Today, I’d like to discuss the five essential dos and three important don’ts for starting a business successfully, even though there may be as many as 55, 550, or 5500 of them. You can find a more comprehensive list on my website, SeanHayes.com, where you can also schedule a free 30-minute consultation with me to discuss your business needs. The first do on my list is to start your business with more capital than your business plan suggests. It’s easier to secure financing and credit when you don’t need it than when you do, as terms and availability can change rapidly.
Secondly, build a team from day one, even if you are the only member. You’ll need professionals on your team eventually, and the sooner you think about creating a team, the better.
Thirdly, establish a positive culture for your business from the start. Your culture will evolve with each person who interacts with you or joins your team, so focus on cultivating a culture that yields positive outcomes.
Fourth, prioritize cash flow. My father, a successful businessman, once told me that cash flow is everything, and he was right. Make sure you have enough cash on hand to cover expenses and keep your business running smoothly.
Fifth, set SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Rewarding, and Time-bound) for your short- and long-term objectives, and continuously review and update them to stay on track.
As for the don’ts, avoid having a partner or shareholder unless absolutely necessary. If you do, make sure to document everything to avoid potential conflicts. Choose a partner who complements your strengths and weaknesses, and set clear boundaries with any shareholders. Secondly, focus on your customers, not your competition. Don’t be preoccupied with your competitors; instead, prioritize your customers’ wants and needs. Finally, don’t let perfectionism get in the way of progress. Striving for perfection is admirable, but it can hold you back. Instead, aim for excellence and efficiency, and focus on achieving your goals in a reasonable timeframe.
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