As a young entrepreneur, I wanted to offer a few tops for new business owners. I believe that there are far too few resources directly addressing nonacademic trials and tribulations that new business owners face along their journey. Whenever I talk to readers here looking to get into starting their own cleaning business, I encourage new up-and-coming business owners to establish a relationship with someone who’s a little more seasoned, for their insight and nonacademic eduction that will provide a foundation for you – the new business owners.
Even though I haven’t been in business for myself a very long time (only 4 years), I have learned a lot in a very short period of time. With that, here are my ten tips for new business owners that I wish someone had given me when I first launched my cleaning business venture.
1. Act like a start-up.
Don’t worry about the fancy offices, fast cars, and expense accounts – you’re still a start-up at the end of the day. Your wallet is your company’s pulse and life-blood. Being frugal will get you much further than trying to pretend to be a big player. Watch every dollar, check your expenses, compare prices, maintain a low over head and you’ll be around for many years to come.
2. Nobody will give you the dollars.
Nobody owes you any favors, your bank included. Just because you’ve been banking with them for centuries, doesn’t mean that they’ll be nice enough to give your business any money. You’re unproven and still a huge liability. If you need a lot of cash to start up, go back to the drawing board and find the beginning – not the end. Simplify your idea until its viable enough that you don’t need large sums of cash to get the ball rolling.
3. Be straight up.
Don’t talk the talk unless you can walk the walk. Impress with action not conversation. Endorse your business in an enthusiastic way, rather than a tacky way. Exaggeration will only get you so far.
Focus on your goals. Many new business owners jump around too much at every opportunity that they come across. Opportunities can sometimes be wolves in sheep’s clothing. Avoid juggling multiple ventures, because it will only spread you thin and limit your productivity and effectiveness. It’s much better to do one thing really well, then 10 things half-ass.
5. Learn under fire.
No business book or business plan can predict the future of your business. There is no such thing as a perfect plan. Business and Marketing plans are just guides to keep you focused. Much more happens outside of them. I believe in creating a plan and putting some thought into it, but not spending months trying to prepare the plan. Execution is key, and a much better teacher than any business or marketing plan.
6. Don’t be a know-it-all.
Nobody likes a know-it-all, especially those who pretend to know-it-all, yet only know very little. It’s exhausting, and a turn off at the same time. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, and surround yourself with those who will nurture you to become a better business person.
7. Always be ready to pitch.
Every encounter is an opportunity, but you have to be ready for that opportunity. Always be ready to pitch your business, whether it’s to a potential customer or an investor. State your mission, service and goals in a straight to the point manner – 30 seconds or less I say.
8. Keep Healthy.
Most new business owners forget that entrepreneurship is not a 9-5 job, but rather it’s a lifestyle. Prioritize first and foremost things that are important to you. Working to a point of exhaustion will burn you out and make your less productive. Never forget to make time for yourself.