Work hard, be passionate about what you do and find a niche market. These are just some of the things PROFIT 500 entrepreneurs would tell anyone who’s thinking of starting their own business. Other advice from those on the list: do your homework before taking the plunge, and don’t be afraid to change course if things aren’t working out as planned. Adaptability is a sign of strength.
Respondents also talked about the importance of being cash flow positive as soon as possible, and having enough liquidity on hand when a business is founded. It’s one thing to be passionate about what you’re doing, but passion in and of itself doesn’t pay the overhead.
Below, check out some of the advice the Profit 500 have for would-be startups.
“Cash management is the most important. Sales comes before operations. Don’t build it and hope they’ll come, sell it, then build it. Don’t be scared of your bank. They are necessarily your friend, but delivery bad news to them in an open and timely manner and you can mitigate the risk.”
—Audability, Andrew Turner, CEO
“Persistence and surrounding yourself with like minded, hard working and dedicated people.”
—HighVail Systems, Bradley Brodkin, CEO
“Invest in your culture from day one. Build the business with vision and passion and make sure your team has fun every day.”
—HRdownloads, Anthony Boyle, CEO
“Plan to work hard, and don’t expect anything from anyone.”
—ProjectLine Solutions, Darrell McClarty, CEO
These tips are just a small flavour of what’s in the full PROFIT 500 guide. For the complete list of companies that made the cut, check out this link. The whole PROFIT 500 package can be accessed here, and includes rankings, profiles and comments from keynote speaker Amber MacArthur and panelists such as Kirstine Stewart and Harley Finkelstein from Shopify.