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With more than half the population hoping to one day be their own boss, it’s likely that many of us will be using our Christmas breaks to reflect on our career so far, evaluate our goals and ambitions,  and even consider a new entrepreneurial adventure.

To give you a little nudge in the right direction, here’s eight bits of advice that eight friendly entrepreneurs wished they had known when they were starting out.

Hopefully it gives you a head start when you decide to start up your start-up.

  1. Stay focused on your business goals, your strategy and making it happen

“Don’t get bogged down in day-to-day details. Find a way to delegate or outsource, so that you spend your time on what will make your company successful. Work on your business and not in your business.”

Delia Porter, MD and founder, Business Clan

  1. Network, network, network!

“Speak to as many people as possible, and ensure when you’re talking to people to take a real interest, without thinking about making any sales. Building real business relationships tends to lead to referrals!”

Mayuir Sidhpara (BSc MLPI), founding partner, Healthy Minds Online

  1. Find a way to sell early

“Grow using revenue rather than investment/dilution where possible. Get out of the way of your customers buying. Make it as simple a process as possible.”

David O’Coimin, founder and CEO, NOOK

  1. Don’t be afraid to ask for help

“As the founder of a business that helps lots of other new businesses to get off the ground and grow, it constantly amazes me how reluctant people are to pick up the phone and ask for help from people who have been there and done it before. If I need advice nowadays, I’ll find an expert in the field and ask for their help.”

Naeem Alvi, brand strategist, Notepad Studio

  1. Being a disrupter in the market is a good thing

“Don’t be afraid to build and offer something different to what’s already out there. Innovation is creating something new and being a disrupter in the market is a good thing! Try to keep it simple to ensure your message isn’t over-complicated. You only get a small window to get your great idea across these days, simplicity is best, and people will pick it up quicker too.”

Caroline Syson, founder, Pocket PA 

  1. Expect the unexpected

“However long you think it is going to take double it and how much you think it will to cost, triple it. We never stop learning and without struggle, there is no progress.”

Samantha Fairbrother, director, White Rabbit Distribution

  1. Don’t panic!

“Life is always balanced, so don’t panic when things go pear-shaped as there is always some good in everything; you just have to look for it sometimes!”

Nikki Hollier, founder, Border In a Box

  1. Just do it

“Do your research and then just do it! Not everyone will like what you do, use feedback, and learn from it, and remember that you could be the most beautiful juiciest red apple in the basket but if someone doesn’t like red apples, they just don’t! Find your tribe and thrive on their support.”

Dr Wendy Sneddon, award-winning author of Get Out Of Your Way, the step-by-step guide for entrepreneurs in how to attract, recruit and retain a winning team

So, whether you’re setting up a café or consultancy, bank or brewery, remember to take the advice of those who have been there, done it and now wear the t-shirt. These eight tips might just make sure you start your 2018 on the right foot.

Article by Enterprise Nation