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Seven things first-time founders should avoid

Seven things first-time founders should avoid

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Last updated: 28 March 2024.

Are you thinking of launching a business? There are a few things you should know first. But rather than listen to us, we thought we’d share the best advice from founders across very different spheres.

If you followed our series, The Business Pharmacy, you’ll know that we asked a bunch of successful entrepreneurs to share their ‘prescription’ for prosperity. 

As well as telling us what works, they also told us what they try to avoid where possible, in the hope that they can prevent others from finding themselves in a tricky situation.

From hiring to timing, at least one nugget of wisdom is sure to resonate.

Seven tips for first-time founders

1. Trust your instincts

Andrew Scott, co-founder of 7percent Ventures:

Avoid taking money from, or hiring, anyone whose gut tells you, "There's something not right". I've found my gut can be wrong about many things, but almost never people.

2. Avoid wishful thinking

Ingars Zagorskis, Ivars Sudmalis and Ivars Mirošnikovs, founders of PrintOnPack.com:

It's important to aim big and trust your intuition, but you also have to be critical of yourself and trust data over your personal beliefs and assumptions.

3. Timing matters

Greg Lavery, MD at Rype Office:

I know this is difficult to do, but in the past, I have worked in (and started) businesses that were way ahead of their time; they did not thrive.

4. Take time out

Lucy Gordon, founder of From Our Cellar:

Avoid STRESS! Stressing doesn’t get you anywhere, other than being more stressed. So, when you feel stress or anxiety coming on, take a break.

5. Communicate well

Matt Fox, founder of Snaptrip Group:

The one thing that many businesses tend to do is be opaque or rather not being openly communicative which can lead to gossip and mistrust. We’re incredibly transparent with almost all of the information at the company, from trading to our strategic plans.

6. Don't let self-doubt set in

Nicola Good, COO and co-founder of That Works For Me:

It happens to the best of us, but try not to let it take over.

7. Take no one for granted

Rita Trehan, founder and CEO of DARE Worldwide:

Avoid forgetting the people around you, the people that matter – which can happen if you’re working too hard.

Launching a new business is no mean feat. There will always be bumps along the way, but hopefully, this list helps you swerve one or two at least.

From co-founder prenups to company admin, Vestd's suite of tools can help you build solid foundations for future success.

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