Entrepreneurs Tips for a Startup

Starting your own business is a fantastic, exciting endeavor. It has unique joys and pitfalls. Here are a few tips that I found helped us make it to 1 million dollars in revenue and climbing.

  1. Sell: Out of the gate you might not have much to offer but get something to sell and sell it. Sell it at discount but sell something. Our little company had very little to offer but we got out there and aggressively sold it. Do not hide from your customers, get out there, sell, lose a few, learn what they want, refine and sell again.


  1. Be Flexible: You might have a grand vision for your product but once you get out there, you may find the market is not as excited about your vision as you are. Adapt, beg, borrow and steal to make your product better than your competitors. After a year, we are selling a completely different product to what we started with and our targeted clients have gone from selling one at a time to bulk, enterprise sales.


  1. It is hard to get someone else to sell your product: Partnerships and recruiting militia salespeople to sell for you is very, very difficult, you might as well just sell it yourself until you are better known and established.


  1. Entrepreneurs want stock: Once the majority of the pie is split between partners, you are no longer looking to hire entrepreneurs as you cannot give them what they want. This stage of growth is the hardest where your business has matured somewhat. You now need staff, not new partners and they need money, benefits and security. Think with that when you want another team member … you better have money to hire them.


  1. Be careful of experienced salesmen who are unemployed: If they are so good, why were they let go. Good salesmen stay employed.


  1. Organize as early as you can: At first, everyone seems to do everything but as soon as possible, get the partners and staff into a structured role or department. A business is chaos once it gets beyond a few people with no organization.


  1. Thrifty: So you made a few dollars extra last month, you made a profit. This is the time to get tighter with money rather than getting all those things you really wanted but could not afford. Budgeting is key when you finally make a profit. Before that the budgeting pretty much handles itself. We blew through too much cash once we made a profit due to loose controls on spending.


  1. Think bigger: As you make a mark, always be looking for the bigger deal, the bigger customer, the bulk sale. You will always run into the problem of how many sales can a salesperson make per month. Scaling with personnel is expensive.


  1. Make friends: Within whatever industry you sell to, there are voices who are listened to more than others. Make friends with them so they can forward your message. This speeds up branding like nothing else and in many cases is the cheap route.


  1. Avoid Investment as much as possible for as long as possible: You are going to give your company away and more so for less the earlier you accept money. We had no income for a year, you would be surprised how far you can get if you just hustle to keep the rent paid.

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