10 Business Tips for Startups November 9, 2012 RICCentre Reposted from Techvibes 1. Start to worry about eking a few percentage points out of your value chain. 2. Pick four conferences a year to attend—two customer focused, one geared to fundraising, and one for product launch. 3. Realize your customer is more interesting than your product. Second-time entrepreneurs get this early on, so early in fact that they generally start their second company around solving a market pain as opposed to trying to find something fun to do with code or leftover university IP. 4. Make sure you have a ‘guru’ on board for business development, marketing, development and finance. 5. Prepare a shareholder agreement as fast as possible. To the startup person reading this column who didn’t prepare one, look up vesting schedule. 6. Learn about cash flow. This one usually happens on a Thursday night before the end of the month and it normally involves the realization that large corporations are really bad at paying their bills. 7. Start your family and friends investing round. 8. Hire the first employee you didn’t already know or weren’t related to. Some of you startup folks reading this now will be saying, “whew, I’ve done this one so I must be grown up!” Don’t congratulate yourself yet—point eight and nine go together. 9. Have your first “we don’t have money for payroll and three of you are leaving” conversation. Most business owners have been here at one point. 10. Create a great path to exit. —An anonymous angel. The RIC blog is designed as a showcase for entrepreneurs and innovation. Our guest bloggers provide a wealth of information based on their personal and professional experiences. Visit RIC Centre for more information on how RIC can accelerate your ideas to market.