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The Joy of Enterprise Management Incentives
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Nine things first-time founders need to hear

Nine things first-time founders need to hear

Table of Contents

Last updated: 28 March 2024.

Entrepreneurial spirit is at an all-time high. One in seven people plan to become entrepreneurs according to NatWest's Global Entrepreneurship Report

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 AMA series, 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.

Solid pieces of advice for startups

1. Kyle C Grant, founder of Oxwash

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

2. Nick Aldrich, founder of Only The Brave

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

3. 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!

4. Jan Cavelle, author and experienced entrepreneur

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

5. 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.

6. 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.

7. 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.

8. 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.

9. 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! For more learnings, check out our collection of interviews, case studies and founder stories.

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