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There is every chance you might have heard of some of these rules but then again how many of you have stuck by them?

Starting a business can be challenging at the best of times and without guidance from a Mentor or  someone who has been in business prior can set you back financially and emotionally.

It reminds me of a small parable I heard when watching The WestWing.

“This guy’s walking down the street when he falls in a hole. The walls are so steep he can’t get out.”A doctor passes by and the guy shouts up, ‘Hey you. Can you help me out?’ The doctor writes a prescription, throws it down in the hole and moves on.”Then a priest comes along and the guy shouts up, ‘Father, I’m down in this hole can you help me out?’ The priest writes out a prayer, throws it down in the hole and moves on”Then a friend walks by, ‘Hey, Joe, it’s me can you help me out?’ And the friend jumps in the hole. Our guy says, ‘Are you stupid? Now we’re both down here.’ The friend says, ‘Yeah, but I’ve been down here before and I know the way out.'”

So I guess the following rules/guidelines are going to show you how not to fall down a well.

  1. When starting a business don’t just start it because you want too. Make sure you know why you are starting it and make sure you know everything about the business before you start.
  2. If you have a predetermined end game don’t start the business.
  3. Hire people who are smarter than you and who will love working for the business not the wage.
  4. If you have a product in mind make sure there is enough demand for it. Without demand then you won’t sell enough.
  5. Choose the best to work with you. This will mean possibly paying them more but at the end of the day if they produce decent results or above average results then you are laughing.
  6. Don’t provide separate offices! Why well simple if you lock people away creative juices get locked away. An open plan office allows people to bounce off one another and will potentially allow more ideas to flow. Well thats the aim anyway.
  7. Don’t spend money you don’t have buying fancy new software. Since the introduction to cloud based services IT bills are down,  productivity is up. Switch to cloud based services because it allows an employee to work anywhere.
  8. Don’t waste money hiring a PR firm. Do everything in-house. Since social media can be taught using youtube then teach yourself. Some PR firms charge up to $2000 a week if not more. That money could be used to financing other avenues of your startup.
  9. Invest in a good mentor. This is our final rule! someone who will guide you along your path and someone who can act as a sounding board.

These rules/guidelines might seem basic but its the basic rules that help a startup succeed. When you start to achieve more goals and business starts to grow then you can start to spend money.