My Start Up -- What I Have Learnt So Far...

By Rob  |  13 Mar 2012, 09:00am  |  Category: General

Well it's been 7 months now since I quit my job with the aim of setting up my own business. So I thought it about time I share my thoughts on what has happened and what I have learnt.

Let's start with the Bad. Don't worry there isn't too much here... 

Well, to begin, cashflow has been a problem. Which means I've swung quickly and regularly between wealth and 'poverty'. I'm still not use to this and I would advise those who enjoy security and stability to keep away from start-ups...

When I began StatusPeople I was way out of my depth, not that I realised it. And in some cases I still am. To get things up and running has taken far longer than I planned. I've had to overcome many technical problems I hadn't envisaged. Learning to market and sell a product is difficult and I still haven't mastered it. And I've still got a long way to go before I get StatusPeople off the ground -- so if you haven't signed up yet please do so...

See, that wasn't too bad. Now for the good...

As a person I am far, far happier than I was. I'm not content yet or pleased with myself but I am a lot happier. 

I am a far better developer now than I was. In fact I would argue I have learnt more in the last 6 months than I have in the previous 5 years. I feel I could genuinely cope with a large development project now and produce a good result. Before only a combination of ignorance and arrogance would allow me to believe this...    

I've begun contracting to cover the bills. This has been a revelation. I'm working part-time at a lovely Ad Agency -- you know the type, fancy office, lot's of trendy, goodlooking people... My pro-rata pay has doubled which is brilliant. And the working relationship is more grown up. For the first time No means no, which is wonderful. 

In terms of StatusPeople development the platform is beginning to come together and seems to be relatively robust. API development is also well ahead of schedule, which I'm pleased about.  

So overall, while things have been difficult I'm in a good place now. And as for some advice, here are a couple of tips...

Don't be frightened. If you have a dream don't let fear stop you. Because it's unlikely anything really bad will happen to you. And failure really isn't the end of the world.

Business Bank Accounts are very important. Without one you will lose a lot of capital to the tax man before you can make good use of it.

And finally, people who will give you their honest opinion are invaluable when it comes to product development. They will help you find the flaws and improve things. @anna8988, @email_dale, @meteoracle, @simonjgibbs, @danoprey and the guys over at @SDkMagazine have all been a great help to me. 

I shall leave my thoughts there. Hope you have found it useful and not too self absorbed. Either way I will post a similar update in a few months. By which stage I hope StatusPeople will be beginning to make some money. Otherwise I'll be writing my "How to Fail at Business" guide...

Speak Soon. 

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