Five things I wish I’d known before starting my business

1. It’s important to have life balance

In the early days growing a business can be all consuming and eat into your life in every respect. Lost weekends, late nights and early mornings take you away from your family and friends and before you know it life is passing you by. Plan ahead and structure time with family and friends. Schedule regular small breaks wherever can.

2. It’s hard to find good people

Startups often have a close kit team where everyone pitches in to do what they can. In the early days it’s all exciting and new and with less structure and less boundaries. As a business grows so does the team and the introduction of newcomers can unsettle the previous harmony. Office politics can disrupt, slow down progress and even destroy teams.

3. People will cheat and steal from you

Where there is cash and desirable products people will be tempted to steal. They will also steal time, services, supplies and customers. It is essential to build a culture and structure that deters theft. You can’t change people’s motives or justification for theft but you can manage the opportunity to do so with robust systems.

4. Keep good written records

I’ve always been a list maker and note taker and keeping written records has been something I’ve intuitively done. My journals are a complication of brainstorming, new ideas, lists of jobs and details of important conversations. They are also useful for tracking back project timelines, staff reviews and ensuring people follow through.

5. Be adaptable and open minded

The world is moving faster and faster so business survival depends on speed of adaption. The ways in which we do business are constantly changing so there is no room for old school and old style thinking. Businesses must be bible to adapt to the current financial environment, ever changing competition and customer expectation.