12 Things to Consider when a Start-up
aturally, I would want to celebrate May Twenty’ birthday today. The company’ name is derived from our common birthdays with, my then, founding partner Emmanuelle. May Twenty went from being a concept to being a reality around this time last year so it makes double sense to party.
All through the company’ young existence, people & friends have helped me, I will never forget my early clients, my first internet order (not so long ago) or my first article in a magazine (thanks Richard). So far, I have only found extremely supportive people on my way and I know what I owe them.
Originally, I thought that creating a company would be like having a fourth child. In reality it’s very different, women are normally prepared to what is coming when giving birth. The first child is a bit of a surprise but friends and family (mothers) normally give a helping hand and much needed advice. When creating a company, hurdles to overcome are of a different nature but what is similar is the change one experiences in the first year of existence.
Over these past twelve months, I have realised twelve rules that worked for me;
- Spending is easy so spend wisely
- Never question Customer feedback (this being said isolated feedback doesn’t make a trend)
- Don’t trust deadlines especially when given by providers
- What can go wrong will go wrong so don’t take short cuts
- Be strict about the milestones you set yourself
- Breakeven is an elusive concept as one needs to keep on investing in the early days
- Don’t communicate too early, be a doer and not a talker
- Don’t resort to emailing when you get more valuable insight through a phone call
- Always have a set of questions ready, you would want answered, when meeting someone new
- Accept defeat and move-on. “Not taking “no” for an answer” is wrong as people are normally stubborn and that the energy spent convincing them could be better allocated elsewhere. Furthermore, people change their mind and eventually will revert back naturally
- Becoming an entrepreneur (albeit modest) is a challenge so understanding early what works for you is key (independent or partnership)
- When a start-up in the luxury segment one cannot compromise with quality
Over the coming months, new rules will emerge and some of the ones above will be dropped.
Till now, I am fortunate that I could remain true to my original concept (Bespoke Watch Straps) and that early days have confirmed that the perceived market is indeed a reality. I expect the concept to be twicked over the coming months / years but fundamentally I don’t foresee it changing.I’m thoroughly enjoying the ride and intend to keep you posted as to my progress as a young entrepreneur.
Have a great day,