Starting a business is not an easy task, you need contacts, resources, time and above everything you need money. This last one is what throws most people off, they think that to start a business you a need million dollars. The fact of the matter is that is a lie that has been pushed down by media and big corporations because they are afraid of the your next billion dollar idea.
As a small business we have always struggled with cash flow and that was expected since we started out with 0 euros in our bank accounts and decided to start a business while being under the effect of quite a few pints. But today this changed, we have cash flow, business has picked up and we did very minimal investment. So how did we do it? What does it take for a business to pick up momentum and start making money?
Believe in your idea
A lot of people will be mean and will discourage you just because they don't know better or they are afraid of you. You will constantly hear; "Who do you think you are?" or "Not even Bill Gates could afford that idea" and to these kind of people I would say; "Well then I'm richer then Bill Gates" or "I'm Dylan from a humble town in Malta with a big idea". There will be times when you're idea is too out there and it will seem unrealistic however don't let it bring you down, it's better to tone down your idea after you gave it a shot rather then before. Believe in yourself and your idea. If you wake up every morning saying to yourself; "I'm a loser" you will be a loser but if you say "I'm going to work hard and I'm going to be a millionaire" chances are that an opportunity will come for you to make that million.
Business is all about risks. Donald Trump, one of the biggest business man in the world likes to say; "Think big or go home" or another good one is "Always shoot for the fences". He uses these phrases because he acknowledges the fact that every business has to take risks and most of the time big risks equal big rewards. If you want 5 euros a month from your business then don't take risks you can make that easily, but if you want to make the illusive million or maybe even a billion and who knows maybe you'll be the first to reach that trillion... You must take risks. However here's a word of advice before jumping off that cliff, take your parachute with you. Don't take risks that can cripple you or your business in a such a way that you will never regain from that loss. Be ready to loose that investment but believe in that investment.
Do it yourself
If you're just starting out don't go out and hire the best crew to do everything for you. If you know how to do it or maybe just have a small idea on how it should be done, try it out. At the end of the day if it fails you have only lost some time and gained some knowledge in the process. We still do this today. I Dylan as owner of this company still run, manage, negotiate and even develop the sites. I can definitely afford a freelancer and just put a % on top of his / her fee however I don't think it's necessary yet.
One of the mistakes most small business owners do is they trust too much! We trust in our clients a lot, we provide to our clients as if they were family however that doesn't mean we don't cover our behinds in the case somebody abuses of our trust. Before every project we have the client sign a contract stating all the things we will do for them and what they have to care of. From there we start building this trust but only then, not a second before.
Outsource the best
This is very contradictory to the do it yourself point but it makes a lot of sense. You do want to do a lot of the jobs yourself but you need to admit that you cannot do everything, when you have to outsource some jobs make sure you get the best in the market. Don't go to the first corner store to buy your paint but have a look at what the biggest paint chain has to offer. Big business will usually charge more then small business but most of the time their product comes with a guarantee and you can keep them liable for their products. This is one of the things that puts us out of the small business world, we do offer guarantees with our products and we do stand behind it 100%, but most of the corner shops will not be able to do that.
Get your message out there
You have decided to go with your idea, everything is in place now it's time to start reaching out and making sure your product is taking the amount of attention it deserves. Here is where I advice outsourcing, I highly recommend not to do your own marketing even if you're the marketing guru in your country. Marketing your own product is very hard and will usually lead to a lot of unnecessary technical information relayed to your consumers. Also we found out that when we used to do our own marketing we had the tendency to focus on most minor details but forgot the bigger picture.
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