We’ve collated together 10 tips for first time business owners who are thinking of or who have already launched their first business venture.
- Always Pitch. Take every opportunity to pitch, hone your sales pitch and perfect your delivery. Do it within 1 minute. State what your business is, your vision, mission, values and goals. Do it concisely. The person you’re talking to can always ask more questions – that’s a good sign!
- Focus. Focus. Focus.
Make sure that you focus. Focus on what you love and create a business around your talent. So many first time business owners want to say ‘yes’ to every opportunity that pops up. Don’t do it! If it’s off the path that you’ve set out then say No. And only focus on one venture at a time so you can maximise your productivity and effectiveness.
- Be the best salesperson in your business. You have to get to know your clients and what they want. You need to get the revenue in which means that you have to become the best performing salesperson for your business from day one. Don’t leave it to someone else. Okay, if you have a business partner, great! but don’t slack on those sales duties.
- Act like a cash strapped startup business. Cash matters, make sure that you question every spend and make your overhead as low as possible. You need to know your numbers instead out. Learn what your bank balance is. You can manage your business successfully on the bank account balance for a very, very long time.
- Build a lean product. There’s no point going out the starting gate with a full blown bells and whistles product. You have no idea if anyone will want to buy it! So instead, start lean. In fact start with a minimal minimum viable product, get some early adopters on board and see what they think. Use their feedback to pivot the product offering into something that they persevere the value of and will part with their money in return.
- Write it down! I’m not necessarily talking about a full 20 page business plan here but if you write it down, it’s more likely to come to life and you have a reference point to refer back to over time. I walk around with a notebook and scribble in ink everything down, and date it. Of course, there are digital options too!
- Balance Work and Play. You’re the heart of your business, there’s no point working all hours of the day and falling ill. Make sure you get some R&R and recharge your batteries. Eat well, exercise and go out with friends and have some well-deserved downtime.
- Know when to call it quits. The majority of businesses fail and they can be first time business owners or experienced serial entrepreneurs. There are many reasons why a business fails. You could be one of those. Make sure that you realise when it’s time to walk away. Failure comes to us all, it’s what we do afterwards that makes us stand out from the rest. We learn our mistakes and move on.
- Recruit only if you have to. A successful business isn’t measured by the number of people that you have working there. Don’t go out and hire unless you have to. Do you have a screaming need for a new starters, can you hold off another month or two? Take the time to make sure you get the right candidate in, first time.
- Fire fast. If you have recruited and the person isn’t working out, get rid of them at the earliest opportunity. As soon as you have doubts and have verified them. By doing so you will find a weight lifted off your shoulders, not to mention the salary savings from not having a dead weight in your business.