often, we waste our time on tasks that are so snuggled in our expertise-comfort-zone that they become boring.
As an entrepreneur, you have the ability to designate your own time and focus on the things you LOVE – isn’t that why you started this journey?
We’re not saying neglect your expertise but make sure you’re balancing what you love and what you know.
Building a resilient business stems from being a resilient business owner.
‘Get Rich Quick’ is a total fairy tale, and as any business owner will tell you, growing your business from the ground up is tough. Sometimes it means picking yourself up, dusting yourself up and trying again.
Know your worth
When it comes to putting a price tag on your products or services you need to know your worth. While it’s good to know the price bracket of your competitors, you’ll never be satisfied if you undercharge and undervalue your business.
Charge what makes you happy!
Take it one step at a time
So, after all that… the top tip for starting a business is as simple as taking your time.
Try not to get too overwhelmed. Break your projects and plans into smaller and smaller chunks until they’re manageable.
Creating and building a business is equal parts exciting and daunting, so to keep those in balance we recommend creating your own support systems.
It could be setting boundaries with working hours, it could be joining a business network or getting a productivity planner – (we love Brendon Burchard’s High Performance Planner).
And there you have it!
10 Top Tips from the people who know what it’s like to start a business.
Starting a business checklist
Here’s a quick summary of our Starting A Business checklist from some of the entrepreneurs within our Bizmosis community.
- Be bold
- Don’t compare yourself
- Say YES!
- Remember why you started
- Build a network
- Remember, you can’t do it all
- Do what you love, not what you know
- Be resilient
- Know your worth
- Take it one step at a time
Where can I learn about starting a business?
When it comes to starting and growing your business there is no handbook, so it’s often a case of learning wherever and however you can.
But you can shortcut much of that learning by listening to other business owners and avoiding the common mistakes and pitfalls.
In essence that’s what Bizmosis is all about.
We provide an environment and community where you can openly share business experiences and get the skills, help and support you need to grow your business.
This article was written in collaboration with some of our incredibly insightful and valued Bizmosis members – if you’re interested in joining our amazing network you can find out more details here.
Many thanks to our contributors; Beverley Nash, Matthew Burch, Christina Tan, James Eaton, Mark Alcock, Julia Britten, Anna Hodges, Sarah Marsh, Tanya Edwards, Penny Metcalf, and Phil Giddings.