8 Things I Wish I Knew When Starting My First Business

risky business

I have started a handful of companies and every time I start another one, I always learn something new. If you are a new entrepreneur you are going to make a lot of mistakes, but hopefully you won’t make the big mistakes I made.

Don’t pick a stupid company name

My first two companies were called Advice Monkey and Advantage Consulting Services. The first company was a job board, but because “advice” was in the name people thought it was a career advice site and not a job board. And the name of my second company was so long that people couldn’t remember it.

The reasoning behind me picking those 2 names were that they started with an “A”. This way when someone listed out my company with all of my competitors, I was usually at the top of the list. Although the concept of being at the top of a list is a good thing, it shouldn’t be the main reason for picking a company name.

Whatever you do, make sure you put thought into picking your company name. And for some reason if you happen to pick a stupid company name, stick with it and don’t change it later on. If you happen to change your company name, you will lose the brand value that you have built up over the years.

Don’t hire a lawyer, hire a law firm

Not only is it important to hire a good lawyer, but you also want to hire a good law firm. Lawyers specialize in different types of law, such as corporate, tax, or litigation. When I hired my first lawyer, he was a one-man show and tried to do everything that I needed. He did a decent job, but he didn’t do a great job because he didn’t specialize in everything I was asking for.

After realizing that my current lawyer wasn’t too good, I decided to contact one of the biggest law firms, thinking that they could solve all my problems. But, I was too small of a client so my work wasn’t given priority, they charged me for every little thing, and the quality of their work sucked.

Sooner or later I found the perfect lawyer, Bill Bromfield, from Fenwick. He always goes out of his way to make sure I am protected, he doesn’t nickel and dime me for every little thing, and if he can’t do something I need, he recommends someone who can.

When looking for a lawyer, don’t just look for a really big law firm; look for a lawyer who will take care of you. Ideally if they work in a decent size law firm, that’s great because someone there will be able to solve your problems.

Hiring doesn’t solve all of your problems

There are four big mistakes I made when I hired people:

  1. Just because someone did really well in their last job, it doesn’t mean they are going to do well in your company. For example, if they were a rock star sales person that worked for your competitor, it doesn’t mean they will be a rock star sales person for your company.
  2. Hiring more employees is a lazy mans way of solving a problem. If you want to increase your sales, try to do it yourself before you hire someone. Yes in the long run you should hire employees if you want to grow your business, but if you don’t know what problems these employees will run in to, you will have a tough time managing them.
  3. There are a lot more costs to an employee other than their salary. Office space, insurance, computers, and other expenses add up. The biggest of those expenses are probably management expenses to manage your employees.
  4. Having virtual employees sounds great at first, but some people aren’t too efficient when they are virtual. If you have any virtual employees consider using efficiency tracking solutions like Rescue Time to see how your employees spend their time.

Slow and steady doesn’t win the race

You will love your first company like it was your own baby. You’ll want everything to be perfect and you will probably over think things. Don’t worry, this is a common way most first time entrepreneurs feel; I know I felt this way with Advice Monkey. But, when you see your first company as your baby, you start thinking with your emotions instead of using logic, which causes things move really slow.

Things don’t have to be perfect! Whatever you have now will improve over time, so get out there and do whatever it takes to make money. Because if you don’t someone else will.

Networking is the key to success

I didn’t know what I was doing with my first few companies. I didn’t have too many people that I could get advice from and I ended up winging a lot of things. After being in business for a few years you learn a few things, but you never stop making mistakes. Instead you end up making new mistakes.

If you want to be successful, you have to network. By going to conferences or local business networking events, you will learn a lot from other people. Plus if you are uncertain about specific things, you can always ask others for advice.

On the other hand if you don’t go to industry networking events, whom will you ask advice from? The best person to ask advice from is someone in your industry or your competition. Trust me, you will be amazed on how friendly your competition can be and what they are willing to share.

No one is god

When I started my first business a lot of people gave me advice because it was my first time around the block. Every time someone gave me advice I followed it because they were more successful than I was. But instead of this helping me, it caused me to run around in circles and make more mistakes.

I am not saying that you shouldn’t listen to people, but don’t take people’s word for everything. Do your own homework and make sure the advice people are giving you is right for your business.

Remember no one is god. I don’t care if they sold a company for a billion dollars, they probably don’t know your business as well as you.

Have a business partner

When you have to make all the decisions in your company by yourself, you are more likely to make mistakes. Although I had a business partner with my first business, he wasn’t active so I had to make all of the decisions myself.

Luckily I found a business partner, with the help of my sister, and we have worked together for over 6 years. The cool part about having a good business partner is that they can bring something to the table that you don’t have.

For example, my business partner is great at managing employees, coming up with our corporate strategy, and talking to investors. I on the other hand am good at sales and marketing.

It is never an easy thing to find a great business partner, so don’t rush it. Make sure you get to know the person before you go into business with them. You should also expect to get into arguments and heated discussions, so you better be prepared to deal with him or her.

Don’t be afraid of the unknown

Advice Monkey didn’t accept payments online because I didn’t know how to and I was afraid of all the problems that it could cause. I know that sounds stupid, but as a 16 year old and I didn’t know better.

My fear of accepting payments online was one of the biggest reasons my business failed. Instead of being afraid of it, I should have done research on accepting credit card payments and the implications of charge backs.

If you are afraid of something that you aren’t too familiar with, suck it up and deal with it. The worse that can happen is that you’ll stumble along the way.


It’s too late for me to go back in time to when I was starting out, but it isn’t too late for you. Hopefully you won’t make all of the big mistakes I made.

P.S. I can help you avoid making mistakes and save you money click here.


  1. Aaron Wakling :

    I found your blog on google and read a few of your other posts. I just added you to my Google News Reader. Keep up the good work. Look forward to reading more from you in the future.

  2. Neil,

    Great advice as always. I’ve seen you at events like SMX Advanced and based on what I saw there I know you walk your talk!

    The one point I would add to this list is: Find a Mentor.

    Mentors come in all shapes and sizes and from different business backgrounds. If you can find someone in your industry who’s done what you want to do so much the better.


    • Thanks! This post may help: https://www.quicksprout.com/2009/01/06/looking-for-a-mentor-why-not-use-mine/

    • business partner(s) is a great tip, it helps remove the burden of work and management and even funding off your shoulders leaving room for other tasks.

      • Delegation is something that many people have challenges with. Sometimes, you feel as if you want to ‘baby’ something so much because you don’t trust others to take care of it etc. Learn the delegate, accept the small challenges, and watch your business take off even higher.

      • I was always informed of the hassles of having a partner and to not get involved with one. Better off outsourcing parts of the business that you do not have time to perform or the expertise.

        • Having a business partner can be VERY powerful. You may go through “bad” partner however, before you find the right person.

  3. Minnesota limo :

    Excellent post, An encouraging article for one who’s at the stage in life where, if I don’t have a go at using ALL my talents, it will be too late soon. So I run a mostly mailorder business selling equipment for children, and have also found a niche as an agricultural and lifestyle journalist. Soloists younger than me think I should focus on one or the other, but I’m not aiming to build a huge business, and I’m having a lot of fun. My business has given me friends, contacts and challenges, and my writing has provided another set and an unexpected success.

  4. scott penton :

    Hello, thanks for the advise, I’m in the process of starting my own llc soon and looking for ways to do it. I saw your link to here from twitter which I’m following you at. Thanks again.

  5. Chrisanne Sternal :


    Great advice here! I especially like the part about having a business partner. Trying to make a business work by yourself can be very stressful. Just having someone else around to bounce ideas off of can make a huge difference. Plus if you have the right partner that can bring different skills to the table that you don’t have, you will be more productive as a team.


  6. Great advice on all accounts… If I could go back in time on a few business ventures I would have done more homework on how competitive the market was for that industry. There can be a hundred competitors but if your product stands out then you need to market that difference from the start. Otherwise you’ll get lost in the crowd.

  7. Dude…wicked post!!! I remember you talking about Advice Monkey during our business class at Kennedy. You had a cool logo at least 🙂

  8. More great advice, as always, Neil. There are many sites that offer “advice” about startups or starting a business, but you always manage to cover the topics and provide advice that those others don’t.

    If there’s one thing that I could agree with the most from this article, it’s regarding having a business partner. I grew up having many ideas, but never having someone to bounce those ideas off of or to help carry out certain things that I wasn’t capable of by myself. Now that I have a partner, instead of ideas dying, they are built upon and made stronger.

    However, through that process, there are obviously disagreements and arguments that come up. One thing that I would stress to others as well is that there should be a mutual respect for one another, and to not take things personally. If the people involved are in it for the right reasons, the disagreements ultimately should not hold you or the business back.

    Keep up the good work!

    • Good point. Business is business and you should never take anything personal. You just have to look at it in a way that arguments make your company progress faster.

  9. Great advice Neil. If only I had this type of info when I started my first business.

    One of the things I learned during that experience is to have an exit criteria. Many entrepreneurs fall in love with their business concept and tend to overlook the shortcomings of their business or on the opposite end of the spectrum, overlook some really good opportunities.

    Having an exit criteria is an entrepreneurs red flag of either when to quit the business (since it didn’t meet expectations) or when to exit gracefully (i.e. merger, buy-out, etc.).


    • Yep, you should never fall in love with what you are doing. Test things and make sure your customer loves what you are doing.

  10. Cool post! Can you elaborate when do you hire lawyers/law firm? Is it after 50K in revenue or 500K? What are the typical charges of these firms?

    • It can be at 0 dollars in revenue. If you think your company is going somewhere, then you should contact a law firm.

      • Oh ok. So what would be the typical charge for an initial consultation with a lawyer for something like this?

        • Neil Patel :

          It really depends, but I highly recommend having him do your contracts.

          • Yes. Very important. When we started out we downloaded contracts from the internet and it was only when we got them checked out by a UK lawyer that the contract did not cover basic fundamental UK Law.

            • Neil Patel :

              Most generic contracts won’t. You can never go wrong with hiring a good lawyer.

              • We found exactly the same thing when we first started out, not getting your contracts checked out by a Solicitor/Lawyer is probably the worst mistake you can make. Although you may think having official looking and probably long winded contracts will put clients off the reality is quite different!

  11. manish pandey :

    Great advice and nice post Neil.All of them tricks and points are very useful and important to starting a company.really very good job ….

  12. I can totally agree on the “Don’t pick a stupid company name” one.

    When I started my first business I picked a latin name that should point in the direction of websites :D. And I couldn’t attach a compelling story to the name, so it became a nightmare for me.

    2 more things to add from me.

    1. Don’t be too focused on big companies willing to pay you much money. They get to control too much of your business if you financially get too dependent on them.

    2. Learn from your mistakes. You will make mistakes. So make the most of them. Don’t regard a failed business as a failure of yourself! I’m actually happy for the mistakes I made with my first business, because I get all the benefit from them now.

    Anyway, great post Neil! Thanks.

    • Neil Patel :

      Learning from your mistakes is a really good one. And if you can, also try to learn from other people’s mistakes.

  13. Kenworth trucks :

    I think first place any business owner should look when analyzing their business’ needs, is their own backyard, particularly at the systems that should be providing a window into how things really are. At a time when customer demands are changing rapidly, a real time and instant view on all components of your business work flow cycle is needed. You can meet market demands and improve business efficiency with accounting and business work flow solutions, which provide an all-in-one system beyond traditional accounts information. Often they can simplify and incorporate all elements of a business into the one integrated information resource.


  14. Gino Cosme :

    Top advice once again Neil. Re the “stupid name” part, I’d also add that it’s important to ensure your company name doesn’t infringe on any current and pending trademark registrations, which could become quite a headache down the line.

  15. Sergei Filippov :

    Hey neil, great piece. Found a number of things very useful that are making me change my approach to work in good ways. *adds to gReader

  16. Hello Neil 🙂

    First post for me – great site.

    Two points i think that are important:

    Get a professional accountant to help you become more tax efficient and don’t be afraid to pay them to book keep for you. It makes better sense to pay an accountant at £30 per hour if you are charging your work out at £35 per hour.

    Also, don’t be afraid to spend money. You need to spend money to make money.

    • Neil Patel :

      I like the account point. I personally believe in it so much I have 2 accounts for my company.

  17. Interesting advice – I’ll keep these things in mind with my “how to learn rails” business, “sensei”.

    • Neil Patel :

      LOL, no problem. Best of luck with your rails business.

    • Seni Bana Yazmışlar :

      Hiring out is one of the biggest mistakes I’ve made and still make… being a lazy person I tend to hire out boring tasks that I could probably handle myself. By not doing so, I’d have saved a thousand dollars in the process.

      Another mistake people make is getting involved with too many things at once, which is where the getting a partner thing comes in I guess.

  18. Brad Spencer :


    Great article and I really loved the advice about lawyers. Did you find this firm just by networking? Exactly what did you do with them?



  19. mark harrison :

    Hi Neil
    Another insightful post and if there is one point you made which others should absolutely follow if they can, it is to get yourself a business partner as soon as you are able. Ok, you will give away 50% of your profits but 50% of something is better than 100% of nothing.

  20. Another great post. I really liked the “Want to be successful? Then get introduced to it” because I have found out as I continue in business that networking plays a HUGE part in expanding your business especially someone like me who does marketing and public relations.

  21. Daniel Scocco :

    Good stuff Neil.

    I am still on my first company and starting to hire just now, but the points you mentioned are very pertinent.

  22. Writer Dad :

    Prosperity is too grueling without a partner. I wouldn’t dream of trying to do as much as I do without a partner by my side.

  23. Online Colleges :

    Great stuff Neil! I am still working on my business plan for my company concept. Thanks for the incite. It is a lot easier to learn from others mistakes than make them yourself.

    • Neil Patel :

      I am not sure if you need a business plan. I have always hated them.

      • Online Colleges :

        I was wondering about that as well. Yet, I am trying to acquire some VC help, so I believe they would probably like a business plan before they make any decision. I hate business plans as well. So much time and so little value I think.

  24. Having a partner everytime is not such a good idea. Partnership can lead to lots of issues.

  25. Great advice Neil. You know, sometimes what NOT to do is better than what to do when you are starting anything new. When a successful person like you point out mistakes when starting a new business, it’s definitely worth a look. I’ve gone thru your list and I would say that you are right on the spot. Most of them sounds easy to know, but with your detailed explanation on each makes them good to know.

    I have also liked comments by other ppl and here I have summarized a list:

    – Find a Mentor
    – Age is not the limit to start a business
    – Talk to your lawyer and accountant before starting anything new
    – Do your homework before launching any new product/service
    – Have an exit criteria
    – Don’t be too focused on big companies willing to pay you much money
    – Learn from your mistakes, also try to learn from other people’s mistakes
    – Get a professional accountant to help you become more tax efficient

    Keep up the good work, Neil.

  26. Hi Neil,

    Excellent post! I have enjoyed it a lot and learned a great deal. I agree with you with most of what you mention, especially on having a good name (what’s with Advice Monkey 😀 ), partner, and networking. Although one question has risen in my mind and I thought you may even write an article about it.

    I believe that you are very busy person, doing business, consulting, networking, writing articles, learning new stuff, improving your skills, partying and so on.

    So how you do manage your time? What strategies, ideas, or even books you would recommend on time management?

    Cheers Neil 😉

  27. Colin Winter :

    Great points Niel!

    Here are the ones I’d re-emphasize for young, or first time entrepreneurs:

    -Hiring (and managing) people will be a bigger involvement than you think. Be prepared and be logical about it.

    -Don’t over think things when you start out (Execution > Strategy). This also goes along with prioritizing your efforts. Time management is a great skill to learn. Take an objective look at what you spend your time on each day and always look for ways to improve.

    Bonus Tip: Try logging your time in Google Calendar in half-hour increments (be flexible but don’t cheat). Then get into the habit of making your hour-by-hour schedule a day or more ahead of time so you don’t make bad time management decisions on the fly.

    -Networking is very important. If you’re an introvert like myself, you need to put even more effort into this. Getting your startup out there will be hard enough, so make it a little easier by connecting yourself with as many opportunities and resources as possible.

    -No one is God: Great way of putting it! Take as much advice as you can get, but it’s up to you to evaluate the advice and decide the actions to take. You need to believe in your own ability, but not blindly- always try to learn and grow.

    -Find a good business partner (and be logical about it)! I really wish I knew the value of this before starting LinkLarry. Being responsible for every aspect of your startup will make some days feel like your brain is melting (take deep breathes).

    • Hey Colin,

      You made good points here. Especialy about “execution > strategy” and time-management. From this morning I’ve started to track my time with Google Calendar. It’s so effective! You can actually see where do you spend your time and adjust it for best peak performance.

      Thanks for good advice 😉

    • Neil Patel :

      Thanks for taking the time to provide valuable feedback!

  28. Chris Hopf :

    Thanks for the post Neil . . . you certainly are providing valuable and relevant insight for your readers to consider.

    Like Colin suggests, I have been tracking and optimizing my time management in Outlook for years. Personal opinion, everyone should do this to keep priorities in focus and reach your goals faster.

    I asked Hiten today, to mention a speaking opportunity in mid August . . . it may be great timing with respect to some of your projects.

    • Neil Patel :

      He hasn’t told me about it yet (he has been really busy the last few weeks), but let me know the details when you get a chance.

  29. Having a good business partner is very important. You crank out ideas and minimize mistakes by talking it out with a competent partner.

    I would also add keep track of every dollar, in and out, and don’t mix business and personal money.

    Try to get a free consult with a lawyer and accountant. There are countless who are willing to do so.

    I have also observed that really successful people get up early in the morning.

    • Neil Patel :

      Good point. A lot of people mix their money and don’t realize that all of the little things add up.

  30. I think my biggest mistake thus far is actually that I treat businesses like babies. I’m trying to change but honestly I’m having some trouble doing it. Eventually though, I might…

  31. Jason Pereira :

    Hiring out is one of the biggest mistakes I’ve made and still make… being a lazy person I tend to hire out boring tasks that I could probably handle myself. By not doing so, I’d have saved a thousand dollars in the process. 😛

    Another mistake people make is getting involved with too many things at once, which is where the getting a partner thing comes in I guess. 🙂

    Nice blog btw.

    • Neil Patel :

      Getting involved with too many things is the probably the main reason none of my businesses did as well as they could have.

  32. Insightful.

    One thing I will like to add is that one shouldn’t try to do too much at once. STARTING SMALL IS THE KEY.

    • Neil Patel :

      Yes and don’t try to grow fast. There is nothing wrong with taking things easy sometimes.

      • See, I didn’t know these when I started my first venture. And before I knew it, I ran out of money – 25k into the project. Now, I have to start over – during a recession, which seems to be a blessing, twisted as that may sound.

  33. Keven Dones :

    (Yes and don’t try to grow fast. There is nothing wrong with taking things easy sometimes.)

    Something I have to take into account. Thank you for helping.

  34. Make Money On Internet :

    Hi Neil!

    I came here by my friend recommended that told me something about starting a new business. Thankful for your inspiring article’s. Very appreciated for that.

  35. Jermaine Pleas :

    Hi Neil, nice to meet you. These are some really god advice for people. Personally, I really don’t like to hire people when I’m doing new projects even though they seem to be good at there pass jobs. I have had a couple websites LOL my domain names were insane.

  36. work at home :

    LOL! That is really smart….hiring a law firm is better due to the fact your problems can be broader. Individuals don’t even know that.

  37. Thanks for the tip about Rescue Time for time tracking, Neil. My business is virtual and I’m never in one city for more than a month, so I’m going the virtual assistant route to help me out with small tasks right now. So far, so good, but I’m definitely interested in learning whether they’re using their time as efficiently as possible.

  38. Two more points:

    1) make sure that your business solves a need/problem

    2) make sure the business is scalable in that you don’t just create a job for yourself (unless that is what you want)

  39. cash-loans-uk :

    I recently read some stat which said some 98-99% start-ups fail. Not sure how good these numbers are.. but there should be some reality to it..I guess one main reason why businesses fail is because of lack of experience. I think people shd have some exposure in the field they want to start a business or least there should be some contingency plan..

    • Most companies fail. If you start enough of them, you will succeed.

      I think most startups fail because lack of funding.

  40. One thing about longer names I could say is, that a lot of times their acronyms catch on automatically. For example, there was (and is, i think) a site called FreeWebSpace (dot_) net, but most people who were active members of that site, simply called it FWS. It ranks highly for the name it has, but also for that particular acronym. So long names aren’t always that bad, as long as your audience can re-brand the site and still keep the name.

    • Yea, but you want outside people to understand the acronym and in most cases they will have no clue what you are talking about.

  41. The eBusiness Experiment :

    Hey Neil, nice post again! I do plan one day to be a billionaire, I think these tips are excellent. Thanks for letting us know the multiple facets of managing/running a business. One thing I have to somewhat disagree on is getting a business partner. I’d prefer being the big boss alone with employees. Business partners can sometime steal your concept or learn what you do and copy you. If I were really to have a business partner, I think that best business partner would be your own family members. Thanks for the great post!

    • Hopefully they will help you get to the billionaire level much quicker. I hope to be one as well one day, but I doubt it will happen.

      • I also think that the “happy billionaire” is a false materialistic myth, kind of childish and old fashioned. To learn some basic budhist concepts may help to realize that desire and pain go together. To earn just enough to live well and be able to provide the necessities of your family seems to be a much better goal, and if you’re able to generate more wealth, that it goes to help others (more or less the same idea that you have said have planned for the future). Karma yoga (action without expecting nothing back). Lessons from India, by the way.

  42. Hi Patel, it’s the first time I’m visiting your blog.

    I really agree with you about the part we should not take other people’s words for everything, even if they have more experience than you. I admire my rich aunt and listen a lot to her advice, but it’s only recently that I realized she does not know what I’m doing as well as me.

    Also, I find you amazing that you take time to reply to every single comment!

    • You shouldn’t. I know I did and it screwed me up a lot.

      Replying to every comment is worth it because I get to know people like you. 🙂

  43. Lean Cuisine Coupons :

    Hi Neil,
    I found your blog on Google.Great post.

    I agree with you on this point “Slow and steady doesn’t win the race”.This is the same happening in my case.Over love on the company eats away the time and finally we miss the logic.Perfection is not possible in first attempt.It comes with experience.

  44. custom bowling balls :

    I felt great after reading the article – it feels great to know that other people have felt the way I feel now. I can relate to N1 – don’t pick stupid name ( I am not gonna tell you what the name of my company was for that reason)

  45. electronics ipod :

    I Think experience is the key and you sure have plenty of it. reading through your site you sure know what your talking about. keep the info coming as im starting a new business shortly with under 6 employees so the more info the better

  46. Yogindernath :

    This point seemed excellent to me “Hiring more employees is a lazy mans way of solving a problem. If you want to increase your sales, try to do it yourself before you hire someone.”. We should start making efforts on our own rather than depending upon others to do the job for us. We elarn with experience… Great post..

    • Try to learn what your employees are in charge of, this way you will know what road blocks they will run into.

  47. Pakistan News :

    Great Post. Unfortunately we also have the problem of this Long company Name, or URL, but we also know that changing will be a lot harmful, so we’re learning to live with it and slowly building our visitor loyalty.

    Let’s see if it works in the longer run or not.

    Thanks again for sharing your experiences. 🙂

  48. how much $ can you expect when hiring incparadise.com?

    • I am not sure, I haven’t used them before. You can try Legalzoom.com. Their prices are very affordable.

  49. Kraig Grayson :

    Some great points Neil. I have been trying to come up with a great idea for an online business, but so far I have not been able to pin down the best niche to enter. I will keep your points in mind.

    • Enter the niche you feel most passionate about.

      • Kraig Grayson :

        That’s just it. All the ones I like very much seem to be over saturated. I guess I will just have to do some research to see which new niche is untapped or barely tapped into.

        • The ones that are over saturated are like make money online or something, everything else is ripe for the picking

  50. FloridaPersonalInjurylawyer :

    Wow! These are even good to an old had like me. Sometimes I forget about networking. I am resolved to do better, starting on Monday.

    • glad to hear it, let me know how it works out for you. Try to build a new connection 1-2 times a day. That’s 30-60 new connections a month.

  51. SaveYourMarriage :

    I agree that we have to learn from our mistakes, but isn’t it nice when we can learn from someone else’s? I was paralyzed myself for awhile by the fear of failure, until I realized I was failing by not doing anything.

  52. Sarkar Sayed :

    hi, I was wondering which programs are good to make web sites and where I can download them for free.

  53. Lapis lazuli :

    I work in a law firm and this lawyer was just hired and he came off nice at first, but he seems very overconfident and he’s been rude to me a few times in the past week.what i have to do now?

    • If you can’t stand working him because he’s rude, quit and find someone else. Or you can learn from him because he sounds like a person who does very well, am I wrong?

  54. Good to see that I’m not the only one making stupid mistakes 😉
    And your following line should be carved into stone:
    “Things don’t have to be perfect! Whatever you have now will improve over time, so get out there and do whatever it takes to make money. Because if you don’t someone else will.”

  55. ArticleMarketing :

    Coming up with a good name for a startup or Web service is always tricky, but stay away from directly incorporating existing trademarks.

  56. martin @ data recovery software :

    Its amazing.
    Can you please add me in to your twitter account if you have.@amitpandey21..

  57. cash loans uk :

    About your first point Neil.. Law firms are too expensive to be handled by small entrepreneurs. I know people who spent enormously on these firms and could have been better off without them.

    • @Cash Loans UK, it just depends the industry you’re company is in, not all businesses will require the use of Law Firms. Just gotta think wisely, use your money wisely, and read more of Neil’s great advice =D

      Till then,


  58. The name is definitely very important, especially if you wish to have an online presence – I always think it looks unprofessional having dashes in the domain name of a company website.

    • I agree that it looks just bad to have dashes in your company sites. Also having a domain that is a keyword is ideal.

  59. Yoga Mat Review :

    Great Share. In my experience, the main problem with hiring random people is that, they learn the stuffs, and quit from the company, trying to find a better job. That becomes really annoying. Doesn’t it?

    • I agree, but once you train them and start to delegate tasks to them, it’ll make your life easier.

  60. 沖縄 ホームページ管理 :

    I had to laugh at the picture. That was so funny. But you got the point. I agree with the branding the company name. Good company names are easily remembered.

  61. Reading your post makes me think about how I made some of the same mistakes in my first company. Probably my biggest was trying to do the company taxes myself. In an effort to save money, I’m sure I cost myself far more than I saved. Especially when I got hit with back taxes in the 2nd year of business. The three things I find absolutely invaluable for a successful business:

    (1)lawyer or lawyers (Neil has an excellent point here)

    (2) CPA or Accountant – Can save you thousands of dollars in taxes

    (3) Bank or Commercial Lender – These folks are a great resource for both funding and valuations.

    Most of these services are not all that expensive so take advantage of their expertise.

  62. “Don’t be Afraid of the unknown”
    I’ve had similar instances!

    Thanks a lot for the post, helped me out a lot. Especially reading this before I am going to start my own business venture.

  63. YogaMatReviewOrg :

    I think having a partner is not always a good thing, as sometimes you end up relying on each other too much and things don’t get done – being by yourself during the startup phase of your business really stimulates your growth.

    • I can appreciate that, but a partner should be someone who can do the things you can’t… despite the arguing or relying on each other stuff.

  64. Networking is important in all business. Competition is really fierce these days. So to know what your competitors are doing to improve their business, you need to go out in conferences, meet people and talk to have more ideas. Don’t just sit in your offfice the whole day expecting a miracle will happen and you become rich like BGATES.

  65. Textbook Rental :

    one of the rules I try to follow is when buying a self help or success book I like to look at what that person has personality done. So often you get people writing about success when the only success that they have ever had was writing a book.

  66. yeah neil but positive thinking is the most important thing

  67. haha, actually the business name does not sound stupid, until it is in use.
    When I was in college, I asked tons of questions to suck wisdom out of my lecturers. Most questions did not sound stupid until the answers came.

    • Well there’s no such thing as a stupid question… so it’s perfectly fine for you to ask, rather than have it unanswered in your head.

  68. I have started coming to your blog very often these days, since this week I did not find a new blog and had read the blogs on the homepage, thought about reading this one.
    I should say it is really a nice one. When I think about starting my own company, I have so many ideas and a partner to work with but the thing is the name. I want it to be perfect and lead to always search for good names and sometimes I really stumble upon good names and then I realize that there are already companies with such a name.
    So Name is really important and hard to find.
    When I heard your company names: Kissmetrics and Crazy egg, these are really different. It is not that if I would have thought about it first, I would have kept it. But these are really different and interesting.

  69. Paul M. Watson :

    And if you can’t come up with a good company name then make it short. That way if it is “stupid” it is still short. Twitter. Google. Yahoo. etc.

  70. sell textbooks :

    It is wise when you start to have all that you have listed, but don’t get detoured if you can’t do all of it at once. It can be progressive, but be smart, not compulsive.

    • It’s easy to be detoured, but learn to create mental toughness and endure what needs to be done.

  71. ek second jo zindagi badal de :

    Must read guide for all entrepreneurs

    Ek second jo zindagi

  72. great post

    getting a good buisness partner is very important, it make things far easier, and its too stressful to be the full responsable for everything jeje

  73. Cool post! Can you elaborate when do you hire lawyers/law firm? Is it after 50K in revenue or 500K? What are the typical charges of these firms?

    • I hire them before I start a company.

      You could wait till you know the business is going to work and you have a few grand in revenue.

  74. Sourish @ Ipod Touch 4G :

    wow , i have never read something written with such detail about ones road to success … im still reading all your posts …. i think it will take the whole night [im not logging to facebook today 😛 ]

  75. Nice idea business first rest next if we are concentrating on business only we can earn much on it 🙂

  76. Hi Neil,
    Firstly, I must say that I’m really inspired because of how much I’ve learn’t since landing on your blog a few minutes ago. I’ve read two of your articles and all I can say is ….wow…you’re awesome.

    My friend told me about your blog but I couldn’t get the spellings so I went to google to search and there I am reading and taking note. You’re sensational….I’ve started a couple of business and failed because of bad “system” the work flow wasn’t well defined and things didn’t work so well.

    After reading this, I’ve got more confidence and I’m shooting for it again. I’m still a teenager although I’ll be twenty in a few days, I know I still have time. My head is spinning right now and I’m going back to the drawing board. Thanks for the inspiration. You’re appreciated.


  77. Yeah…that’s truth…

    I reach 20years of existence yesterday! I’m bracing up for challenges ahead!…

  78. Thanks bro…

  79. Ajay | symplyfyd.com :

    The thing that i loved on this post of yours is “don’t be afraid of the unknowns..
    until now i am also afraid of applying few changes on my blog,but now i will surely implement them…

  80. Excellent article.

  81. I wish I knew that using a great time tracking software was key to good management. I now use OroTimesheet and it it really helpful for me. Take a look at the company’s website at http://www.orologic.com

  82. seni bana yazmışlar :

    Thanks very nice share … I follow your site constantly … important issues … Congratulations … I entered this site by chance, but I found very interesting. A greeting to all the people who visit this page. Kuzey Ve Güney “The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite.

  83. I like your article. You have good knowledge and business experience.

    I want to start something own, i have many ideas but i am very poor in implementing them. And afraid of risk taking.

  84. It is lovely to hear that you wish me not to make mistakes, But I think I will learn more from my own mistakes, So I don’t care about them, I Do what I do.

  85. Malignant Hypertension :

    Hello, thanks for the advice, I’m in the process of starting my own SEO firm and looking for ways to do it. I saw your link to here from twitter which I’m following you at. Thanks again.

    • No problem.
      Happy to be of help. Continue reading up on it.
      If learn from what you read, and then apply it to your business.
      You will increase the likelihood of your future success.
      Best of luck.

  86. Insightful.

    One thing I will like to add is that one shouldn’t try to do too much at once. STARTING SMALL IS THE KEY.

  87. Sir I am not seen such a kind of article what you have posted in your blog. So i want subscribe in my account. so after opening my mail i can read your latest articles. please help to me.


  88. I’ve gone thru your list and I would say that you are right on the spot. Most of them sounds easy to know, but with your detailed explanation on each makes them good to know.

  89. Using a great timesheet software is also a key to good management. I use Abak Software since more than 5 years and tt works dramatically well. If anyone is interested, take a look at : http://www.abaksoftware.com

  90. Glad to read your post :). It is very informative!

  91. I am glad I landed on this site somehow. I am having a hard time promoting my blog , learning seo n stuff and now this site seems like a hub of knowledge. Bookmarked it. Great work man, thanks!

  92. Hai Neil,

    simply super..really thanks for this article. i got confidence after reading this.. it will help to many people like me.. i need ur continuous support article like this.. thanks

  93. hydroxatone free trial uk :

    What’s up, I want to subscribe for this blog to get most recent updates, so where can i do it please help.

  94. You re great dude !!

    It always adds to read you.

  95. Ranjita Mandaviya :

    yeah, Nice article Neil.

    Thanks for sharing it.

  96. Walter Pavlov :

    Some, great points and thanks for sharing that question. It’s true more engagement comes from utilizing hashtags and calls to action — that’s bread and butter for any marketing strategy.

  97. harga aki mobil :

    Thanks for the advice Neil, really helpful especially for “have a business partner.” I was a solo player back when i started my first business and it really sucked my time also i coudn’t make proper decision for my business..

    Having a business partner is really helpful.

    • Harga, it definitely is helpful to have a business partner who is on the same page as you. Let me know if you need any help along the way.

  98. Thanks Niel for sharing this post, it was awesome, I have read whole the article and hats off to you. thanks again

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