When it comes to seeking advice on starting and running your own business it’s hard to work your way through the jungle of information from books, bloggers, videos and advice from family and friends.
What can cut through the entangled vines of WTF are honest and authentic gems from fellow female entrepreneurs.
When I posted in my facebook group for startup advice plenty of savvy, experienced, keyboard tapping women swung into action. Here’s what they said.
''Work on building your email list from the day you start your business”.
"Believe in yourself, reach out to people you trust, know the journey can be up and down, it's all part of it - how much do you believe in your ideas is the ultimate test. Surround yourself with good people who can mentor, support and guide you when you need it. Follow your gut - it's always right."
“Apple wasn't built in a day' success seems like a quick win, instantaneous and within reach. But one must always remember, it is a slow burn, with constant hurdles, setbacks and dead-ends. So pace yourself to not burn out!”
"Design your business around the life you want and make sure your life plan and business plan align. One should support the other. This will ensure that on hard days, your passion will pull you through, as it's not just about the profit, but also about the purpose."
"Bite off more than you can chew - then chew like hell!"
"Know your limits and get help when you need it. Bootstrap what you can, but as soon as you hit something that is significantly outside of your wheelhouse, bring in the expertise you need to keep the business moving forward. For me it was a bookkeeper — I was going one step forwards and three steps back until I brought in the expertise the business needed."
“Remember your reason why you started! It will help pull you through tough days, and keep the fire in your belly to keep going!
“Release the fear and embrace the challenge. Too many people give up on their business out of fear of failing. Its ok to fail! the main thing is to get back up and try again and again until you succeed! And do what makes you happy!”
“For service based startups make sure you are solving a problem that really exists - otherwise you don't have a business.”
“Always focus on WHY you are providing a service/product, rather than your method of providing it. Things are constantly coming in and out of fashion, so if you focus on your method you could easily fail within a few months when something else comes along that's popular. Focusing on your WHY lets you be flexible with your method, so you can adapt and change as the trends do! Your WHY is everything, and is the reason you do what you do. Without a why it's easy to get sidetracked with other projects or opportunities. If you know why you are doing things, when opportunities come along all you have to do is ask 'does this fit with my why' and you'll know the answer!”
“Don't tell too many people too much about what you're doing or how the business is going. Our fear of failure mostly comes from how we perceive others will think of us if we fail. I've learnt to give this snappy answer when people ask how my business is going and it says so much by saying very little "It's gaining traction"!!!”
“Do trade mark checks BEFORE you settle on a business name and get advice to make sure that your business name is capable of being protected by a trade mark so you're not left vulnerable down the road”!
“Don't be afraid to take that leap, to create your dream and make it into a reality. You'd be surprised at how many people have been waiting for your product/idea to come into fruition”
“Do your numbers! Blood, sweat and tears doesn't equate to a profit margin just because you are stubborn and think it will. Make sure you set your prices correctly from the start so you are making a profit. Your business can't grow on will power and no money!”
“Do your research. You need to make sure you have a product or service that people want. Interview as many people as you can, ask lots of questions. Once you know that what you have to offer is wanted and needed, start! Start before you feel ready. Push through the fear and just do it. Learn as you go, and enjoy the rollercoaster ahead”
"Don't ever underestimate the power of setbacks and rejections. They are shaping you, forcing you to restrategise, evolve and moulding your business into a trailblazer. I faced a lot of intial set backs, but I was quick to move fast and make flexible changes, resulting in my startup - Keeko - amassing daily online sales, securing lucrative media placement, attracting a tribe of loyal customers and being stocked in over 150+ stores worldwide, within only 8 months since launch. Failure isn't the end. It's just the beginning!"
Melissa is the Founder of The LightBulb Lounge and is an active member of Australia's startup community. She runs events and coaches teens and adults on how to get their ideas out of their head and pitch them.