Went to a great talk on Entrepreneurship by Steve Berry (of Waterbridge Capital) last night in Soho. Highly recommended.
A brief summary of 10 key tips he mentioned (amongst others) for launching a start-up:
1. The idea is not everything. Timing, execution and people are more important. A good team with a bad idea is better than a bad team with a good idea.
2. Find the quickest way to Plan B (or Plan C). Very very few business have ever succeeded with Plan A. If you have a good team, you’ll get to plan B or C quickly and it will work out.
3. Don’t be afraid to give away share. If you need help, especially if you’re entering a sector you’re not familiar with, get help from someone who does. But make sure they will deliver something real.
4. Beware of Accountants. They can find ways get around contracts/NDAs/trust and they can out-bid you for your own project. Be wary of it, but then again, don’t obsess about it.
5. The short-term property lease. Pay premium if you have to, but don’t go long term. Most of the dotcom failures over-extended themselves becuase of long-term leases. Landlords don’t do deals.
6. Don’t be the only investor. If the company needs cash, “You Are It” and you’ll keep adding in more and get sucked in.
7. Get a mentor & Network. A good mentor, and networking saves a lot of money in getting your business off the ground. Make sure you bring something to give, you’re much more likely to get something back.
8. You are the sales team. Don’t hire a sales team, you and other investors/execs need to do this yourself.
9. No second chances. If someone messes up, show’s weakness in character, or betrways trust…get rid of them.
10. Find your comfort zone. In terms of business types, sectors and risk levels. You’ll have a far higher success rate.