The journey of becoming a successful businessman is not a smooth one. It is full of bumps, forks, and unexpected detours. Surprisingly, most business owners wouldn’t have it the other way. It is a badge of honor that we display with pride. That does not mean that there are mistakes that I hope I hadn’t made. These mistakes have helped me get to where I am today. It is just that if I had prevented them earlier, I would have been less stressed. Keeping that in mind, here are 10 things that I wish I knew before I started my business.
1. Pay your attention to small things too
As we continued developing our product with the help of customer feedback, I found that little things make a giant impact on your bottom line. For example, something as simple as a message that reassures people you will not sell or expose their information after they sign up helps increase the signup rate quite a bit.
2. Start after gaining experience
Do not start the business or the company until you have got the required experience. Work for somebody else. Learn on their dime. It’s not definitely worth the time, money and relationships that you will lose by entering an unfamiliar marketplace, irrespective of vigor. The simplest salesperson supported by outstanding talent is not any substitute for hands-on experience. When hard times come, only those who have been there are able to keep calm and thoroughly lead their organization through the mess.
3. Start an email list immediately
If you have got an email list but you are not sending regular amazing content and helping your prospects live a bit better life with each message. You’re leaving so much on the table. Start an email list from day one. Before you even launch a blog, you will be able to have a “coming soon” page and capture leads. Set up an autoresponder series for your leads and share great content. A decent practice is to send three content-based emails for one promo or sales-based email.
4. Growth is extremely bumpy
Dig deeper and therefore the daily numbers jump everywhere. Sometimes one month is saved due to one au revoir of sales. One day out of thirty made the month. Or any single month out of the whole year made your year. The month looked great and therefore the year looked great due to that one day. Then there is the pressure of repeating next year so your year over year results is increasing. Progress is messy, especially if you observe the numbers. Read more how to grow a business here.
5. Find mentors for yourself
You will always think that you recognize what you are doing, but you don’t. You’re a young punk. You do not have a clue. Look for someone who has already done it and buy them lunch or dinner. Flatter them by posing for advice. If the recommendation sounds good, ask if you will be able to ask to follow up questions by email or phone. If they give you a good response, ask them if they will be willing to mentor you by meeting with you once in a month where you’ll buy them lunch or dinner and ask more questions. Remember to precise gratitude whenever you will be able to. And do not stop at only one mentor, find three.
6. Take out some time for yourself
Do not work your business seven days per week. Take a break from day one. From time to time, forget everything you recognize about the “right way” to run a business and run it in sort of a neighborhood lemonade stand. Do not price your offerings around your personal ability to buy it. You are not your ideal customer. Understanding issues in your business will also resolve problems in other areas of your life. Take a walk around the block on a daily basis at lunch.
7. Stop thinking like an employee
Going from employee to entrepreneur may be a process that needs you to shed your older beliefs and habits and adopt new ones into your identity. You have to start out thinking sort of a business owner and make decisions from data-driven validation not just “gut feeling”. You need to watch your finances meticulously and be in command of everything you say.
8. Never count on your friends and family
There are not any free lunches in life. Your friends and family will support you, but you must not count on them always. It is not that they do not love you or they do not support you, it’s that they need lives too and their job is not to keep you in your business.
9. Try to not make big mistakes
It may take longer, but try to order samples before you attempt to order a bigger quantity of anything. Starting from promotional items to your product itself if you’re a hardware start-up. We have got misjudged a lot of times and ended up with some thousand dollars worth of additional stuff on our hands which are now useless.
10. Engage with your clients
Engaging with your audience is one in all the foremost important tasks that business owners must work on. Rather than hiding in an office and never interacting with your clients, respond personally to comments left on forums, blog posts, social media channels, review sites, and emails. Speak at industry events and mingle afterward, word of mouth is a big thing! Seek advice from potential clients when you can. This provides you with insights on what your customers are really searching for. It also builds trust between you and your clients and establishes you as an authority.