9 things first-time founders need to hear

Entrepreneurial spirit is at an all-time high. One in seven people now plan to become entrepreneurs, according to NatWest's Global Entrepreneurship Report. That's up 50% from last year.

Launching a startup is life-changing. It’s no mean feat, and it's likely that, if you’re thinking about it, then you're probably searching the web for advice from those who have done exactly that.

As part of our ongoing #FounderStories, we ask founders to share their perspectives on the highs and lows of entrepreneurship and cover all kinds of topics, from company culture to remote working. 

One question we often ask is:

If you were going to invest in a startup business, and you could only give one piece of advice to the team running that company, what would it be?

We asked our Twitter followers too.

We collected the best answers to share with first-time founders and their teams. Read on for nine nuggets of wisdom from successful entrepreneurs and business mentors themselves.

9 solid pieces of advice for startups

Kyle C Grant, founder of Oxwash

"Make mistakes and don’t hold back on jumping right outside the box."

Nick Aldrich, founder of Only The Brave

"Be aligned in your personal objectives before you align the business objectives."

Hayley Brightmore, founder of Knight Transaction Services

"Make sure there is a market for your product, a passionate team and a well thought out business plan!"

Jan Cavelle, author and experienced entrepreneur

"Enjoy it - life's too short to do it otherwise."

Mhairi Cochrane, founder of Flocowear (formerly Lilypads)

"Mission and purpose will be the thing which keeps you going. If you do not have a clear ‘why’ then it will likely fail. This is your own business so make it what you want it to be."

Christina MacLeod, founder of Edinburgh Women in Space

"Definitely spend some time building up a good, trustworthy team around you. Keep track of the different types of personalities, who is better at leading others, and who is best at sorting out problems that arise.

It is also important that your advisory board and investors understand why you are doing what you are doing."

Ben Harper, founder of Meet Hugo

"Just do it - it’s very easy to fall into the trap of planning everything, talking about things for a long time, and never getting anything real done. Try things, fail fast, and find out what works for you."

Julia Nesterets, founder of JetOctopus

"When you enter the market with high competition, just build dramatically better products, better solutions and don’t be afraid to show off."

Philip Wattis, startup CTO and mentor

"What you think your customers want is probably wrong. Be ready to adapt, survive and thrive."

A big thanks to everyone for their excellent advice. First-time founders, take note!