Startups are definitely not for everyone. Here is what I wish I had known before starting mine.
8 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started My Startup!
I’ve been involved in technology since the early 1980’s and have done quite a few different things over those years – from project management to sales and even to teaching IT courses. As a result of all this experience, and keeping up with the latest technologies, one thing has always remained consistent: there was at least one other person out there who knew more than me about any given subject matter; but it wasn’t until about 7 years ago that there were enough people out there who knew more about something than me that I wanted to start my own company.
My name is Steve Carter, and I started my own software development firm in 2007 – my wife Kathy actually came up with the name for it: BCFC Software Services. She’s also an entrepreneur so she was very supportive in helping me get this company off the ground.
No matter what you do when starting a new business, one thing you can always expect is there will be some surprises along the way! After 7 years in business, I have seen just about everything imaginable happen; many of which I had no idea would ever happen! For example, did you know that your web site can be hacked? Or that one of your employees can steal from you? Or perhaps one of your customers can sue you…there have been a few times that I have had to say “Wow, I never saw that coming!”
For whatever reason, it doesn’t seem like these types of things happen all that often with more traditional small businesses. Perhaps the lack of surprise is because they are more experienced in business matters and don’t have as many inexperienced employees? Perhaps it’s because most companies don’t really need any kind of technology so there’s less opportunity for hacking or stealing from them?
So what am I getting at anyway? Well, below are 8 things about starting a new company which surprised me: Paul Haarman
- You don’t have to work hard all the time; you just need to work hard on the right stuff!
- Your business idea doesn’t have to be perfect; it will evolve over time and with your experience.
- You can learn most of what you need to know online for free or next to nothing!
- Your MVP (minimal viable product) does not have to be a minimal version of your final product; it could even be a paper prototype!
- Building a startup is not a sprint, it’s a marathon! Stay determined and patient along the way.
- Don’t lose sight of your end goal while focusing on short-term tasks for your startup.
- Your business idea doesn’t have to be original; there are many successful businesses out there which are versions of an existing concept!
- Most people don’t really understand what it means to start a business or try building one – this is not their fault, most people were never taught about entrepreneurship in school. We all need the support of each other and knowledge is power! Teach yourself as much as you can and build relationships with more experienced entrepreneurs where you can network & learn together!
I hope that helps some of you thinking about starting your own venture, no matter how simple or complex. There are so many resources available for us these days, sometimes I think we use them too much, but they are there if you need them. I’d love to hear your stories too, so feel free to leave a comment or shoot me an email!
Starting a business can be one of the most rewarding things you do – but it is not for the faint of heart! If you’re like me, I’m sure you’ve got more than enough to worry about on a regular basis; this adds yet another layer of complexity which is challenging and fun at times too says Paul Haarman.
With the right attitude and approach, it doesn’t take much experience to learn just about everything you need to know ab