Starting a digital business isn’t an overnight success, no matter how many different articles you read or podcasts you listen to that tell you otherwise. Like many other digital businesses’ I started with a laptop and a phone and no other capital investment.
After almost 10 years of running a successful digital marketing agency Talk, here are the top five key learnings that I wish I knew prior to starting a digital business.
The time investment
Be honest with yourself, things will not happen overnight. Don’t get caught up in the trapping of business success (the right office, car, lifestyle) and invest time into growing and building a sustainable operating business model. Sacrifices will need to be made.
Don’t get caught up in the chaos
Nothing good comes from rushing. The hustle is real. But take the opportunity to instil calm, direction and focus. If you don’t, it will only create a chaotic business.
It’s all about teamwork
You’ll grow faster and be more profitable if you identify the things you are the least good at and build a team around you. In the early days. Don’t outsource, but bring together like-minded individuals who share your vision and growth plan. You’ll get a better product or service that way instead of constantly fixing work that’s just not quite aligned.
Profit equals security
Make sure you are spinning a cash positive runway over fashionable business measurements like headcount or topline revenue growth. The more secure the business, the more you can support yourself and team members during the harder more unpredictable times.
Hone in on your priorities
Your number one priority should be people. Without supporting your people you are back to square one. Other areas of business can be negotiated (rent, products or services, clients) but your team is the key to success.
Bonus tip – Avoid long term, lock-in contracts. As a start-up, you will need to evolve and change rapidly.