So here are the first ten out of 100 Things I Would Tell a new business owner NOT to do.
Coming soon — my advice on how I would have done it better.
You’ll be happy if you …
1. don’t bring in full partners at first, you have options – operate as two (or more) entities and share billing and expenses. That way breaking up won’t be so hard to do.
2. don’t hire staff until you know what kind of person you really want and need – hire temps, hire outside contractors, keep a list of what you like
3. don’t sign a lease on a big office – start tiny. Growing is no big deal, sometimes in the same building and sometimes not, but changing your address is really not an issue
4. don’t get a web address and think you can always change it – this is one thing you need to get right at the beginning, or buy several and link them
5. ditto with a phone number – look for a provider that lets you choose a cool number, they are out there
6. don’t do anything without a letter of agreement or contract
7. don’t just sign a vendor contract – read the fine print, both sides and make copies for your files
8. don’t do a personal guarantee. Really never.
9. don’t mess with the bookkeeping – get QuickBooks, a CPA and hire a payroll service
* don’t skip the payroll service – for a very small monthly amount they do your payroll and take care of taxes, a big deal
10. The Big One — don’t forget yourself – all taxes should be paid first, and you next.
I promise it all works out.And of course make marketing a top priority – after all what good is your company if no one knows you exist?