10 steps to startup success

Written by ProfitGuide

If you’d like to launch a company straight into the stratosphere (and who wouldn’t?), you’d have few better mentors than the 2003 PROFIT HOT 50.

These growth gurus have seen sales at their firms rise by an average of 842% in the past two years, despite economic and political turmoil. And their hard-won wisdom suggests that if you keep a handle on the basics, business success is closer than it seems.

Here are the 10 best pieces of startup advice from the CEOs of the PROFIT HOT 50, to be unveiled August 25, 2003.

  1. “Talk to a lot of others who have already done it, so you don’t make the same mistakes.”
  2. “Do not start a new business unless you can properly capitalize it from the outset. Invariably your projections, however conservative, can prove to be wrong. And without sufficient capitalization, you can fail.”
  3. “You really have to watch your spending. It’s very easy to get in over your head. Even when you do start making some money, you have to be able to save it for a rainy day.”
  4. “Make sure that if you’re chasing blue-sky potential, you’re also paying the bills with some more traditional operations or services.”
  5. “Know your strengths and weaknesses, and fill the gaps with people who are smarter or more talented than you. Don’t feel threatened by them.”
  6. “Don’t hire friends and family. They can help you at startup, but they’re usually not the people to get you to the next level.”
  7. “Make sure you have a product or service that meets an unmet need.”
  8. “Don’t underestimate your own capabilities. If you have confidence in your ideas, you can go toe-to-toe with the big guys.”
  9. “Watch your cash flow every day.”
  10. “Do something you know you want to do and enjoy doing, because you’re going to spend a lot of time doing it.”
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