Business as an entrepreneur

If you are thinking about starting your own business, there is no doubt that there are exciting times ahead. However, there are also going to be plenty of surprises and life lessons along the way. Below, we take a look at some of the things that most entrepreneurs wish they knew before they opened their first business.

Be friends with the media 

It is easy to see the media as your enemy. After all, they are always looking for something negative to say, right? Well, you can actually use the media to your advantage. After all, the media spreads the word and can help your business to get noticed.

Try to make friends with people at various media outlets. This could come in useful down the line when you have products to promote and such like.

Always expect the unexpected

No matter how prepared you are, there will be something that comes and takes you by surprise. This is why it is always a good idea to have an emergency fund available. From cyber attacks to issues with the foundations of your office building, these surprises can come from all angles.

For more information regarding the latter, check out the likes of When it comes to cyber security, it is important to have several lines of defence and ensure all of your employees are aware of acting responsibly when online. Nonetheless, no matter how much effort you put in with this regard, there’s no guaranteeing that everything will go to plan. You are going to need to be adaptable.

Have fun

This is an important one! With all of the madness that is going on, it can be very easy to forget to have fun. However, just because you are on a new journey with your career does not mean that you can’t have fun anymore.

In fact, taking a Friday off to play golf once in a while could do you the world of good. It keeps you sane and ensures you are well rested and that your mind is healthy. How do you expect to perform to your best when all you do is work and your batteries are drained?

Embrace automation and outsourcing

A lot of new business owners are opposed to outsourcing and automation. This is because they want to handle everything in house. You will soon realize that this is too much of a big ask. There are so many responsibilities that come with running your own business, and it is, therefore, critical to delegate.

Plus, by outsourcing, you can focus on the core of your business – i.e. what makes you money – while professionals carry out the mundane and time consuming tasks, such as bookkeeping or web design and web development.

Activity does not equate to growth

Many business owners assume that the more they do, the quicker their business will grow. They are then shocked and disheartened to see that this is not the case. Nonetheless, activity does not equal growth.

Growth means that you are building a product, and you have an increasing number of customers. Adding fancy features to the product for the sake of it, or taking on new employees, does not directly mean your business has grown.

It can be very lonely 

Loneliness is one thing no one prepares you for when it comes to running your own business. You have probably done a huge amount of research about all of the factors that come together to ensure startup success. These textbooks and websites don’t tell you that it is a lonely rise to the top.

Every decision made will fall on your shoulders. This can be a big burden to carry.

The odds are stacked against you, but that is fine 

You are probably already aware of the fact that the odds are stacked against you. After all, there have been many studies that show that a considerable number of startups fail.

But what you need to realize is that this does not really matter. There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to running a business, and so it is all about stacking those odds in your favour. There are a number of ways you can do this, from conducting market research and gaining new skills to having an emergency fund in place.

Cash flow management is critical 

This is something that a lot of business owners learn the hard way. It is no exaggeration to say that cash flow is the lifeblood of your business. If you do not manage cash flow correctly, you are going to end up with a cash shortage, which can put your business at a standstill.

If you do not have enough money coming in, how are you going to pay suppliers and take advantage of any opportunities that may arise? Moreover, if you are dipping into your overdraft or making late payments, you are only going to find your cash flow issue getting worse and worse because your expenses will grow as a consequence.

Your team is the most important thing 

Last but not least, it is important to recognize that your team is the most important thing when starting up a new business. What does this mean? Well, that you need to choose your team with care. Don’t go promising jobs to friends and family members.

You need to have the best talent working for you. Liking someone does not mean that they are qualified to do the job. If they do not have the required insight, skills or experience, they aren’t going to be able to deliver to the standard needed, and it is you and your business that will suffer in the long run.

As you can see, there is a lot that needs to be taken into account when starting your first business. From managing cash flow effectively to turning the odds in your favour, make note of the advice that has been mentioned above to improve your chances of everything running smoothly.

And if you have sometime, you can read this story and brief chat of my first business and my stance on employee versus entrepreneur. Enjoyed this post? Subscribe to the blog for more.

*This is a collaborative post.