From one women band to award winning business: my top tips for any budding entrepreneur

On Friday TEAMango won Wales Start Up of the Year for Professional Services! This was one of my proudest moments, having all of our passion and hard work as a team being recognised.

TEAMango was born in 2015 and, since then, there’s been lots of ups and downs. It’s taken sheer grit and determination, but we’re successfully on a scale up journey now.

I don’t have all the answers (does anyone?), but I can offer some advice to those on a start-up journey. Here are my top 10 tips.

1) Know your ‘Why’ from the outset.
Why are you creating/growing your company? Why would people want to buy from you? Why would people want to come and work for you?

2) Determine your values/principles from day 1.
Know what kind of culture you want to develop. Always stick to your values – words and actions!

3) Scout out your team well in advance of recruiting them.
It’s important you plan your resource to fulfil contracts and build credibility. Some markets are particularly tough to hire in, so get ahead of the game.

4) Know your numbers.
Build in a weekly update. Understand your cash flow and forecast. When you’re suddenly responsible for paying people every month it can get scary, but provided you are proactive and controlled, you’ll be fine.

5) Believe in yourself.
Your confidence can get knocked – especially when you don’t (can’t) win every lead or order. Accept you’ll make mistakes. Make sure you learn from them and focus on your progress to date. You CAN do it!

6) Understand what you are good at and NOT good at.
Surround yourself with people that can fill your gaps. Use a tool like CMe colour profiling to identify your blind spots. It’s a strength to know and acknowledge your weaknesses.

7) Understand your market.
Do your research and plan how you are going to engage with potential customers. Be prepared to adapt this as you test the market.

8) Network like crazy.
Meeting people face to face is always the best way to engage, gain buy in and raise your brand profile.

9) Use your team effectively.
Define roles and responsibilities, identify gaps and support their development. Learn to let go – empower your people to take accountability.

10) Persevere!
It takes time to grow a company and you’ll have times when you want to give up. Review your approach and market regularly and stick with it.

I hope this proves useful.