1 August 2019
Growing a startup is far from easy. You’re low on resource, burning the candle at both ends and under enormous pressure to make it work. I remember feeling like UKFast was my last chance to make a career as an entrepreneur work. I was 30 and struggling to find what I really wanted to do.
As soon as we started the business, the pressure only increased. At several points I struggled to pay my mortgage and didn’t have the money to eat a proper meal once the business’s bills were paid.
That being said, there is nothing like the excitement of that startup phase. You can make changes in an instant, you’re more agile and creative than ever because you have to be. That startup energy is unbeatable and irreplicable.
Here are six lessons that I have learned along that startup journey, that I hope will ease the more challenging parts of setting up and growing a business. I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
I firmly believe that if you write a goal down, there’s nothing that will stop you from achieving it. How can you aim for success if you don’t really know what that looks like to you, or why you are doing it? Setting goals makes an intangible dream tangible.
Focus is essential. There’s no point in setting a goal if you aren’t focused on achieving it. It is easy to become distracted by what your logo looks like or how cool your office is. Instead, you need to be focussed on exactly what your business needs to grow to the next level.
You don’t need huge amounts of funding to create a business. It seems to be a trend at the moment to pitch for funding in the extremely early days of a business, but often it is unnecessary. Tighten the pursestrings and see what you can achieve on your own before you give away swathes of your business for investment that you could potentially manage without.
Follow your heart, not your competitors
How can you be different if you’re just following what your competitors do? Yes, keep an eye on them, but don’t let that become your focus. Instead, invest that energy into working out how you can innovate and create new ideas for the market, rather than constantly being on the back foot and copying your competition.
I believe that we meet people for a reason; whether we know that reason at the time or not. You never know who you may cross paths with later down the line, whose help you may need or who may need your help. Make friends and make a million of them! My friends became my first customers in my first business, and continue to be customers at UKFast today.
Take time for yourself
Last but by no means least, it is essential to stop. Pause, step back, take time for yourself. Whether that’s with a holiday, or taking time out three times a week to go for a run, to sit and read a book. You can’t run a healthy business if you are not healthy yourself.