25 dos and don’ts for entrepreneurs
Taking the mirror test; for people looking to start their own business from the ground up.
1. HAVE AN ANSWER Be able to answer why you want to be in business for yourself.
2. MONEY MOTIVATION? Don’t start a business venture with the main goal of getting rich fast; regardless of how lucrative it appears.
3. HAVE A PLAN Don’t start a business just because you are tired of working for someone else.
4. BE IMPASSIONED Don’t do it for the money. Do it for the passion and self-satisfaction.
5. WHAT REALLY COUNTS. The level of passion and commitment is one of the distinguishing factors between business for personal reasons, and who is in it simply because it seemed like a good idea at the time.
6. STOOP TO CONQUER Don’t be too proud to ask for help.
7. NOT A CHARITY Don’t forget that you are running a business. It is not supposed to be a welfare agency or a hobby.
8. HIGH STAKES The business, whatever it is, really should be something that the entrepreneur would do if money were no object. The levels of effort, risk, and commitment required are so high that the business needs to be something that fulfills more than economic issues.
9. THE VISION Think about and be clear on what your motivation is for starting the venture.
10. ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN. Be prepared to lose all the money that you invest in the business.
11. FIRST THINGS FIRST Set a minimum before you start. Realize what return will be acceptable before you start.
12. NOT A STROLL IN THE PARK Starting and managing a business is very hard on everyone involved.
13. ROUND THE CLOCK Realize your business is a 24/7 adventure. You can’t call timeouts and there are no real vacations.
14. A PRICE TO PAY Recognize the impact on your family and social life. Your family is part of the venture. You will need their support, especially when things are stressful. Recognise that it will cost them something, time and money too.
15. NOT FOR THE HEK OF IT Don’t venture into a business on a spur-of-the moment decision or desire to become an entrepreneur.
16. NO INTERFERENCE Make sure your personal life is in order. You cannot afford to let personal problems interfere with the business.
17. CLUELESS? Don’t get into things you know absolutely nothing about…
18. BE REAL Don’t expect to maintain your same lifestyle and standard of living, Cash flow may not be what you expect, and some sacrifices may need to be made in order to remain in business.
19. FORGET IT Forget about having a life or money in the opening phases of the company.
20. PUT IT BACK Save enough money to live on for the first two years that your business is open, so that you can take all profits made and put them right back into your business.
21. FALL BACK PLAN Make sure that you and your family can recover from the financial setback if things do not go as well as planned. Things normally don’t go as well as planned.
22. BALANCING ACT Don’t go too far with the personal sacrifices. Try hard to maintain some balance in your life.
23. FULL THROTTLE Don’t dive in half-heartedly. Go all out, or go home!
24. CAN-DO SPIRIT Have your heart and soul in the business. If you don’t believe in it. No one else will.
25. WRONG REASONS Don’t start a business because someone else has been successful at the same business. You will never be able to copy their decisions (good and bad) or luck.