- Surrounding yourself with the right people
- Ensuring your product is fit for market
- Speaking to and valuing customers (especially your first ones)
- Picking a niche and sticking to it
- Automating as much as you can
- Striving for consistency with your marketing
- Launching without capital.
Let’s see what advice they’ve got for us this time
#8. Spend time on you – not just your business.
Some say you must be a workaholic to be a successful entrepreneur. That may or may not be the case, but several of the business leaders we spoke to agree that spending every waking minute on your business isn’t the way to go.
Chris Kaiser from Click A Tree believes that downtime can make you more productive and looking after yourself is essential.
“We all only have one life,” he reminds us.
“Watch after yourself. Do sports, relax, meet friends.”
Shuey Shujab from Whitehat Agency similarly invests in practical self-care daily. This includes things you might expect, like regulargym sessions and meditation, but he also has a more unusual method up his sleeve:
“I also watch a lot of funny videos on YouTube in the morning – this gets me in a happy mood first thing, and it’s always good to start the day off with a laugh.” – Shuey Shujab, Whitehat Agency
If it’s time well spent for a successful CEO, you could probably justify it too!
#9. Challenge the status quo and break conventions when you need to.
William Brook from Brookfarm was quick to warn us about the dangers of doing things a certain way just because that’s how it’s always been done.
“Don’t follow the trend, because if you do, you’re already behind the people who started the trend in the first place,” he says.
“Take on the project because you have something new, unique, or significantly better to offer.” – William Brook, Brookfarm
Sharon Melamed from Matchboard agrees that conventions are meant to be broken when it comes to launching a start-up – something she learnt firsthand when her “radical” business model succeeded despite experienced businesspeople calling it “crazy”.
“Don’t be afraid to challenge the status quo and do things in unconventional ways,” she encourages.
“For example, you may not need to spend money on a co-working space initially if you can work from home in a virtual environment.”
#10. Be prepared for the bad times… but also the good.
Constant planning and preparation are the bread and butter of a successful entrepreneur. But according to Jacob Aldridge, an international business advisor and author, having a strict plan in place could do you more harm than good.
“Planning is valuable, but having a formal business plan is a waste of time (unless you require one for a bank or capital raising),” he explains.
“A detailed business plan and cash flow forecast will be obsolete in less than a week.”
Rather, Jacob recommends a thorough yet agile approach to planning for your business.
“Asking yourself questions through a planning process is critical for building your strategic capability, so you can respond to the inevitable slings and arrows that every business founder faces.” – Jacob Aldridge, Co-Author of ‘50 First Steps: The Critical Tasks Every Successful Founder Completes in their 1st Year’
Shuey Shujab agrees, adding that preparing for these challenges entails being intimately aware of every facet of your company.
“You can only manage risk and predict future trends if you know exactly what is going on in your organisation at all levels, from senior management all the way down to interns and assistants,” he says.
Dorry Kordahi from DKM Blue has a similar mantra of preparedness and positivity.
“I’ve always planned ahead and kept a positive outlook,” he reflects.
“As long as I can foresee adversity, I know I can overcome it when it happens.”
But when we asked Dorry if there was anything he wished someone had told him earlier, he also had an optimistic message to share with young entrepreneurs:
“I wish someone had told me how much fun it would be and how rewarding. If you think your journey will only be about hardship, it makes it a lot tougher.” – Dorry Kordahi, DKM Blue.
We hope these entrepreneur tips from successful start-up founders have inspired you on your own journey. If you need some help with the financial aspects of launching your own business, check out our Commercial Loans, overdrafts and Everyday Business Account .