It’s funny how when you hit a certain milestone in your life, everyone’s there with unwanted advice. Like when you are expecting a baby. Getting married. Or…starting a business.
Now, I appreciate advice as much as anyone, but there are certain pieces of advice that I could have done without when I started both of my legal filing services. Here are the ones you can ignore.
1. Find the Right Time to Launch
Folks, I’ll be honest. There’s no ideal time to launch your business. Life will always get in the way. And if you strive for perfection before you even reveal your products to the world…well, you’ll be waiting a long time.
Instead, be okay with imperfection. The faster you start your business and get your products out there, the sooner you can get feedback from your customers and go back and improve your offerings.
2. Quit Your Job
This is a rather absolute piece of advice, and can’t be applied to every wannabe entrepreneur. The question is: do you have enough money to quit your day job? You’ll need 6-12 months of savings to cover both your personal expenses and your business expenses.
You might be better off starting your business while you continue to have the security of a steady paycheck. Then when finances allow and you’ve got a steady customer base, cut the cord.
3. Expand What You Offer
In fact, the opposite is actually true. The more you narrow your products or services, the better you’ll do. While it might seem that offering more things to more people would increase sales, what it actually does is dilute your efforts.
Do a couple of things, and do them really well. You’ll become known for that.
4. You’re the Only One Who Can Do Everything Right
Actually, you’re more likely to get in your own way. Sure, when you first start out, you do everything out of necessity. But then you get busy. That’s when you should start hiring help in areas like marketing, accounting, design, and admin.
5. Do What You Love
Most newbie entrepreneurs don’t realize that, yes, while you start your business because you love this thing, this industry, this activity, after a while you usually end up not doing it. Let’s say you love to cook, so you open a restaurant. But after a few months, you’re so mired in administrative tasks that you don’t have time to cook. So you hire a chef.
You’ll still be in a field you love, but go into starting a business with open eyes and realize that you may be behind a desk more than anything else.
6. Enjoy Your Flexible Schedule
Again, there is truth to this for many business owners, but if your customers want your products during the hours of 10 to 5, that’s when you should be open. No one likes coming to a retail store that’s got up and down hours. Stick to what your customers expect.
Want my advice? (I’m smiling as I write that) Listen to all advice, then take it with a grain of salt. Apply it to your specific case, and take what you can from it.