Recently, I built my own start-up for the first time from absolute scratch. This is when I realised how important the bare necessities of businesses are. Trying to keep my costs down, I spent most of my time trawling through OzBargain looking for freebie software and deals. After a series of mishaps, I finally realised that sometimes, it’s ok to spend some money for quality and necessary things.
Here are the bare necessities of business that I learnt from both experience and the Savvy community that I want to share with you:
1. Not everything is about profit
Despite what Jessie J chimes in her song, money isn’t everything. Many business owners I meet are interested in whether something is profitable or not. Customers are looking for value, and hence, you should be worrying about maximising value. Whether this is personal one-on-one service, or free delivery, or a quick phone call to confirm details, make sure your focus is on the value you create to the end user – the customer. Similarly, a company should be about how it contributes to society, through missions and goals. Making money is secondary to the main objective of the business.
2. Good advice
Perhaps you have an idea, but not sure what to do with it? Or have you already decided what you want to do, but not sure how to proceed with your plan?
Good advice is extremely hard to come by. Or that’s what you think. Talk to anyone who will listen. Your friend, partner, parents, or even aloud to yourself. Alternatively, taking part in events such as pitch nights, meet up groups, conferences and workshops can be fun and stimulating. Like actually. There are many events that are targeted especially for entrepreneurs that will give you the opportunity to meet a plethora of people you wouldn’t otherwise. You can receive feedback from both experienced and unexperienced entrepreneurs that way. You might even find a future client or partner. For more constructive advice, you might want to find a mentor – someone who you can talk to when you want a morale boost, or coffee.
3. Technology that you are comfortable with
I cannot stress enough the importance of owning a computer, phone or any gadget that you are comfortable with. Don’t be held off by what other people say about a particular operating system. If you are most comfortable with Windows XP, then so be it. There’s nothing worse than wasting more time than necessary feeling emotionally drained and mentally exhausted. State-of-the art software is probably too expensive to begin with the average user anyway. For those who like to experiment with new things, make sure you do your research well in terms of what you need - speed and quality. Make sure you can afford it, too.
4. Learn how to say no
I used to be really reluctant to say no. I couldn’t hep but feel sorry for the freelance web designer standing in front of me who was offering his services for a low price. However, after a brief conversation, I realised that he wasn’t taking the time to understand about my business. At this point, I realised that if I did entrust my website design to this person, I would never get the end product I dreamt of. The lesson I got from this was, don’t settle on something with the first person you meet. You know you’re worth it. So don’t be content with second-rate value. Get the things that you think is worth every cent.
What advice would YOU recommend? Comment below!