There's no substitute for experience, but to become experienced you have to start somewhere. Inside the Business Networking NZ Facebook support group, we put a question to the business owners within in it, asking them to share the best piece of advice they were given when they were starting their business. There were some real gems, the kind of advice money can't buy and today we're sharing them all with you!
Best Advice from Experienced Business Owners to Start Up Businesses
There is plenty of advice available to help those who are just starting up a business. We thought that a personal touch was in order, so we've made a list of tips from some of New Zealand's top business owners on what the best piece of advice they recieved was.
- Victoria Bond from Halo Healing - Find your exact client and what you exactly want to sell otherwise it can be too broad and confuse people.
- Amelia Todd from Nappy Heaven - Make sure you're set up really well to manage your tax obligations right from the start. I wasn't and spent thousands and many many hours getting everything sorted when my business grew much faster than I expected and I couldn't keep up.
- Louise Deed from Indeed We Can - You can't do it all on your own. Right from the start invest in the areas you struggle with or don't have the skills.
- Tracy James from Cake and Bake Kiwi - Having a plan of realistic, achievable steps is important so you don't feel overwhelmed right from the start, find a supportive group who you feel comfortable with to ask for advice and get ideas from. Enjoying your business is most important so (when you can afford to) try and outsource the things you least like doing..trying to do everything yourself can be very overwhelming especially when your business grows.
- Tim Muhundan from BizX Business Success Partners - Make a really good plan and review it regularly. It helps if you find a really good Trusted advisor that has owned and ran a few companies to help you with the business plan. If you are not working with one, feel free to connect with me - as I do that for a living and startups are my passion.Talk to people who are going to be your customers and make sure what ever you got is a niche or you got some sort of point of differentiation. Set aside time to focus on the business - so you are working ON the business and not IN the business right from start. There are ways of doing that without burning your start up capital!
- Gill Peterson from Executive Motel Taupo - Get an Accountant you can trust who understands your proposed business set up proper business plan do SWOT analysis marketing plans etc THEN decide yes or no and why!
- Sam Wheeler-Brown from deVere New Zealand - Wake up early to a good breakfast, be consistent, take on constructive feedback, keep your promises, don't be afraid to ask for help and be proud of your product/service.
- Caroll Burroughs from Freedom Births - Don't give up in the valleys (spoiler alert there are many ahead!). Believe in yourself and your product even if it looks like no-one else does at the time.
- Nicole Coyne from Tikumu Consulting - What’s your differentiator and how do you promote that. Defining your vision, this helps with all decision making and gets your business plan flowing in the right direction! Lastly, being comfortable with uncomfortable! It’s tough so accepting the highs and lows.
- Reuben Jackson from Website World - Get out and meet people. You are your best advert. Never undercharge, but over deliver as you grow your business. Ask those happy customers to refer you new customers, repeat until you have no free time left to give. Remember to take personal breaks, lunch, evenings, weekends..
- Jackie Procter from Spotty Lizard - Mine was to find a way to start the business without going into debt. The first 2 years were so hard and income from them was slim, just covering costs on some months. Not having to worry about repaying a loan was brilliant.
For more great advice, be sure to join our free business network Facebook group for NZ business owners and their agents!