If you’re launching a product or project, get everything as much as possible before the launch date.
- Expect constant chaos.
- Planning makes life easier, but it’s never easy.
- There are simply too many unforeseeable things that may go wrong.
- Instead of fighting against the chaos, learn to channel it to your benefit.
- Order all relevant marketing materials beforehand, early enough to review them and reorder if they weren’t sufficient or accurate.
- Create a fully-functioning website, then have an email that directly uses that website’s URL.
- Make an extensive list of possible marketing and lead generation avenues.
At the onset, your job will involve ~20 small part-time jobs.
- Most small business work is solitary or with strangers:
- Eventually, you’ll be able to specialize more into what you like (or at least don’t mind), but you’ll do a little of everything at the beginning.
- To avoid burnout, try to separate personal and work activities.
- When you relax, you should enjoy your small bouts of time off and not think about work.
- Further, if you’re not financing, you must keep a day job until you can make enough to live on without harming operating activities.
Keep testing and using your own product.
- You can only stay in touch with the product as it develops if you use it yourself.
- Further, you can only sell your product well if you’re constantly becoming more familiar with it.
Watch for warning signs of being “busy” more than productive:
- Holding multiple meetings to decide what to do.
- Multiple people assigned to tasks one person can do.
- Focusing too much attention on irrelevant numbers (e.g., how many people contacted, how many checklist items completed).
- Frequently attending networking events with zero leads from the visit.
Avoid short-term thinking.
- It’s very easy to chase after heavy profit right now that sabotages long-term profit later.
Pay very close attention to where you’re getting all the attention and income.
- Treat every setback as an opportunity to change.
Sometimes you’ll have to redesign the business.
- Learn to capitalize on unexpected, small successes.
- Pivot everything to whatever creates the greatest returns.
For every product you provide, create a standardized contract for clients with the following:
- Warranty and return policy.
- If it’s connected to software at all, have a privileged user agreement.
- If you provide private information, have a non-disclosure agreement.
Unless you’re a substantially-sized organization, trying to sue for damages against suppliers is usually not worth the cost and time.
- Even for small claims, the work associated with civil cases is generally unpleasant, over a long period of time, and never guarantees remediation.
- A lawsuit threat may lead to negotiating a fair settlement, but it severs any future relationship with the supplier.
- If you do succeed at a lawsuit, you’ll have a reputation for suing against suppliers, and future suppliers will potentially be more distrusting of you.
Always keep multiple payment options available, along with multiple payment processors.
- Even if you need extra fees for processing, always offer cash and card payments.
- If your business is at all modern, use phone-based payment options (e.g., cryptocurrency, Cash App).
- You’re losing money every day a client can’t pay.
- Try to use a less-popular payment processor, since large-scale payment managers (e.g., PayPal, Stripe) will not prioritize you if something goes wrong on their end.
- If you’re charged different fees for different payment processors, consider adding the cost directly into the product itself.
Next: Scaling & Financing