I recently attended Startup: Treasure Valley, an event for entrepreneurs sponsored by Kickstand (www.kickstand.org) and the Boise State University Center for Entrepreneurship. It was a great event with a number of Treasure Valley’s top entrepreneurs and professionals providing advice on starting a business. The keynote address was presented by Steve Hodges, a serial entrepreneur who founded such businesses as Computrol, Design Concepts International, Telemetric, and M2M Communications. The five key pieces of advice that I took away from his presentation were:
- Learn as much as you can about the industry before you start your business. If you are going to start a pizza parlor, work in an existing pizza parlor first and learn everything you can about the industry.
- Manage your business with a long term vision. Be cognizant of how today’s decisions will impact the business 5 years from now.
- Maintain focus on operating your business. There is little time to spend on other endeavors.
- Grow with your own money. Consider outside investors as a failure plan.
- Hire people whose strengths compensate for your weaknesses.
The day was filled with several other equally insightful speakers and opportunities to network with established business leaders and aspiring business owners. My hat’s off to the folks at Kickstand and Boise State for organizing such a quality event.