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Five idiot-proof tips for startup success


Let’s face it: entering the world of entrepreneurship is like welcoming a giant mirror into your life, one that reflects every emotional deficiency, criticism and short coming imaginable. It is also the door way to freedom, self discovery, and transformation.

Here are five idiot-proof tips to help ensure that when you do make the plunge, there is more swimming then sinking!

1. Get customers before-hand

One does not set up a market stall if there is no market in town! Before spending time and money undertake research to ensure there is a genuine need for your product or service. When possible generate pre-orders or sign up customers before launching.

2. Go a little bit extra

Perform above and beyond normal expectation in your endeavour and see customer appreciation and referrals soar. By over performing rather than over selling you create what I call a ‘grace bank’: room for honest mistakes or error when genuine mishaps occur.

3. Look at scalability

I was fortunate to discover and perfect a niche market in car cleaning coming out of school. I earned $50 an hour and quickly went from nothing to $80,000 a year on a few hundred dollars overhead.

The problem? With taxes and insurance and other red tape factored in I couldn’t make sustainable profit off employees and was largely limited to my own ability to trade hours for dollars. Look at a scalable business model if you want to grow, yet if you’re happy being a sole trader and love what you do then you’re already onto tip 4.

4. Be you, love what you do

We are made to be unique with a role that only you can play. Develop your business not by copying other individuals or models but unashamedly extending your personality, passion and acumen to your enterprise.

Ask questions, disrupt, and differentiate! Love your work and your work (and customers) will love you. When road blocks hit it is your individual passion that will carry you through.

5. Be a light

I got burned from thousands of dollars starting out because I naively trusted untrustworthy people. It can be a corrupt world and we must be on guard.

With that stated, it is always honourable to think the best of people whilst exercising cautionary wisdom: be discerning, not cynical. Wonderfully, it is in the darkest places that we can shine brightest and entrepreneurship is a rare platform to take up – so light the torch and let it shine brightly!

Craig Merrett is a serial entrepreneur from Adelaide, South Australia. Along with co-founder Dan Clarady, The duo are revolutionising the home service industry with tech site bookah.com.au.