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Advice for starting a business: Simple guidelines to follow

Business failures teach many entrepreneurs plenty of things that you shouldn’t do when starting a business, just as successes will often be the benchmark for future best practices when starting a new business. Trying to pinpoint which of these dos and don’ts you should place the most importance on can be difficult, but the following tips are the best lessons any new entrepreneur could adhere to when starting a business. Here are the top 5 dos and don’ts of starting a business.


Do get business coaching

Invest in, and grow yourself, and your life and business will follow you to the top. Join mastermind groups, organizations in your field and get a great business coach. Working with a coach can really shorten your time to success. Read or listen to business books every day.

Do partition your revenue to protect bottom line

Partitioning your revenue is more than just budgeting. Decide how much of every dollar is going to go towards each of the different moving parts of your business. By doing this you can protect your profitability.

Do establish an org chart

Even if it’s a sole proprietorship, start by thinking out all the possible job tasks that it will take to run your business. Leave people’s names out in the beginning and then fill those positions as you grow with the right people. In the beginning you may have to put your name in every slot, but that’s ok. This will clarify in your mind what all needs to get done, the priorities, and how your business is going to get there as well as when it’s time to add the next person.

Do stay on top of technology

Businesses are becoming increasingly more reliant on technology as it advances and evolves. Even blue-collar service businesses need to think about how they can be a technology company doing a hands-on business, not a hands-on business that uses some technology.

Do take action

Entrepreneurs are just idea people until they take action. Just make that call. Whether it’s a cold call or an in-person visit. Do something! Some of the best ideas die because people don’t do what it takes to bring them to life. Take action and never give up.


Do not waste time on unimportant details

Go get the business and dollars in the door! As a startup, “proof of concept" comes first. Show that your plan has potential. Many entrepreneurs waste valuable time getting caught up on what they want the company to look like, or try to work out so many small unimportant details that the clock runs out before they take off.

Do not follow the herd with profit analysis

Changing your profit and loss statement is a great way for you to see money moving in and out of your company. The standard profit and loss statement was designed by accountants and not entrepreneurs. For example, if a vehicle is used for sales and marketing, then add that expense into the sales and marketing expenses category and not in the vehicle column. If you have insurance on your workers, put it in your labor costs and not in the insurance column. These changes allow you to see exactly what efforts your expenses are going to, and not just the general category, but the specific use.

Do not do what are your competitors doing

If you do what your competitors are doing then you will get exactly what they get. Change is the only way to be great. Differentiate your business from everyone else. Find a niche in your field and set your goal to be number one.

Do not use your own money

No successful or unsuccessful entrepreneur has ever been glad they used their own money. Your decisions are different when you use your money vs. other people’s money, and that’s not a good thing. Finding and securing investors helps you spend money without the worry of spending your own money.

Do not neglect to establish your company culture

Create a culture card. Make sure that everyone that joins your organization has a clear understanding of that culture. A culture card or document will help your team make decisions that reflect the winning formula you created.

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Starting a business is a lot of hard work that requires patience and persistence. Keep these lessons in mind and you will be a successful entrepreneur. Stay focused on the execution and don’t get too bogged down. That’s the way to get your business off the ground.

More expert advice about Starting a Business

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Kenneth JenningsCEO and president

Kenneth Jennings started Texas Rekey Locksmith Service from the trunk of his car in 1995. The company was rebranded as Mr. Rekey Locksmith® Services when it expanded outside of Texas 10 years later. During the last 35 years, Kenneth has foun...

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