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7 Great Tips for First Time Entrepreneurs

Running a startup is a unique endeavor, one that you may shy away from because you’ve never led a business before. However, not knowing much about running a company should not scare you off from becoming an entrepreneur. It just means you have a lot to learn. Here are seven tips that should get you started:


1.    Ask Experienced Entrepreneurs for Help or Advice


Reading up on tips is a good way to learn by yourself; However, direct tutelage is always an option. If you know someone who is an entrepreneur, ask them for advice. You might even find a mentor in your contact, if you are lucky.  Should you not have one in your immediate circle, reach out through social media. While asking for advice from someone you don’t know can certainly turn out well, it’s best to have someone build a bridge for you to ensure a smoother conversation.


2.    Stay Flexible


The most important advantage a startup has over a large company is its flexibility. Your startup will be able to change markets, even products, much faster than a large business. If you find that you have a better idea or a better market than the one you currently have, do not hesitate to pivot and go for greener pastures.


3.    Have a Working Understanding of Running a Company


You might be incredibly interested in the creative aspect of running a startup, and that’s OK. Alternatively, the numbers side might be more your speed, and that’s OK too. Everyone has a preference. What is important is that you do not let your preference blind you to other aspects of running a startup. You will be required to juggle responsibilities and tasks as an entrepreneur, especially as you build your staff. You don’t need to become an expert at every aspect of running a startup, but you do need a working knowledge of them so you can perform when needed to.


4.    Start Your Product Small


Leave your big ideas for later. Your startup will not have the resources or time to create a grand product. What you need at the start is something simple, the minimum viable product. Shave down your idea until you have the bare minimum of an offering that people will be willing to purchase, and develop that. Use that product to begin the startup’s journey. You can innovate later, when the company is more established. Start small.


With Taskade, it’s easy to work together, brainstorm ideas, and start small with our various templates, including our team management, planning, strategy, and startup templates. You’ll have your team tasks, notes, and communication all in one place, so you can plan and get work done together, faster and smarter.


5.    Hire Smart


At some point, you will need to hire more personnel. That is likely one of the most important tasks you will ever undertake as an entrepreneur. Your startup’s success lies entirely on the people you hire, so hire smart. Vet people, and don’t get too caught up on their school history or diplomas. Look for people who are driven, honest, and passionate. If you have trouble or can’t read people in that manner, look for a friend or trusted employee who does have that skill to ensure the best hires.


6.    Put Effort into Your Marketing


Having a great product is not enough to get people to order. For customers to choose your startup’s offering, they must first know it exists. Set aside some of your capital to invest into marketing campaigns. If you have a strong team, you can save some money by having your campaign done in-house. Should you not have the right skill set among your employees, do not hesitate to seek out and hire an agency to ensure that you have a working campaign.


7.    Get the Finances in Order


Most first-time entrepreneurs will fail not because they had a bad idea, but because they mismanaged their finances. It’s best to manage your capital yourself if you have experience in accounting. If you do not, consider hiring an accountant to manage your money, as it does not just involve counting profit and expenditure. It will also involve knowing what local laws apply to your business, and how each one could cost you in fees and taxes.


Don’t be worried about making mistakes because it’s your first time running a business. Even the most experienced business owners will trip over their feet now and again. What is important is that you prepare yourself as much as possible to maximize the odds of success. If you fail, that’s OK. Dust yourself off, learn from your mistakes, and try again.


Alexandru is the co-owner of TopDesignMag. “If it looks easy, it's hard. If it looks hard, it's impossible. If it looks impossible, it's due tomorrow. At 8 A.M.”