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Tips on becoming a successful startup owner (Part 1)

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So you have a business idea in mind and you’ve decided to pursue it. Great! We’re going to assume you’ve taken into consideration the hard work and tedious grind it is going to take to make this business a success. Kiss your social life goodbye and make sure you’re prepared for many sleepless nights as it’s all a part of the entrepreneurial life. All of this may sound intimidating but if done properly it will be well worth it in the long run.

Together the needls founders have over 45 years experience as entrepreneurs and have been through a lot of ups and downs together so they’ve put together a list of tips that other entrepreneurs may find useful on their road to success.

Passion. Eat, drink and sleep it
Your business should be on your mind majority of the time, ideally this isn’t something you consciously need to do. If you’re passionate about your idea this will happen naturally and it’s a good thing. Some of your best ideas may come to you when you’re watching a movie and something relates to your business or when you’re in the bathroom (hey, you know it’s true!). Talk to your friends and family, they’re outside of your head so if they get your idea then you know you’re on to something. Your idea should be clear and concise, you’ll get better talking about it the more you do so get out there and show your passion.

Don’t listen to naysayers
There are going to be so many people that will try to tear you down and tell you that your idea has no legs, and when pitching your idea you’ll get a thousand NOs before you get one YES and that’s okay. If you continue to push on you’ll have a better chance of avoiding the trough of sorrow (the period of time where a person starts to doubt their business idea and abilities).

Do listen to the market
Once you have a plan in place and you have a pretty good grasp of your pitch start getting market feedback. Get your product out there as soon as possible and ask for feedback from your ideal customers and other leaders in your market, take their comments into consideration and iterate.

Know every small detail about your biz
Nobody can know your business better than you, and you can’t expect them to. You need to think of as many questions people can may ask you and have a planned answer for each that way you’re always on the ball.

Try to be an extrovert
We aren’t saying that you won’t be a successful business owner if you’re an introvert, but you’ll definitely have an easier time if you enjoy meeting new people and have no problem being the centre of attention. When you go to networking events you need to make it your goal to meet as many people as you can and preach your product. These types of events are where many entrepreneurs meet future business partners, mentors and friends.

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Hire a team that shows real interest in your business
Your team will become your family so make sure you start with a solid foundation when you begin to hire. Your team should truly be interested in your business and understand the brand, when everyone is on the same page and has similar goals in mind it makes the entire work atmosphere better. If you hire people who have no interest in your business and are just there to collect a paycheque they most likely won’t last long which means you’ll constantly be going through the hiring and firing process.

Fill your knowledge gap
Not only should you hire a passionate team but you should be looking to fill the areas where you lack knowledge with people who have a lot of experience in the area and who can grow into leaders as the business grows. It all adds to the solid foundation you need to build.

Take advantage of social media
Your social media accounts go hand-in-hand with your marketing initiatives. If someone hears about a business the first couple of things they will probably do are look for a website and check them out on social media because they want to know the business is real and having social accounts add validity. They’ll be looking for testimonials from previous customers, images of your product and service and maybe looking for some personal info about the business’ team. Try to have an account on the three main platforms (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) and make sure you stay on top of any customer interactions you might get.

There are dozens of tips we could give you that might put you on a more straight path to success but the bumps and hiccups are what mold some of the best entrepreneurs and will make you appreciate the success so much more.

P.S. Remember as the CEO/President/Founder your job is to be the janitor! Your main task will be picking up all the s**t when it needs cleaning up so embrace it.

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