Response to '20 Things Not to Do Before Starting A Business'

April 17, 2007

Posted in Small Business.

Dane Carlson posted an inflammatory (but well-intentioned) post about 20 Things Not to Do Before Starting A Business

My first reaction (a knee-jerk) was “what? are you crazy?!” But some of his suggestions are quite reasonable, and the overall effect is to caution early-stage entrepreneurs. Don’t go overboard with the business side of things – incorporating, advertising, equipment, etc. are all expenses that should come after you’ve decided your business will work.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of companies that start off incorporating and finding expensive office space only to realize they don’t have a product and can’t make any money. That situation results in a desperate race for revenue (or funding), which usually hurts the product and can kill the business off.

A smarter approach is to have a strategy (a business plan – yes, a 25 page formal document that nobody will ever read – no), a product or service that someone actually wants, and a way to keep expenses as low as possible for as long as possible. Some people do a feasibility study. Some people try a side business for a while before diving in full time.

Look before you leap, don’t put the cart before the horse, etc.

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