Thinking about buying a Business?

10 Lessons I learned the hard way – don’t make these mistakes

I have been in business now for many years, and over those years I have started many new ventures. I’ve experienced success, and have also had some spectacular failures! I often think back to those early days in business, and ponder what would have happened if I knew back then what I know now. I would like to share with you 10 lessons that I wish I had known before I started. So here we go:

Lesson 10. It is going to be hard. Very hard. But…

If you love what you do, and go into business for the right reasons, then the rewards can be significant! Don’t ever get into business for the sake of making lots of money, because that is almost always going to lead to failure.

Lesson 9. What is a simple business?

There is no such thing as a simple business! Don’t be fooled by ‘simple sounding’ ideas. All businesses have complexities which can trip up the unprepared business owner.

Lesson 8. Winning Strategy

Business plan + Marketing Strategy + Financial Spreadsheets + Money Management = Winning combination. Using these tools, you significantly improve your chances for long term business success. Don’t use them and you may as well put on a blindfold.

Lesson 7. Business Partners can make or break a business.

It is important that you understand that in reality you will end up spending more time with your business partner than your life partner; be it a girlfriend, boyfriend, husband or wife. It is essential that you have an excellent working relationship which is open, transparent and built on honesty and constant open communication. Without the right person and the right attitude towards the relationship, you will hit rock bottom pretty fast!

Lesson 6. Confidence is a pre-requisite!

Confidence gives you an air of authority, which in turn helps build trust and helps convince your prospect to buy from your business. And so I ask you this: At the end of the day, if you are not confident in yourself, your abilities or your business, why should your customers have confidence in you, your abilities or your business? And once a customer has a seed of doubt in their mind, guess what they will do? Shop around and compare you to others! So be confident. Just make sure you keep confidence in check and you don’t go overboard!

Lesson 5. You must have profit margins 

A business without profit margins is a charity at best. And a business where paper clips have to be counted to maintain profitability is questionable in its viability. So this is lesson number 5 – if you are going to build a business, then build one with decent margins so you can grow and prosper without the constant stress and anxiety that accompany poor margins.

Lesson 4. Potential income does not equal real money. “Cash is king”

Have you ever heard the saying ‘cash is king’? Do you know what that saying means? You would be amazed how few business owners understand the true power of this fact. Without real cash sitting in your bank account your business will go absolutely nowhere.

Lesson 3. Build relationships with customers

Without customers you have no business. So treat everyone with respect and courtesy, and you may end up finding your customers becoming your unofficial sales reps, sending you so much work that you don’t ever have to do any marketing!

Lesson 2. You will fail – So embrace failure 

At some point in business (and in life) you will fail badly at something. There is nothing wrong with failure – provided you learn from your mistakes and you don’t keep repeating them time and again! In fact, my personal motto is testament to this belief: ‘Success is the product of one’s ability to learn from failure’

Lesson 1. Become a doer.

Become someone for whom the word procrastination is non-existent. Become the person who does as they say; who pushes forward day in, day out, maintaining high activity levels even when things are tough, and not sitting back and resting when the momentum kicks in and the business really takes off. And trust me, if you become a doer, the momentum will eventually kick in. It’s inevitable. And when it does, just make sure you keep doing! Benchmark Business Sales and Valuations provides a free E-Book “12 Tips for Buying a Business” – simply download it on the website: Contact Benchmark Business Sales and Valuations on 1300 366 521 if you are thinking of buying a Business and speak to the Specialists in the industry.

Peter Spinda
Business Strategist and Digital Transformation Specialist

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