We all know the first rule of Fight Club – (shhh – don’t mention it) – but what are the rules of Start-Up Club? These are the 10 Rules I’d suggest to someone starting out with a new business:
Rule 1 – Just Do It – the time will never be right & there’s no point in procrastinating, obsessing over the fine detail (you’ll find out soon enough you can’t control things anyway) or delaying. Grasp the nettle & get going. Entrepreneurs have many sayings but one that I like a lot is “Leap and a net will form”. Well – it either does or it doesn’t but there’s only one way to find out.
Rule 2 – seek out a great name and then get a great strapline. It might not be the one you start out with but keep looking. All our companies (so far) have had great names including my very first company which was called Kicking Assets. Keep thinking – it doesn’t cost you anything to think but this is stuff that makes a high impact.
Rule 3 – network like mad both online & in real life. Not to the exclusion of all else of course but do work at it. I’ve written a previous blog about networking which you can read here https://kickingassets.co.uk/so-you-want-to-network
Rule 4 – be well informed, there’s no excuse these days not to be – we have the internet! Join the appropriate groups (online & real life, like Northern Ireland’s Digital Circle) & talk/listen to other entrepreneurs. You have to work at this too.
Rule 5 – ask for help if you need it. Most people are generous with their time & advice and everyone wants you to be a success. When people help you out, be gracious & don’t abuse their good nature.
Rule 6 – look for innovation in your product or service, your product delivery channel and also your business model. Innovation in your business model can be a real differentiator. Again – this doesn’t cost you anything, you just need to think about it.
Rule 7 – don’t go it alone. Find a business partner or a couple of non execs or perhaps seek out a mentor or join a collaborative network. Starting a business is too hard for a person to do by themselves and a problem shared is a problem halved. I have another blog about this specifically which you can read here if you want to know more https://kickingassets.co.uk/two-heads-are-better-than-one-10-pros-of-havi
Rule 8 – get good advice. Shop around for an understanding bank (we quickly moved away from our first bank when they wouldn’t support our growth strategy & these days bank with the fabulous Northern Bank) and once you find them, have an open and honest relationship with your bank manager. Talk to other entrepreneurs and start-ups about the accountants and legal firms they use. Look for modern professional advisers that understand online businesses and who use technology and social networking themselves. Cut a good deal by promising them they’ll get a decent payback when you exit. Agree all your fees up front. Never get any of these guys out of the Yellow Pages or equivalent.
Rule 9 – work hard and always be open and alert to opportunity. Usually it doesn’t come up & slap you in the face – you need to be watching out for it. I’m afraid working hard has to be a given. Without doing it you will fail and anyone that tells you anything different than that is a liar.
Rule 10 – have some fun. Running your own business or working in a start-up is the most fun you will ever have at work. Sure it’s hard work & the lows can be pretty awful – but the highs are AMAZING & you get to hang out with some great people in your own team.
Send me your own tips in the comments below – I can’t wait to read them.