Starting A Business? Top 5 Hacks By Successful Entrepreneurs
When I first started out in the world of business, I thought I was bullet proof. I had just left a high end corporate role, where I managed a team, had access to all kinds of resources, from IT, to payroll. As a senior executive, I could call on these resources as and when needed to get things done. So you may say I had a certain level of influence. I was in for a shock when I left corporate, to starting my own business wearing multiple hats!
I’m going to share some of my pains below and the 5 things I wish I knew before I started my business. This would have either made or saved me thousands of dollars and countless hours trying to figure things on my own. However, I hope to pass these learnings on to aspiring entrepreneurs to fast-track their journey.
So here are my top 5 hacks I learnt from successful entrepreneurs, that I wish I knew sooner before I got started my business:
1. Do Your Due Diligence – You Could Be Barking Up The Wrong Tree
It’s easy to get caught up in the moment when you are excited about a ‘ground floor opportunity’. Believe me, I know all about it. Do your research, ask questions and take your time to consider all your options.
Does this business have the potential to give you what you want? Is it the best vehicle to help you achieve your life goals? How sustainable is it for the long term? What are the risks involved and how easily could you walk away from it if you had to?
2. Be Humble And Seek The Right Help And Advice – You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know
This comes back to my point of leaving your corporate ego at the door when you are starting your business. I used to think I knew everything and this cost me dearly in terms of making many mistakes.
I didn’t have good advice and tried to do everything myself including my book-keeping and tax. Learn to outsource these, manage your time better. With the right advice, you can focus on ‘growing’ your business.
3. The Grass Is Not Always Greener – Avoid Bright Shiny Objects
I remember early on, every opportunity seemed viable to do on the side. At one stage I had my hands in 4 different opportunities. Suffice to say, I was so distracted and stretched I performed poorly at all four of them.
I quickly had to re-focus on my life’s purpose and pick the avenue I was going to dedicate 100% of my attention. From this point onwards my attitude changed and my results dramatically improved.
4. Constant And Never Ending Improvement – Your Business Can Only Grow As Fast As You Do
I used to believe once I had attained my MBA, I had reached the pinnacle of my education. How wrong this proved to be! The world is moving so quickly that information is becoming obsolete at a faster rate than ever. Technology changes mean that even basic training, skills and expertise need to be constantly refined.
Along with keeping my professional skills current, my big learning was work harder on my personal development. This has proved the best investment of all, because when you grow your mindset, you develop a greater understanding of the world and your place in it. You learn the skills to succeed despite the odds. You learn that it’s ok to stand out from the crowd and most importantly you learn how to better serve others and give back. All these lessons are critical in being successful at life, let alone in business.
5. Be Really Really Good At Your Numbers – Managing Cashflow Is Critical When Starting A Business
I had some substantial savings when I left the corporate world and I foolishly spent money on things that were frivolous at the time. This included everything from buying fancy business cards, to wining and dining. Basically I did not manage my cashflow, which had completely dried up.
I was living off savings and credit and on the false pre-tense that I was still successful. As past corporate background and income started to fade, this was no longer the case. I had to quickly adjust my lifestyle and habits. It was a humbling experience and out of desperation I learnt to better manage my cashflow. Don’t leave it too late. Start planning a budget ahead of time.
Anyway, there you have my top 5 hacks when starting a business for the first time! Remember, these are the basic fundamentals in running any business. You can skip these steps, but it will surely come back to haunt you later. So practice these diligently and give yourself the best shot at success.
Did these 5 hack help you? Are there any others in your experience you feel are useful to share? Reply below to leave a comment and let us know your situation. We’d love to hear your thoughts, as your insights can help many others just like you. Best responses will get shared on our Facebook page. We look forward to hearing your feedback!
Gavin Sequeira is an author, mentor, speaker and facilitator and has inspired thousands of people around the world over the years, with his work in the area of personal and business coaching. He is both founder and director of Break Free From Corporate and Reset Revive Thrive, both offering help, advice and community support to people trying to navigate their career crossroads. If you would like to contribute and share your ideas on our blog, please contact us through the ‘Contact’ page and we look forward to connecting with you!