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12 Things You Should Consider Before Starting A Business
12-14-2017, 07:20 AM,
12 Things You Should Consider Before Starting A Business
So you want to start a business, you’ve found some
great co-founders, a pot of seed capital and think
you’ve got a cracking idea.

[Image: images%25286%2529.jpg]

But is there something you’ve forgotten to do? MT
bent the ears of a few entrepreneurs who’ve been
there, done that, to find out what they wish they’d
thought of (or are pleased they did think of) before
starting out.

A proper one, with research and stats and detailed
strategies – not just the back of a napkin. ‘You need
to set objectives and make sure that you are aiming
high enough,’ says Homeserve founder Jeremy
‘Then you need to do a common sense check by
answering these questions, why will you beat your
competitors? How realistic are your sales forecasts?
What costs will you incur? What capital will you
need? How much cash will you need to reach
breakeven? What financial buffer do you need?’ ‘When I started my business, I spent close to two
years hidden away in my Yorkshire barn
developing a prototype before I felt that it was at a
point where I could pitch the product,’ adds
Anaplan co-founder Michael Gould.

‘This level of
planning is crucial to building a solid foundation for your business—particularly if you are trying to
solve complex business problems.’

‘Spend all your time on achieving product-market
fit until you have it,’ says Ryan Petersen, CEO and
co-founder of Flexport. ‘Don’t get married to an
idea before you are certain that yours is a solution
to a common problem that people would be willing
to pay for. Talk to users non-stop and build things based on their feedback.’
‘You always think you know what the market
needs and wants, based on anecdotal evidence
and previous experience, but there’s really no
replacement for specific and detailed market
research,’ adds Chirag Shah, CEO of Nucleus
Commercial Finance. ‘Check and double check that there is demand for your product before you do

3. CHOOSE CO-FOUNDERS CAREFULLY ‘I'd previously run a business with a friend, who I
quickly discovered had a moral compass that didn't
align with my own. Over time I lost all respect for
him which impacted not only our relationship, but
also the business,’ says Dr Aidan Bell, co-founder of
Envirobuild. ‘At EnviroBuild James [Brueton] is a great business
partner, not only in terms of competence, but also
values, morals and temperament.
If you’re running
a business with someone, then who that person is
will be among the most important decisions you'll
ever make; you can pivot your business plan much easier than you can a co-founder!’

'Define your vision, mission, strategy, and values
before you get started,’ says Ishaan Malhi, CEO and
founder of online mortgage broker Trussle. ‘It will
provide invaluable clarity, focus, and alignment
which will have both tangible and intangible
benefits later on. For example, having a clear set of values will help your team make important
decisions quickly and autonomously.’
'Many entrepreneurs are, understandably, so
consumed with the start-up and growth of their
business in the first few years they can neglect to
plan for their ultimate goal,' adds Rachel Hannan,
an angel investor who previously founded public
sector search firm GatenbySanderson.
'Having a 7- year exit plan from the start made it easier to scale
the business in a way that would ensure it was
sustainable once I’d exited.'

Company names matter, and if you get it wrong in
the first instance then doing a rebrand can be a
costly faff. ‘Register every variation of your web
address so people don’t wind up starting similar
businesses with similar names after you,’ says Matt
Haworth, co-founder of Reason Digital.
‘Domain names seem to be the main way people brainstorm
new names, rather than patents or trademarks,
these days.’ Plus, if you’re planning to go international then it’s
worth checking your name isn’t a taboo word in
the language of one of your target markets.

Some entrepreneurs feel they need to be based in
London or even jet off to Silicon Valley to be among
like-minded businesspeople. But there’s plenty of
opportunity in smaller towns and cities.
‘Basing Paperclip in Cardiff was the single most
important decision that we made prior to launching
the business, and I am incredibly glad that we did
so to this day,’ says Alan Small. ‘London is a city of
unlimited opportunity for business, technology,
and start-ups – so turning our back on that was scary at first.

‘However, joining the flourishing tech scene in
Cardiff has more than paid dividends. The talent
pool, support, and access to like-minded
individuals here has allowed us to launch, build,
and scale Paperclip at half the cost whilst remaining
just 2 short hours away from our investors and partners in London.’

Some people find entrepreneurship comes
naturally, but if you’re used to treading the carpets
of a big City bank or FTSE giant then it might be
worth getting some hands-on experience at a
start-up before striking out.
‘Being part of a business in its early stages is an
incredible experience for anyone during their
career, but for those people that want to start their
own business, it's the best learning opportunity
you can ask for,’ says Robert Gryn, CEO and owner
of Codewise. ‘It gave me unique insight into the everyday
challenges that come with being responsible for a
business and for your employees, and it taught me
what is required of a leader in a fast growing
technology company.
Most importantly, it gave me
the confidence to step out on my own and take a risk.’

‘In order to give your idea the best possible chance
of success, it is wise to have cash reserves to carry
you through 12 months or to keep your day job
until the business model has been validated,’ says
Norris Koppel, CEO and founder of instant current
account provider Monese.

‘Constantly worrying about cash can really impact your energy levels and
this is the last thing you want to worry about when
building the next big thing.’

‘Delegation is key,’ says FreeAgent founder Ed
Molyneux.’ I was terrible at delegating in the early
days. Like many other self-employed people, I felt
that the business was my baby and I wanted to
stay in control of as much of it as I could ‘At some point, you have to realise that you can’t do
everything yourself.

By stepping back and
identifying the parts where you’re not 100%
proficient, you can then either delegate those tasks
to someone else already in your business or
specifically hire someone new who has more expertise than you to take on those
responsibilities.’ ‘I’m glad I listened to, and took, my Dad’s advice
about realising my own capabilities and getting
others to do the things I was a bit rubbish at,’ adds
Rik Hellewell, MD of oven valeting franchise Ovenu.
‘I’ve extended that thinking over the years to
include things that I don’t like doing such as accounts!’

‘As a starry-eyed idealist I made the mistake of
believing that my team’s loyalty to the cause was as
absolute as mine, and thus felt repeatedly let down
over the years when individuals left to pursue what
they saw as a better career path for them,’ says
Adam Tavener, chairman of Clifton Asset Management and Alternative Business Funding. ‘In
my younger days, I couldn’t help but take this
personally, as a departure, in my mind, was
tantamount to saying that my business wasn’t

‘It is far better to understand that people will leave
from time to time; it’s not personal and they can
have all sorts of reasons for doing so, but, unless
they have done something really heinous like
trying to damage your business on the way out, the
best path is just to wish them well and get back to concentrating on delivering your own goals.’

‘I wish I had engaged more with the
entrepreneurial community and built a network of
experienced go-to entrepreneurs to help steer and
coach me in the earlier years,’ says Davie Chaplin,
CEO and co-founder of CotnractorCalculator. ‘While I
read tons of very valuable business books, I basically locked myself in a room for 5 years while I
built the business all by myself - and no doubt
repeated mistakes that others had already made.’ ‘Having a strong network is key when it comes to
making your own business a success - I took the
leap and started up an in-game advertising agency
when I was 22,’ adds Josh Graff, who was an an
entrepreneur before becoming LinkedIn’s UK MD. ‘I
was new to advertising and I was new to video games. I asked advice from anyone I could find
within those industries that was willing to meet.
From established CEOs to individual contributors at
the beginning of their media agency careers;
people were extraordinarily generous with their
time and I took advantage to soak up as much information as possible.’

12. ASK FOR HELP ‘To me, undoubtedly the most sensible thing to do
in order to inform your decision making process on
starting a business is to identify a suitable mentor,
i.e. somebody who has built or run a business and
through their strategic advice can provide you with
a few very important shortcuts in key areas, which otherwise can cost you the unnecessary time and
money,’ says Natasha Bowes, MD and founder of
Bio-tiful Dairy. ‘It is undoubtedly tricky to find the
right person, and the best ones are those who have
worked across industries and made their own
costly mistakes!’

Any Questions ;Register And Drop Your Thought
02-11-2018, 12:44 PM,
RE: 12 Things You Should Consider Before Starting A Business
Nice one, clear, and informative

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