5 things you should know before starting a business

Tue, 2014-11-18 10:43 -- Anonymous (not verified)
In the spirit of Global Entrepreneurship week, we'll be posting some mad tips, inspiring stories, and just plain cool ideas for starting a business, making good stuff, and coming out it all alive. So to start us off here are 5 tips from a local entrepreneur:
 
 
1. You will most probably fail (and it's good for you)
 
The first is the hardest to hear; you WILL in all probability fail at some point, that is pretty much guaranteed. So start preparing yourself mentally and emotionally for that. Just a quick Google search will show you that failure rates for ideas are extremely high, some say only 1 in 3000 ideas will be successful. 
 
So get use to it.
 
The trick however is to keep going after each 'failure'. As with many things in life, the one who wins is not necessarily the one with the best this or that but rather the one who kept going when everyone else gave up. You are most likely to succeed when you are the only one left in the game. Simple.
 
2. Don't fail spectacularly.
 
This is quite important, when you fail, don't crash and burn. Make sure that failure provides you with the opportunity to grow in experience and character and doesn't kill you mentally and emotionally. Make sure that you aren't 'all in' with one idea. 1 in 3000 are pretty risky stakes. 
Think of it as the difference between getting shot with a paintball gun or a bazooka.
 
3. Learn to sell first, then innovate.
 
Building a solid base, with a respectable balance in you bank account, is a very good way to start. Solid bases are very often built with good, commercially viable, core products or services. Yes, it sounds boring and we all want to be the next big thing, the uncomfortable truth is you need money in the bank before starting on the 3000 ideas to find the 1 that will fly.
 
4. Know when to quit an idea.
 
Its human nature to want the underdog to win.
It's difficult, we know, but that favourite idea of yours, the one that is slow and struggling and  just doesn't want to lift off no matter how much money, time and effort you feed it needs to be taken out to pasture.
Let it go and pour yourself into your winners, even if it is a stock standard basic white shirt.
 
5. You are not Steve Jobs,
 
or Richard Branson, or Elon Musk. You are you, so don't try to emulate or copy anyone else, especially celebrity entrepreneurs. Some of the most successful entrepreneurs you have probably never even heard of.  The person that runs the process behind the product or owns (for example) the logistics business that moves iPhone parts around the world. 
 
Don't aim to be famous, aim to be successful.