What you need to know before starting your business: seven lessons learned

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Chris Kille is the CEO of Pay pilot and Elevate Outsourcing, based in Charlotte, NC.

Think you’re ready to take on the cutthroat business world? Before you jump into battle, brace yourself for the unexpected with these seven unconventional, time-tested lessons. As an enterprising entrepreneur, I’ve traversed difficult terrain, experienced success and failure, and gained invaluable, idiosyncratic insights that can give you a competitive edge in your business endeavors.

From the importance of a fortress-like plan to choosing your combat buddies wisely, making your brand presence felt, and nurturing your customer relationships, these lessons can improve your conventional business acumen and leave you confident and confident as you blaze a trail to triumph.

So buckle up, my friend, for this wild and brutal ride. These lessons are sure to challenge your assumptions, stubborn beliefs, and the status quo. But as you take in and embrace them one by one, you’ll be energized to tackle the business world with an unstoppable spirit that will take you to the top!

Contents

Lesson 1: Build a business fortress with a bulletproof plan.

You wouldn’t go into a war zone without a plan, would you? You also shouldn’t start a business without a solid plan. Your blueprint should include the following:

• A clearly defined mission statement.

• A comprehensive overview of your products or services.

• An accurate market analysis.

• Detailed financial projections.

• A detailed analysis of your target group.

Don’t skimp on the details, as a well-thought-out plan can take your business to greater heights and provide a safe buffer against the unknown.

Lesson 2: Choose your comrades wisely.

In business, strategic partnerships are essential. But teaming up with friends or family can jeopardize your success. Find co-founders who share your vision, bring complementary skills to the table, and are as committed to driving the company as you are.

I learned this lesson the hard way by embarking on a doomed venture with a friend. Our conflicting ideas took their toll, resulting in our partnership unraveling and the company shutting down.

Lesson 3: Make your presence felt.

In business, it’s not enough to be good at what you do. You have to be known for it. Creating a strong brand presence requires networking with the right people, attending influential industry events and leveraging social media to gain an edge.

When I first launched my company, I refused to take a backseat and let my brand hibernate behind the screen. Instead, I embarked on an all-encompassing advertising campaign, handing out fliers, organizing events, and attending trade shows. My brand gained traction and skyrocketed in visibility, attracting valuable customers and investment opportunities.

Lesson 4: The customer is king, tyrant and judge.

In business, satisfying your customers is paramount. Strive to exceed their expectations by listening to their feedback, addressing their concerns and improving their experience with every interaction.

I once had a dissatisfied customer who was not satisfied with our product. Instead of squinting, I listened to their complaint, put my ego aside and worked with them to find a solution. Not only did it keep that customer, but their satisfaction brought in new customers.

Lesson 5: Failure – it’s your greatest weapon.

As an entrepreneur you will undoubtedly have to deal with failures. But it’s actually how you deal with it that separates the strong from the mediocre. See failure as an opportunity to gain valuable insights, learn, adapt and emerge stronger.

I learned this firsthand on my entrepreneurial expedition. I’ve been through a series of failed ventures, but instead of throwing in the towel, I saw it as an opportunity to pivot, analyze, and refine my strategies. Resilience, determination and a fearless attitude to failure paid off.

Lesson 6: Keep a close eye on your finances.

Your finances are undoubtedly the lifeblood of your business. Keep them on a tight leash by setting a solid budget, tracking it down to the last penny, and investing wisely. Don’t get caught off guard: Have contingency plans ready in case unexpected expenses or setbacks arise.

In my early days as a new entrepreneur, I was cost neutral, overspending in some areas while neglecting others. Hiring an expert accountant and implementing a meticulous budgeting plan was a game-changer, steering my finances in the right direction.

Lesson 7: Don’t just be the boss, be kind to yourself.

Your business may be your heart and soul, but it shouldn’t be your downfall. Do not neglect yourself in your effort to build your empire. Maintain a healthy work-life balance, schedule breaks between work, and enjoy activities that make you happy.

When I started my business I was obsessed with work, a sure recipe for burnout. Incorporating a routine of breaks, self-care activities, and work-life balance has rejuvenated my productivity and given me the clarity of mind to effortlessly make crucial business decisions.

In short, entrepreneurship is a risky business, but by applying these unconventional lessons, you will face unforeseen circumstances. So prepare yourself, embrace the uncertainties and confidently pave the way to success.


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