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October 21, 2016 9 min read
Speaker, author, Barry Maher, has appeared on the Today Show, NBC Nightly News,
CBS, CNBC, and he's frequently featured in publications like the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the London Times, Business Week and USA Today.
"Having worked with hundreds of new entrepreneurs, my top three tips all begin with the word DON'T.
1) DON'T overpay for office space or luxurious appointments that have absolutely no impact on customers. I've watched entrepreneurs whose customers never see their offices waste hundreds of thousands of precious capital buying the latest and coolest office furniture for the most expensive addresses, when they should have been developing their business in a home office or a garage someplace.
2) DON'T eat your seed corn. This year's profit isn't all profit. Much of it should be plowed back into the business. And make sure you have a cash reserve for when times get tough again. Which they will sooner or later.
3) DON'T overpay for "expert" help when the time comes to stop going solo. When you decide to bring in help to run the business don't be overly impressed by big name experience. First, check them out every way you can to make sure the person is everything they claim to be. (If so, why did their last employer let such a wonder escape.) And even if they are, will that expertise translate to your business? A successful executive at Boeing crash and burn disastrously working in a start-up without the kind of resource that were available. It's not necessarily the same skill set."
BJ Minson, Founder/Owner of Grip6
When I started Grip6 I had one good thing going for me: I'm a mechanical engineer. I would even say I'm a damn good one too. That was great as a starting point because it allowed me to design and develop my first product. As soon as I had a working prototype I used it for a while and I really liked it. I made a bunch more for my family and friends. Their feedback was great and it looked like I may have created an actual product that people would buy. Then came my first major problem. I had no idea what to do next. My personal skill set was exhausted and I was heading into uncharted territory. It was tempting to find someone with the skill set I was missing and just hand it off or do everything they suggested, but I wanted to learn. I decided to tackle my next set of problems by myself. While it was scary, it wasn't as difficult as I thought.
Of course I made mistakes along the way, but when those happened I corrected them as quickly as possible and kept pushing forward. Trust yourself and develop great problem-solving skills.
Derek Hales is the founder of Sleepopolis, a one of a kind comprehensive mattress review site where I personally test every mattress I review in my own home. I research it. I sleep on it. Sit on it. Lie on it. Stand on it. Have sex on it. I do this to ensure I fully understand every attribute of the mattress in order to provide the most in-depth, thoughtful, and informative review possible.
Over the last 2 years I've tested close to 90 mattresses and scores of other bedding products. By my estimation, I have tested and reviewed more online direct-to-consumer mattresses than anyone else in the world.
"My best piece of advice is to simply get started.
It's so easy to continually delay, for months or even years, while you try to formulate the perfect plan, await market conditions, or seek the right time in your life. While these are important, if you use them as a reason to not start you are delaying what could be a wonderful and successful adventure. Don't let fear, life, or anything else delay you. Simply get started and learn by doing along the way."
Marc Prosser is the co-founder and managing partner ofFit Small Business, a site that provides reviews and articles for small business owners. Prior to starting Fit Small Business, Marc was the CMO of FXCM for ten years. He joined as FXCM's first employee and grew the company to more than 700 employees.
"My one piece of advice is to find a great business partner. Starting a business is difficult for one person to do themselves and requires a variety of skills and a certain level of consistency. By finding a business partner, your chances of success early on radically increases. Ideally, you should find someone you’ve worked with before and isn’t a close friend. They should have a different skill set and personality from you. Overall, don’t do it alone. Find a business partner."
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