Saturday, October 11, 2008

The Ten Commandments Of Startups

God doesn’t have much to say about small business—maybe He’s too busy watching where the Mail Streets and Wall Streets are heading? However, applying these ten commandments of startups could help entrepreneurs avoid certain financial death.

  1. Thou Shalt Not Set Up Shop in a Bad Location
  2. Bad locations are usually the most common reason for startup failure. In fact, some successful businesses are willing to relocate their once thriving store if there is a significant change in the local community.

  3. Thou Shalt Not Create a Market That Doesn’t Exist
  4. This could imply literally creating an untested, unproven market or choosing a marginal niche that is much too costly to compete in. When you decide to go niche just to avoid competition, you may as well just surrender to the Philistines.

  5. Thou Shalt Not Make an Imitation of Anything Already Existing

    There’s a big difference between imitating a successful company or product and improving upon a successful company or product. Imitating will only get you so far—improving upon a successful product could make your company great.

  6. Thou Shalt Not Hire a Poor Staff

    Your employees represent you and your company. Hire technically incompetent or personably awful workers and you will regret it.

  7. Thou Shalt Not Dilly Dally Around

    One of the least discussed reasons for startup failure is slowness in launching. If you succeed at creating new interest in your service or product you must follow up that interest immediately or it will be lost as the months fly by.

  8. Thou Shalt Not Abandon Thy Capital

    A lack of capital is usually counted as the most contributing cause to new business failures. Know that most successful startups require extra funding at some point; have you made those plans well in advance of the company opening?

  9. Thou Shalt Not Be Wasteful

    Another common reason for business failure is due to excessive spending. While it’s true you can count most of these expenses as a tax deduction, it’s also true that you need to control these expenditures until you get out of the red.

  10. Thou Shalt Not Be Distracted by Thy Neighbor’s Anything

    If you are distracted with everyday life or worse yet, working two or more jobs, then your startup may be a disaster waiting to happen. Most successful business owners have had to put all their efforts into the new business, putting secondary jobs and family drama on hold.

  11. Thou Shalt Not Be Stubborn Like Pharaoh

    Remember Pharaoh of Egypt? (He looked sort of like Yul Brynner) Just remember that stubborn adherence to your own vision may not be the wisest move in business. If your company is to survive, it must adapt to the market around you. Following your vision through and dispensing with logic and the advice of others will make you a legend…in your own mind.

  12. Thou Shalt Not Give Up Faith

    While you must remain adaptable to your surroundings, your personal perseverance is the most important quality. Without your efforts, the company will not survive no matter how brilliant the master plan. You are your company and owe it yourself to give 100%.


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