For first-time entrepreneurs trying to build their businesses from the ground up, a lot can go wrong. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, you might be tempted to glean some wisdom from the Internet. Taken on a case-by-case basis, this is an okay research method, but it can also be easy to fall victim to information overload.
That’s why learning how to see through the clutter is a valuable skill for any entrepreneur to learn early on. Knowing this, and perhaps to ease guilt of being “part of the problem,” Inc.’s Brian Hamilton offers a refreshing break from all of that with this list of things entrepreneurs shouldn’t worry about as their build their businesses from scratch:
1. Don’t Count Until There’s Something to Count
For most startups, there is nothing to count in the beginning. There will be expenses and (hopefully) a checking account, but you’re probably a way off from real revenue. That doesn’t mean stop using common sense: keep track of your expenses with a simple checkbook balance system. What it does mean is you shouldn’t be worrying about profit-loss statements right from the start.
2. You Don’t Need an Office
Sure, offices are nice and have their perks, but they can also be expensive (Hamilton even goes so far as to say they’re overrated). Success stories of startups built in someone’s kitchen abound, so why clutter up your already tight budget with unnecessary overhead? It’s better to wait until you absolutely have to.
3. You Don’t Need a “Management Team”
The same principle applies here: building out your executive team comes after you’ve secured proof of concept for your business model and an underlying structure to support those extra layers of leadership. Also, consider this great point from Hamilton:
One big misconception is that all businesses will grow rapidly. Very few companies experience rapid, Inc. 5000-esque growth within the first few years. Adding layers of management (and the expensive titles that accompany these layers) is one of the biggest mistakes that entrepreneurs make in the early stages of their business.
4. You Don’t Need Insurance
Again, focus on growing your business and learning about the industry. With a few exceptions, insurance should not be at the top of your priority list early on.
5. You Don’t Need to be Incorporated
Incorporation is something you do when you want to separate your business liabilities from your personal ones. This is a point that will take a while to reach, and when you do, you’ll want to make sure you can afford a lawyer to help you navigate through the intricacies of incorporation.
The bottom line, it seems, is to worry about building a great business and a great product before getting tied up in the details and vanity items. Offices and managers will come with time, and when they do, they’ll bring new complexities with them that you hadn’t considered before. So take your time, enjoy the ride, and stay focused on the big picture. If you do, the rest will fall into place.
Photo Credit: Jon Moe via Flickr