Strike out on your own - without putting everything on the line

Longing to ditch the day job and throw all your energy into a start-up? You're not the only "wantrepreneur" bound to make mistakes along the way.

Longing to ditch the day job and throw all your energy into a start-up? You're not the only "wantrepreneur" bound to make mistakes along the way.

Start-up coach Johan du Plessis helps would-be entrepreneurs avoid costly errors when launching businesses. His company, Corporate to Freedom, helps employees with entrepreneurial dreams devise a way to leave their job without putting everything on the line.

Du Plessis says there are plenty of ways even the most passionate entrepreneur can go wrong, and points to the success of Dean McEvoy, who sold online group buying site Spreets to Yahoo for $40 million only 11 months after going live. While many are inspired by this story, du Plessis says few know about McEvoy's previous start-up, Booking Angel, which he put years of work into to less avail.

Du Plessis' tips for success:

1. If you want to start your own business, don't quit your day job.

2. Don't start with a corporate mindset. Entrepreneurs need to have a variable mindset that allows them to keep trying new things and developing new abilities.

3. The most successful entrepreneurs are the ones who take small and affordable risks: "Risk little, fail cheap and succeed sooner."

4. If your business isn't solving a problem, it's not going to make any money.

5. Don't focus exclusively on making money. Make your product shine first.

6. Don't try to be perfect. "It's just about getting out there quickly and reiterating as you go."

7. Don't make the same mistakes as other entrepreneurs. Find other entrepreneurs who have been there and done it all before. Start following business leaders you respect on Facebook or LinkedIn.

8. Don't worry too much about the competition. Be aware of it, but don't let it steer your company's course.

9. When looking for business partners, don't get married after the first date. Try to find a partner who makes wealth decisions.

10. Don't give up. "Just keep taking small steps every day. Taking action is one of the key drivers and if you're really action-oriented it will happen over time," du Plessis says.

InvestSMART FORUM: Come and meet the team

We're loading up the van and going on tour from April to June, with events on the NSW central & north coast, the QLD mid-north coast and in Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra. Come and meet the team and take home simple strategies that you can use to build an investment portfolio to weather any storm. Book your spot here.

Want access to our latest research and new buy ideas?

Start a free 15 day trial and gain access to our research, recommendations and market-beating model portfolios.

Sign up for free

Related Articles