2016 was a very eventful year for the 5 North team, from new clients to big promotions, and hitting significant milestone. This year 5 North Inc’s founder and CEO, Rebecca Sutherland, celebrated 10 years in business! Rebecca started a company right after finishing college, and this year she celebrated a milestone that not a lot of businesses get to celebrate.
In honor of 10 years in business, we are sharing Rebecca’s 10 best tips for a new entrepreneur.
- Do something you are passionate about. A lot of us want to start a business because we don’t want a 9-5 or because we don’t want to report to someone else. But the truth is that as a new business owner you will have to work way longer than a 9-5 and you will always report to your clients. So do something you love and believe in, that way you don’t mind putting in the extra work that it takes to make your business successful.
- Surround yourself with the right people. It is important to protect your mentality and your attitude. Surround yourself with positive people that are not going to bring you down or drain your energy. It is important to note that just because someone challenges you it does not mean that they are negative. It is great to have someone that asks the hard questions and makes you think. But make sure your circle is full of people that inspire you.
- Do not underestimate the importance of a mentor. Whether it’s someone you can completely confide on or someone you know you can go to with questions about how to build your business, it is important to have some sort of coach or mentor. There is a lot that goes into building a business and no one is expected to understand every aspect from legal to payroll. So make sure you have one or a few mentors that can help you make the hard decisions.
- Learn to delegate! If you want to build a business because you want to have a flexible schedule and more control of your time instead of working a 9-5 and having to ask for a day off, then it is vital for you to be able to delegate. A lot of us are perfectionists and find this hard to do because we think we’d do things better ourselves. But if we are not able to teach someone else how to do the things that need to get done, and then let them do it, then you’ll be working around the clock and may easily lose enthusiasm in your business.
- It’s okay to say no. Make yourself comfortable with the word. We cannot commit to everything, so be selective with your time and what you spend it on. Learn to say no without hurting someone’s feelings.
- Create systems. It’s a lot easier to get things done, especially the tedious tasks that you don’t enjoy, if you are systematic and create a routine to get them done. Furthermore, it will be a lot easier to teach someone else how to do it once you’re ready to delegate, as discussed above.
- Going along with the previous point, be organized! This doesn’t come natural to everyone and you may have to create systems for organization. But as your business grows, you will be thankful for developing organizational habits that will undoubtedly save you time and stress.
- Create a mission statement that you believe in. It is important to know add purpose to your business and to know what direction you want it to go to, what values you want it to represent, and what impact you want to have on your clients and/or employees.
- Plan for the worst. Your idea may indeed be great, but that doesn’t mean you will close everyone you pitch to. Be ready to pound the pavement, talk to hundreds of people, take a lot of rejection, lose clients, make mistakes, have some sleepless nights and experience surprise obstacles and challenges along the way. In the end, it will all be worth it.
- Never stop learning and innovating. No matter what industry you plan to enter. Things are always changing and new competitions are always entering the scene. Make sure you are always ready to keep up with the industry, to meet the changing demands of your clients, and to be one step ahead of the competition.
Make 2017 your year. Cheers!
Learn more about Rebecca Sutherland at www.rebbysutherland.com