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10 Things We Learned Starting Our New Business

December 2, 2012 · 33 comments

in Work

In case you have been wondering when I have been (or if you haven’t), I can now share what has been going on.

Early in the summer, funding was cut where I worked, and I found myself laid off.  At around the same time, my husband found himself disgruntled with his job.

So, since I was in the position of having a clean slate, and my husband had been contemplating a change for awhile, we decided to embark on creating our own consulting and employee placement company.  (We are up to 6 employees now!)

10 Things I Have Learned About Creating A Company

  1. It is a LOT of work.
  2. Possibilities can be overwhelming.  For example, finding office space can take awhile.  There is so much available office space where we live, which means there are a lot of choices.  Finding the ‘best’ option is difficult. Also, what is best at start up may be totally different than what is best 6 months down the road!
  3. Finding the right health/dental insurance can be a daunting task.  (Especially when finding the right plan for a whole company.)
  4. Networking is incredibly important!  In addition, it has proven that maintaining relationships throughout your career can be one of the best ways to invest your time.  You just never know when a person you worked with 10 years ago might need your help down the road.  It can be a very small world in some industries.
  5. ALWAYS consult professionals for things outside your area of expertise.  We have had to hire a  lawyer and a CPA, as one uninformed decision can have huge consequences.  (Especially when it comes to taxes!)
  6. Details matter, and can really take up your time.  (See point 4.)
  7. Each decision has a personal impact.  I have always been a conscientious employee, but I never felt like I had a direct impact on financials.  When it is your own equity though, it is totally different.
  8. I spend a lot of time researching.  Trying to locate the correct software, laptops and more at a great price takes time.
  9. You have to listen to the people that use the tools.  Functionality can matter a lot more than price!
  10. It is a lot more fun than working for someone else!
Since our company is still new, I know there will be a lot more learning along the way.  However, it is a fascinating experience, and invigorating.  The one point I cannot emphasize enough when starting your own business is to focus on what you know, and consult others for what you don’t know.  It is time consuming enough to get the ball rolling, it just doesn’t make sense to waste a lot of time trying to figure things out when others have the answers readily available.  Sure, hiring outside help will cost money, but if you can’t afford to do it right, it might be best to wait  a little while then to become self employed.
Got any lessons you would like to add?


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