50 Rules For Starting A Business - Advice & Opinions From Successful Entrepreneurs

Discussion in 'Articles & Tutorials' started by amwarner, May 25, 2013.

  1. amwarner

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    Jan 18, 2013
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    Hello Everybody,

    I’ve been working on my business for the past two years and hope to have the opportunity to have my business make me 7 figures each year.

    While developing strategies and methods on how I could possibly do that, I decided to contact and speak with various successful entrepreneurs making over $100,000 a year.

    The responses and advice I received from them were amazing to me. So much so, that I’ve decided to create this report.

    AND … I’ve decided to share it with all of you for free.

    Hopefully the advice in this will be beneficial to those starting out or even those that are already entrepreneurs.

    NOTE: Some of the information may tend to repeat itself. This was not done on purpose. Some of the answers are based on the category they were talking about.

    Well anyway … enjoy.


    1. Be Passionate – This should be a given because self-belief can truly go a
    long way. Your business could have great potential to make some money and
    achieve uncanny success but, if for the slightest second you don't believe in it,
    it's going to make your job that much tougher convincing other people to
    believe in it.

    2. Follow your passion – There are far too many get rich quick schemes out
    there that leave a lot of entrepreneurs thinking about the fastest way they can
    make a few dollars. That type of mentality will always have you seeking out
    new “schemes” to find the one that's legit. As an entrepreneur, you should
    ALWAYS do a business you're passionate about. A business that's in your
    heart. Passion will be what sustains and drives you through the up and down
    times. Once you’re passionate about it and you do it right, the money will still
    come. Entrepreneurship is a bumpy road, and there will be days when you
    want to pack it in and days when you can’t imagine doing anything else.

    3. Be Committed - Hand in hand with passion comes commitment. From the
    very first day you'll need to be dedicated and work incredibly smart. This will
    mean not hanging out with friends as often or even not going to an event that
    “everyone's” going to. In order to get your business off the ground and
    eventually successful, you have to be committed to it. Ask yourself if you are
    seriously prepared to sacrifice and commit to your business. Ask yourself if
    you're willing to put in those long hours needed to get things done. Ask
    yourself if you're willing to “struggle” for the months that you WILL struggle
    and still be dedicated to your business. If you are, then you definitely have the
    commitment and passion to be successful in your business.

    4. Think Big – You ever hear the saying “Think big and you'll get big?” It's a
    saying that many starting entrepreneurs need to actually pay attention to and
    take action on. Far too many entrepreneurs are focused only on the short
    term. They only think about the “right now” and not where they want
    themselves and their business to go. Don't make this mistake. Doing so, will
    only limit your opportunities. Think big, within reason, and get rid of your
    narrow minded planning.

    5. Focus – Many entrepreneurs starting up don't actually believe how
    important and critical focus really is. It is so easy in the early days to flip the
    script and chase a dollar because it's there rather than focus to make a few
    hundred dollars. It can easily draw you off path and have you becoming so
    diffused in your efforts that you are not making progress down the path
    you’ve defined. Be disciplined enough to really have focus.

    6. Plan – Before you start any business, you must plan. There is absolutely no
    excuse to not put together detailed, disciplined business plans. Set objectives
    for yourselves. Set benchmarks for yourself and don’t let yourself get knocked
    off course. Develop contingency plans. Discipline yourself to put together a
    very detailed plan. What does success look like and when will you get there?
    When you strategically plan for your business, unexpected issues that come up
    won't be detrimental to your business.

    7. Have A Goal – Following up on the last point, it’s important to have a plan
    in place where you’ve mapped out where you want to take your business. Set
    clear goals so that once you meet them you can justify spending money to get
    you to the next step.

    8. Never stop learning and never stop reading – The more you read and
    the more you learn, the more opportunities open up for you. The more
    knowledge you have, the more you are able to offer your customers or
    prospects in meeting their ultimate needs. In the end, your success is about
    not only meeting your clients’ needs but exceeding them. Never stop learning!
    Others have done the business you're in before you. Read and emulate their
    successes and learn from their mistakes.

    9. View challenges as obstacles not as roadblocks - You need to be able
    to juggle a lot of things at once. Understand that as an entrepreneur, you're
    going to be wearing a lot of different hats AND things will not always go well.
    You need to be able to understand those obstacles when they come and plan
    the very best methods to avoid them.

    10. Failure is natural - Without it, we can never progress as an individual or a
    business leader. Some people think failure is bad – I believe that every failure
    can only build a better person and better understanding of what will work.
    Don't try to prepare or prevent it, Expect failure to happen in your business
    and learn from it.

    11. Stick to it - Never stop. Failure after failure, time after time, stick to it and
    you’ll get it; even if you feel like you can’t, you will. Stick to what you’re doing
    and stick to charging what you’re worth.

    12. Stay the course - Entrepreneurs are very risk tolerant, have a vision, a
    passion, and are stubborn as hell. It always takes longer than you think it will
    but you have to stick with it because the alternative is not that appealing – go
    work for someone else. It takes some time to build a successful business.
    Having the courage to believe in your convictions is hard when your bank
    account is bleeding red. Be strong, stubborn and persistent.

    13. Give it your all - A lot of people start a business and will try to run it
    initially on a part-time basis. They also have a fall back job, just in case the
    business doesn’t develop. If you’re to succeed you have to commit to the
    business. You really have to put 100% into it. You can't make a go of it if you
    only put some time into it rather than your full effort. You have to do it full
    time - sales, marketing, accounting and client servicing. Now, this may mean
    not having a steady stream of money coming in the door. Giving it your all is
    easier said than done, especially when you have bills to pay. But it's important
    that you understand that only giving a half effort won't get you to where you
    want to go.

    14. Don’t have regrets – You'll be surprised as to how many entrepreneurs
    have more regrets about not doing something than about actually doing
    something. Almost all of them. If you really feel strongly about something, do
    it. That way, if it turns out to be a mistake, you would have learned from it.

    15. Own Up To Your Mistakes - If you don’t have all the answers or if you
    make a mistake, own up to it quickly. Then, find the answers and correct the
    problem. Honesty is one of the best things you can have in your business and
    customers appreciate that.
    16. Accept The Fear, Take The Risk - You need to accept the fear and take
    the risk. What this means is, love what you do and not always worry about
    the money. The money will come to you if you enjoy what you do. How many
    people do you know who hate their job? If you want to be an entrepreneur
    why don’t you become one? When you absolutely love every second of what
    you do it doesn’t feel like work. Accept the fear and go for what you want.

    17. Be Honest With Yourself - You need to be honest with yourself at what
    you’re actually good at and what you’re not. As an entrepreneur, you may be
    very good at coming up with ideas but not so good at managing people. If this
    is the case, you need to have people to balance you out. You can outsource the
    majority of your work so you can do what you're good at.


    18. Make Sure You Have Enough Money – This one I'm literally 50/50 on.
    While it's smart business to make sure you're financially capable to start a
    business, some people, based on their situations, have no choice. The biggest
    thing to keep in mind is that if you are financially capable to afford it, you will
    not be able to sustain the same standard of living. It's near impossible to get
    rich overnight and since the majority of people don't, save up some money for
    that entrepreneurial push.

    19. Keep an Eye on Your Cash Flow – A mistake many entrepreneurs make
    is to try to build too fast when they don't have nearly enough capital. When
    starting up, depending on your financial situation, you want to get things
    going without having to spend a lot of start-up capital. This could be
    challenging to those that don't know where their money is going. Don't spend
    money you don’t have. Don't spend if you don't have to. Do what needs to be
    done by yourself until you have enough money to solicit help. Spend your
    money very carefully and only on things that can help your business grow.

    20. Prove that what you have is sellable - You have to pick something you
    can develop on a small budget and sell in a reasonable amount of time. It can
    take years to build a broad product and then more time to sell it. If you are
    looking to raise capital, that is a hard pitch to sell investors on. Find a product
    that you can bring to market quickly and start earning revenues with it to
    prove to yourself. Do not get distracted by your vision. When you find the first
    product that has legs in the market, start selling aggressively to establish the
    initial customer base. There are some companies that (1) do not take that
    approach, (2) take too much time to come to market, and (3) end up missing
    their window of opportunity. Don't make their mistakes.

    21. Determine How You Will Finance Your Business – Having the
    financial aspect figured out is also very important. You need to utilize your
    relationships with family, friends, angel investors, and have a good
    relationship you’re your banker. You need to have the financial resources and
    cash flow to support your business. This is extremely important because if you
    decide to have employees, you have salaries to pay.


    22. Have a business plan - It will act as your blueprint to how you want to
    grow. It will always change. It is not set in stone. Give an outline of your
    marketing plan and your service. What is the opportunity in your business
    and what are you trying to accomplish? What are the customer pains that you
    are solving? How much do you need to get started? What is your breakeven
    point? Set yourself milestones that you can reach for. These are all questions
    and issues that you should address in your business plan.

    23. Find A Mentor - Someone who you respect and believes in you (and your
    business) that you can turn to during the difficult times and can be your
    “rock” through those early entrepreneurial days. No matter how confident or
    ready you think you are, taking that first step is a scary thing to do. That's why
    many individuals who wish to be entrepreneurs never make it. Having a
    mentor will be very important to your growth as an entrepreneur. Attend
    networking meetings and circles and actually talk with people. Listen to their
    stories and ask they if they would mind if you called them for advice. Asking
    for help, or advice, doesn't make you stupid. Entrepreneurship isn't for
    everyone. But if you think you've got what it takes, find those in your industry
    that would be willing to guide you along your way. It could be one of the best
    decisions you ever make.

    24. Know Everything About Your Business - Whatever business you are
    in, know everything about it. Start at the very bottom rung and learn all the
    rungs of the business. Knowing all of the areas of the business will make you
    more money when you get it started.

    25. Be An Apprentice - Part of knowing everything about your business is
    learning from someone more experienced than yourself. This is where a
    mentor in your field would come in handy. You can learn both good and bad
    things about your business from your mentor. That way, you can know which
    elements you want to copy and which ones you don’t.

    26. Provide Exceptional Service – Providing great service is the best way to
    build up your clientele and establish an excellent reputation. This is something
    that many entrepreneurs constantly overlook. Every, and any, relationship you
    have with your customers should be above and beyond what they expect.
    Every last one. Doesn't matter if they bought a $5 item or a $500 item. The
    service should be the same for each one. By having the same consistent service
    throughout, customer notice it and will choose you over your competitor
    because of that. If you provide great service and build a loyal following, you’ve
    got the foundation for an excellent business.

    27. Get everything in writing - This should be the very first rule when it
    comes to doing any type of business. Whether you are dealing with
    partnerships, offering a service or any other kind of deal, always get it in
    writing. I repeat, ALWAYS GET IT IN WRITING. It is the only way that you
    will have proof of an agreement between yourself and someone else.

    28. Control Your Overhead – This is key because you want to be able to
    reinvest back into your company to build it. Taking on unnecessary overhead,
    with no orders to send them out, will guarantee a death sentence for your
    business. If you have a business that can avoid it, instead of getting overhead,
    find companies that manufacture your products and see if they will drop ship
    it directly to consumer. There's absolutely no need to invest in an office
    downtown or a warehouse if you can run your business successfully from your
    own home.

    29. Progression Not Perfection – Basically, you don't have to have
    everything perfect to a tee before you put it out on the market. I, along with
    countless other entrepreneurs, have been guilty of this at one point or
    another. Waiting until every single detail is accounted for. As an
    entrepreneur, you CANNOT make this mistake. In today's market it's all
    about speed and agility. Meaning, how quickly you can get your product out
    there before somebody else. You have a very small window of opportunity in
    the market today to “dominate” a space before it gets overcrowded. If you
    have a project, research it, do it and don't procrastinate over it. A big key to
    success is knowing exactly when you have enough information/products to
    start acting on.
    30. Read as much business publications as possible – The education for
    an entrepreneur is never ending. You should be subscribing, downloading and
    reading every publication you can get your hands on related to business.
    Simply for the fact that they can give you various and innovative ideas for
    marketing as well as successes and challenges of other entrepreneurs – some
    who may be in your very field of expertise.

    31. Focus On What Matters - Sometimes entrepreneurs get caught up in
    what a business looks like versus what the core of the business is. All you need
    to do is make sure the customers end up winning. If they aren’t winning, the
    financial model will fall apart. Don’t worry too much about what your status is
    and what it looks like from the outside – look at what you’re delivering to the
    client. Be customer centric and look into your customer’s shoes. It is an
    exceedingly rare talent that people often lost sight of it – you never should.

    32. Differentiate Yourself - Make sure that whatever services you're
    providing or product you're offering, is different from the rest. You can’t sell
    the exact same thing as everyone else if you want to be successful. Aim to
    stand out from your competition.

    33. Stick to your guns – There's nothing wrong with accepting outside advice
    however, the vision should come from the entrepreneur and only the
    entrepreneur. As long as you maintain your vision, the payoff will come.

    34. Support your community – This may seem like it wouldn't belong on
    this list but supporting your community can have a significant impact on your
    success. Good faith is always good faith. Volunteer your time or services to
    your community in a selfless way. What will end up happening is you'll start
    to get business you weren't expecting from the community work you put in.
    You'll be surprised as to how many entrepreneurs have grown tremendously
    based on giving back to their own communities. Get involved in charity events
    and volunteer your time. You'll be better for it.

    35. Be Presentable - Presentation is very important to a successful business.
    What this means to you is having a website (your own domain name) that is
    easy to understand and navigate. Having professional looking business cards
    (not pieces of paper) with all of your information on it.

    36. Ask for advice – Many entrepreneurs who have a product or service
    actually fear asking for solid advice from those in their related area of
    expertise. They think that they may come across as being a competitor and
    the person they were seeking the advice from, won't answer their request for
    advice. Well you know what, so what if they don't answer? Doesn't hurt to try
    in the first place. What may actually surprise you is that many, many, many
    entrepreneurs who are successful will offer advice to those that ask them ... as
    long as they're not in direct competition with them.

    37. Be the best in the world - One of the things that is very unique about
    being an entrepreneur is that there are very few times in your life where you
    will have the chance to be the best in the world at something or an expert. By
    starting your very own business, you can define the space and field that you
    excel in. Go with the goal of being the best at it. If you’re the best in the world
    at something, you’ll find a way to make a living at it.

    38. Have Fun - Having fun is important especially in the first couple of years of
    business. The novelty factor of owning your own businesses eventually wears
    off when your business starts to grow and the stress of maintaining and
    growing the business can be sometimes over whelming. You need to have a
    culture that is fun and a work place that is enjoyable to go to everyday.
    Separate work from life as well. Maintain a balance of life.

    39. Don’t be afraid to talk about yourself - You have to have that
    confidence level. Talk about your company and what you do to anyone willing
    to listen. It has to be a big part of who you are.

    40. Seek help - When you first start your business, you'll feel a rush and think
    you can handle every client and overcome every trials and tribulations on our
    own. You won't. Don't be afraid to ask for help. That's why finding a mentor
    is so important because they can provide you with strategies to help you out.

    41. Don’t Always Trust The Experts - Don’t always trust the professionals
    that come to you with their opinions and advice. It’s important for you to
    think outside the box and trust your instincts.

    42. Channel positive energy - It’s very important to know that when starting
    out, you’ll face lots of criticism. You need to remain very focused on your
    vision and plan. Grab a hold of the things that work and use them to grow
    your company. Channel your positive energy. Learn from your mistakes and
    don’t obsess about the mistakes along the way. Ensure you can leverage
    success out of those.

    43. Know What You’re Getting Into - When you work for yourself there are
    a lot of long hours that you’ll need to put in and you’ll need to make a lot
    tough decisions. There is tremendous pressure and stress especially if you
    have employees. The lifestyle is different. Assess why you want to be your
    own boss and make sure you keep those values with you throughout the
    growth of the business.

    44. Know What You’re Good At - Too many entrepreneurs lose out because
    they are not business people. Don’t be an entrepreneur if you’re not a
    business person. You can be the most creative, entrepreneur but if you can’t
    run a business, you won't be successful.

    45. Never sell yourself short – A lot of new companies under-price
    themselves to get business but they end up hurting themselves because at the
    end of the day they can’t pay their bills. If you aren’t charging what’s
    appropriate you’ll end up making less than you would actually working
    minimum wage. There has to be something left in the bank at the end of the
    day. You end up spinning your wheels and it’s a big mistake a lot of small
    business make because they undersell themselves and don’t make enough
    margin to survive the in the long run.

    46. Focus On Building the Right Way - Don’t worry about how many people
    are working for you. You often hear people bragging about how they have 20
    people working under them – but if you’re losing money doing it, who cares?
    Look at what your business is doing. Look at your business as something that
    should be strong and growing but not so fast that it’s out of control. Don’t
    just grow to grow. Make sure you’re profitable, people are happy, and that
    you have a great working atmosphere.

    47. Partner Strategically - Be very careful about who you strategically align
    yourself with. What they do in their business can be portrayed as what you
    are doing. Just like you hire slowly, the process in finding strategic partners
    should be a slow, cautious one. It’s even more important than employees
    because strategic partners are seen by your clients and are promoted in your
    marketing materials.


    48. Trust Your Gut - What is the connection you have with the people who
    work with and for you? Do you trust them? What about certain business
    decisions? Do you trust your gut to move forward on it or to not move forward
    at all?

    49. Have a clear vision – Know what your future looks like, feels like, and
    acts like. It has to be a compelling vision that gets your people excited and
    focused. Latch onto that picture as though it has already happened. Transport
    yourself into the future so you can see it with picture clarity. Share it with
    your staff (if you have one) so they can see it and do what it takes to achieve it.

    50. Be honest with yourself - Many entrepreneurs will not be able to benefit
    from some advice until it’s too late. Some entrepreneurs need to be really
    honest with themselves about what type of entrepreneur they want to be. It’s
    an unknown thing that is happening when you start a business. Growth is
    always what gets talked about and gets attention but sometimes there is more
    happiness and more success by being a small giant. There’s nothing wrong
    with that - don’t believe in the hype of growth.

    Well … if you DID happen to read this entire list, I want to thank you sincerely. If it helps one person, then it’s done it’s job.


    Andrew M. Warner

    Discover money making secrets, methods and practical business advice by visiting shadeofinfo dot com
    • Like Like x 1
  2. Fergal

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    Nov 18, 2007
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    There are excellent tips in your post Andrew, thanks for sharing it with us. I believe that anyone starting or running a small business could benefit from reading and living by those tips.
  3. virt_train

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    Jul 23, 2012
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    Among these tips, I am struggling with FOCUS. With so many opportunities on the internet , I keep on jumping from one idea to idea and at the end, I was not able to achieve the goal. But along the way, when I learned about the Law of Focus : You can only focus on one thing at a time.It helped me a lot and to never underestimate the power of FOCUS.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Xyphien

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    Apr 22, 2013
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    I may not be making a business anymore, but I will be using this towards my new community which is dedicated to a distinct disability. Very nice read, thank you for sharing.
  5. Fergal

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    Nov 18, 2007
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    I've also had that issue in the past virt_train, but I am getting much better at it now. I constantly remind myself that time is limited, we can't do everything and the only effective way to get anything done is to focus on one thing at a time.
  6. amwarner

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    Jan 18, 2013
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    I agree to a point, however, you don't want to fall into the trap of what was mentioned in tip # 29. Progression Not Perfection. Focusing on one thing at a time is good, in fact it is needed to actually get anywhere ... however, you need to learn when you're are finished with that one thing to be able to move on, otherwise you'll be stuck focusing on perfecting that one thing.

    Hope that made sense.

    - - - - Posts Merged - - - -

    Xyphien, I hope that the tips I posted here didn't discourage you from starting a business of your own. That was not what was intended.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. amwarner

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    Jan 18, 2013
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    I struggle with focus at times as well. And I use to be just like you with seeing opportunities and jumping from one to another and you know what happened to me? I ended up not doing ANY of those opportunities. By the time I was ready to start, something more "interesting" came around and I would focus on that.

    Took me years of spending money and not making anything back to realize that situation wasn't what I wanted. So I had to really search out for what I was interested in doing & pursuing and focus solely on that. And I haven't looked back since.
    • Like Like x 1
  8. sasha

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    May 15, 2013
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    First of all, Thanks a lot for this valuable thread. This is really helpful for those who starting his professional life. No doubt about it success need hard work and time.

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