7 things first-time founders should avoid

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 with you and your new business.

7 things to avoid as a first-time founder

1. Dismissing your instincts

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.

- Andrew Scott, co-founder of 7percent Ventures.

2. Wishful thinking

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

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

3. Bad timing

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.

- Greg Lavery, MD at Rype Office.

4. Not taking time out

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.

- Lucy Gordon, founder of From Our Cellar.

5. Poor communication

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. 

Now, obviously, not everything can be shared with everybody but the team understands that, and cultivating that level of trust is important to us.

Matt Fox, founder of Snaptrip Group.

6. Self-doubt

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

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

7. Taking people for granted

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

- Rita Trehan, founder and CEO of DARE Worldwide.

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.

We'd like to take this opportunity to thank all founders once again for their contributions. If you'd like to contribute to our #FounderStories series, please get in touch.