Imagine all the things that a celebrated entrepreneur has gone through in their career.
All the good, the bad, the mistakes, the overconfident decisions, underrated ideas – all the things that made them who they are today. Wouldn’t it be amazing to have those DOs and DONT’s? Especially if you are thinking of starting a business or even expanding your business or just considering the word business.
Basking in the experience of all the DOs and avoiding all the DON’Ts as much as you can, can be excellent for your business. After all, good advice can go a long way. So, what makes any business successful? Though we all start in different stages of business, understanding what can be done and, more importantly, what should not be done is essential for any company.
So, here are 10 DOs and 10 DON’Ts for your business to think about at an early stage.
1. Do It For Passion, Not Just For The Profession
The word ‘Entrepreneur’ has a weight attached to it. It is a lot of hard work but, it is also glorious.
Who are you? – I am an Entrepreneur.
It has a perfect sound and a ring to it. But, when it comes to describing yourself as an Entrepreneur, it does not happen overnight. If you are in this just for the title, quite honestly, it will not work out. So, when you start a business, start it for who you are. Start it because you are passionate about it. Don’t jump on the bandwagon because the glory of the title might persuade you to get started a business, but only passion will help you turn your business into an empire.
2. Do Something Innovative
When you look at the pattern, the most successful businesses are always the most innovative:
- Apple – Changed the way one would use a phone
- Uber – Changed the entire transportation industry
- Facebook – Changed the way people interacted with each other
Innovation does not just mean bringing new products day in and day out. It means to be present and adoptive of new technologies, to change with the ever-changing market, and to improve on what you are.
3. Do Consider Failures
As per contrary beliefs, failures are actually sweet. Failures are one of the most critical and integral parts of any professional life and personal life. When you fail, the things you learn cannot be learned from anywhere else.
Don’t be afraid to fail. You will always end up learning from it. And even if you don’t, you will have a story to tell your friends and laugh about over a couple of beers.
4. Do Something That Solves A Problem
What is that one thing common in all thriving businesses globally? — Solving a problem.
When you establish a business, it is crucial to ask yourself, “what problem does my business solve?” Let’s look at some examples here:
- Facebook – Connects people from all around the world
- Uber – Easy and convenient rides anytime and anywhere
- Udemy – Opportunities to take classes anytime and from anywhere
Before spending any time or resources on your idea, stop and think, “what problem is my product/service solving in the market? Do people even need this right now?”
5. Do Proper Market Research
The scene is set. You are starting a business because you are passionate about it, you know how and when to innovate, and your company also solves a problem in the market. What next?
Research is an integral part of anything. Without enough and proper research, things might go south pretty quickly. You might have some tricks and tips up your sleeves in an unknown market, but sooner or later, you might start tumbling down.
Research the market, research the suppliers, research the competition. Then, turn every stone around to be confident in what you are about to dive into.
6. Do Pay Attention To Details
Doing something because you have to do it and doing something because you love to do it are two different things. They can be differentiated very easily and quickly.
When you pay attention to details, you will always find a bigger picture. When you keep digging deeper, you will have questions about everything. Keeping details in mind will help you see the world differently. It will help you catch problems and seek solutions that would be more effective in the long run.
7. Do Have Strong Work Ethics
Having ethics keeps you morally and mentally sound. There is no doubt about that. Then, after a while, at some point in time, strong work ethics can guide your business and slide it into having loyal customers.
Maintaining the company’s ideas and goals by completing your job to the best of your ability is all about having a good work ethic. Being ethically driven will only create a compelling persona in the market for your business.
8. Do Spend an Ample Amount Of Time Building Your Team
Teams are important. They make or break your company. Being in synergy is essential regardless of having 2 or 20 members in your group.
Nobody works for anyone in the team; everyone works with each other. Having a coordinated team that works well with each other and has the same passion to keep learning and working will someday take your business to new heights.
9. Do Networking And Be Persistent
Being in the right place, right time, and having connections with the right people does wonders. To know people in places will take your business to places.
Whether in the supply chain, financing, or marketing, forming new connections and nurturing old ones will help you scale your business and become big.
10. Do Become Open To Feedback
Feedbacks are a necessary evil. If you keep doing something like a sheep without anyone giving you proper feedback, you will be just that – another sheep in the herd.
Feedbacks bring guidance; it helps you see your blind spots and bring in solutions to the problems that you never even thought existed. However, good feedback takes you a long way because, let’s face it, no matter how good we think we are, there will always be something to improve.
1. Don’t Look For Funding Right Away
Funding is essential but at the right time. It does not just require you to find investors; funding sometimes requires you to give away a portion of your company. When you seek investments, you no longer become the sole owner anymore. Instead, you will have co-owners and partners.
Even so, if you are okay with it, finding investors means evaluating your company. Company valuation is essential for both you and the potential investors, and the negotiation won’t be easy.
It is easier and better to look for investments and funding when you know your business is scalable and what you want to do in the future with your business is clear.
2. Don’t Look Just Into The ‘First-Movers’ Advantage
There is no such thing as a first-mover advantage most of the time. When you do not have competition in the market, you might get lost.
Let’s think of it this way, you as a business are the one and the only. You do not have any competition in the market, and you pour your money in to persuade the consumers – they are in. But then, another business like yours enters the market and taps into the consumers you got in.
The first movers’ advantage might easily backfire. So, do not focus just on being the first but on innovating new things in an already existing marketplace.
3. Don’t Look For Extra Skilled Team Members
Most of the time, in the want to scale our business fast, we look into hiring skilled people for our business, people who have experience.
As we have mentioned, a team can make or break your company. Therefore, hiring people who have the same vision, growth mindset, and passion for working together when hiring is vital — not just people who have experience.
4. Don’t Disvalue Your Team
The reason for “teams” being mentioned so much is because it is important if you haven’t got the zest. Value your teammates. When you hire someone who works with the same passion and enthusiasm as you do, never let them go. You work hard for your business, your team works hard for you.
Leadership is over-glorified. You would not be a leader without people following your ideas and your ideology.
5. Don’t Set Unrealistic Objectives And Goals
We get it. Your business is your baby, and you want it to grow efficiently and quickly. But, just because you want your business to succeed fast does not mean you set goals that are just too unrealistic.
Set small goals, SMART goals. Work towards the plan in full swing, and achieve them. Just because there is a saying “go big or go home” does not mean you set unrealistic expectations. You might end up disappointing yourself and your entire team.
6. Don’t Take Feedbacks Personally
Sometimes when words get said, egos get hurt. But, people will have opinions, and people will have something to say. Some good and some bad. Taking this feedback and working through it will only make your business stronger.
Remember, feedback is essential. Most of the time, you would have to do surveys; other times, they come for free.
7. Don’t Build A Complex Brand
Many businesses fail because they do not know how to communicate their brand. So don’t overcomplicate and clutter the messages you want to give out.
Always have a straightforward marketing message you want to send out. Be clear, concise, and to the point. Your business is not a tape recorder, don’t go on a loop.
8. Don’t Copy Big Brands
If Apple Inc. launches a new phone and the only advertisement about their product is showing a phone on the screen without any words, don’t follow the same path.
Big brands once were small brands. To be where they are, took a lot of time, hard work, and consumer approval. There were no shortcuts for them; there will be no shortcuts for you. Do not copy them. Instead, build something new. It will take time, but you will have your own personality when the time is over.
9. Don’t Give Up
There are so many companies that went big because they just never stopped. Of course, there will be hardships and failures, but they will only build your business stronger.
Your business will get beat up a thousand times but think of this as skimming your business. Filtering out all that does not work and keeping with you everything that does.
10. Don’t Be Stupid
Don’t settle for anything less than what you have dreamt your company to be. You achieve a milestone, create another one; you check a goal, craft more. Never stop growing because growth has no limitations.
Never stop challenging yourself, questioning yourself, and trying to be better than you were. Because at the end of the day, your biggest competition is you.
Remember, businesses don’t build overnight. It is exciting to create something yours — cherish it, and have fun with it. It won’t make sense if you don’t have fun with your business after all the hard work and patience you have poured into it.