- Approximately 543,000 new businesses get started each month (but more businesses shut down than start up each month)
- 8 out of 10 entrepreneurs who start businesses fail within the first 18 months
- 51% of small businesses fail within the first five years
So, I'm sharing the following top ten items I've learned during my first two years in business. Hopefully, it will help you become a better prepared and more informed entrepreneur.
1. Get Everything in writing
I made the mistake early on taking everyone's word for everything, to then either be let down, taken advantage of or just simply bamboozled, all because we didn't have anything in writing.
2. Presentation is everything, but so is execution
I have always been proud of how much effort I take in the foundational things, such a logos, websites, flyers etc, but I never knew how much other people did not, until I began receiving complimentary calls from companies thanking me for taking the time to focus on all of the details.
3. Customer Service can make or break you
We've all been the victim of "bad customer service" and the effect that has had on your buying decisions for the future. When operating my business, I knew I would not get everything right and that I wouldn't be able to please everyone, but when it came to customer service I was determined to give the best, because they deserve it and so do I.
4. You must hire people that believe in you, and not more into themselves.
I learned this one EARLY on, that you need people on your team that have bought into you and your vision, and not those that come on board with an agenda. When someone believes in you and your vision it's evident by their work ethic and spirit.
5. Copyright EVERYTHING
In my first year not only did I have to deal with making sure we understand not to steal someone intellectual property, but to also to have our ducks in a row so that if someone attempts to steal anything of ours, that we have grounds to take legal action, if necessary.
6. Don't Cut Corners
If you take the time that's needed to build a successful company without cutting here and there, the results will be evident. But, if you choose the latter, it will also be evident.
7. Online access is a must, but MOBILE IS KING.
Our first website had flash and if you were operating from an iPhone, you couldn't see a thing. We learned to ask all of the questions to your designer before they begin.
8. You don't need money to start, but you better get some quick.
To build any business at some point you are going to need some money. Whether that's for a logo, business cards, website, etc., those things cost money...you only have so many favors you can get.
9. You must continue to develop your business/leadership skills...new people and new things are occurring daily.
I'll never forget when some of our volunteers created an Instagram account for us; I had no idea what that was or how it was worth it to our business, but after humbling myself I learned the value of it and the value of working with people that are "sometimes" younger than you, fresh out of college and sometimes just stronger than you in certain areas.
10. GOD MUST BE AT THE CENTER.
I can not tell you how important this must be when you decide to start and launch your business. I have seen so many businesses come and go and a lot of times its as a result of improper guidance, improper planning and because God's blessing was never on it. I don't think people realize how powerful GOD really is...I mean he is God for crying out loud! When God tells you to start a business, to do this and that and you obey, He is obligated to make it successful. But, when you choose to do something then ask God to bless it, technically he doesn't have to, because he never told you to do it in the first place!