Pre-revenue start ups come with a lot of surprise costs. A lot of those costs are in attorney and accountant fees which are critical to the foundation of your company. It will save you a lot of money later on to hire good council and a knowledgable accountant. So, even though you've been eyeballing that $3000 computer, wait until you know what other expenses you might incur that you need more. If your old desktop does the trick for now, use it until you need to upgrade.
I bought a used computer, huge office desk with two hutches, printer, lamps, office chairs, and leather bench/couch for the sitting area all for $1000 by regularly and randomly viewing kijiji. My office looks amazing and it cost me less than most people spend on just one of those items.
JOIN PROFESSIONAL NETWORKS
There are so many resources, many free for the budding entrepreneur. If you put a bit of time into reseraching what is available to you, it will shock you how much help and support there is out there for you and your business. It could be a government funded organization or a breakfast club with other networking professionals. It will be worthwhile to put yourself out there with other like-minded profesisonals.
RESEARCH FEES OF THE PROFESSIONALS YOU ARE HIRING
It will serve you well to get several quotes, whether you think you have found the best person for the job or not. Be aware of what other professionals are charging so that you can understand fee schedules and whether you are paying a reasonable fee for the work you are receiving. Pay your bills to these professionals promptly. If they have to chase you down for their money, it is likely to affect how far above and beyond they will go for you.
TREAT EVERY EMPLOYEE WITH RESPECT
It's amazing in this world we live in how obvious this is, yet how many employees feel undervalued. If you give people unreasonable tasks with their time, mistakes will become more of a concern, as will the dedication of your workers to your company.
GOOGLE EVERYONE YOU HAVE OR WILL CONNECT WITH
We live in the age where information is at your fingertips. Thoroughly research every lead you are given before you blindly jump at what you think is an opportunity. It might be the best opportunity of your life, or it could be all a bunch of hooey. If you are diligent about researching your leads, you will find yourself saving a lot of time, resources and money in the long run. It also never hurts to show that you are proactive and know a little bit about who you are dealing with.
As I get deeper and deeper into the entrepreneurial lifestyle, I have less time to spend on connections that will not come to fruition, although there are times where it is just nice to meet people whether it's a business connection or just simply for pleasure. Don't lose sight of the simple pleasure of meeting interesting characters in your journey.
RELY ON YOUR OWN NETWORKING
Don't wait around for the perfect introduction by your contacts. Go get them. Seize moments and introduce yourself. You can have hundreds of connections go nowhere. You only need a few key connections to make your business soar. I have learned to not get overly excited when someone tells me they have the best connection in the world for me. Those "connections" rarely pan out.
I have learned to be grateful that people want to help me, even if the connection is not a fit. Having people want to connect even to connections that don't match is a good problem to have. It means you have support of the people surrounding you and that is a gift.
I find it's best to seek out relationships with people you have researched yourself. In my case, I found a huge distributor to partner with. It is an entrepreneurs dream for this to happen, but it happened because I found it myself. You have to open your own doors. There is also a very huge satisfaction in "getting there" on your own.
RELY ON YOUR OWN GUT
Do not allow people to pressure you into making decisions that are not a part of your vision, or that change or alter your vision. Only you know your vision. Be strong and keep your course. You most likely have this venture planned in your mind years down the road. So, be grateful for advice and let the "advisors" know that you will take their kind suggestions into consideration. I'm learning to not just tell people no. Noone likes their advice to be tossed out. So a simple acknowledgement usually does the trick.
MAKE STRATEGIC CHOICES IN HIRING
Where you are lacking in expertise, don't cheap out on hiring the professionals in that discipline to do a top notch job for you. They are worth every dime spent. The job will be done well and will take a lot of stress out of your life. While you are working with these professionals, ask them questions. Learn about what it is that they do. Which brings me to:
KNOW EVERYTHING ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS!!!!!
You should know everything about your business. Don't be afraid to ask questions. You are the one paying for goods and services. I hired a mechanical designer and we sit together at my office and he works side by side with me. I watch what he does. He informs me of why we need to make certain changes and I get it. I understand every little piece of geometry in my product and how ling thing take to make and edit in a 3D software program.
I have arranged to be at the plant where my product is to be manufactured so that I can actually experience working on the press, pulling parts and watching them come to life. I hate book keeping, so I hired someone for that but I still look at the books daily to make sure I know how it all works before we go to market and it becomes more complex. It's much easier to learn as you go rather than when it's overwhelming.