The 10 Startup Commandments

The 10 Startup Commandments

Lately I have noticed more young adults taking an interest in entrepreneurship and I have to say I’m impressed. I think it’s due time that we prove to older generations that we aren’t just the “whining millennials’ that they make us out to be! In a time when our country’s political climate is at an all time high, gun violence is out of control, and racism & sexism are still very much alive and well WE as young adults are coming to realize that OUR time is on the horizon. A time when we collectively can come together as the majority and correct the systems that have been set in place to insure that so many of us fail. This collective enlightening has given many young adults the surge of power they needed to chase their dreams, use their voice and their platforms for bigger issues, and create opportunities for generational wealth. In our personal experience thus far, these are the 10 must haves when starting a company from the ground up. 

  1. Confidence: Sure, its sounds obvious but, a lot of people lack the amount of confidence they need to start a company. Notice that I didn’t say “a lot of people don’t have confidence”; that’s not true at all. Unfortunately however, in the day and age of “reality T.V.” when people are throwing launch parties left and right for companies with  perceived profitability it’s easy to become discouraged. From someone on the outside looking in it always seems relatively easy to get a company up and running & that’s the most common misconception. STARTING A BUSINESS IS NEVER EASY but when you  learn to exude confidence you will find that as you BELIEVE so will others! Sometimes you gotta “fake it ‘til you make it”.
  2. Imagination: The one thing that sets you apart from someone else is your creativity. When starting a business it’s important to understand your market. You must be realistic with yourself in concluding that you are most likely not the only person in the world who is selling your particular type of products. So, what makes you and your company special? It has to be in: the way you speak to/market to customers, how you display your products, what social media platform you exist on, your companies mission statement  etc. Using your imagination to me means trying an approach that is risky or unconventional… maybe even counterintuitive but, Usually with high risk comes high reward!
  3. Tenacity: I dated someone once that called me “tenacious T”. In those days I didn’t have as clear of an Idea about my purpose as I do now so my abilities were misdirected but, whenever I’ve wanted something badly enough I’ve been willing to do anything for it. Tenacity and confidence go hand in hand while starting a business. If you don’t believe in yourself how do you expect to fight for your dream career with true conviction? Most of the success stories that inspire us didn’t take place overnight but, took several years and constant belief. Stay on your course, stay driven, stay humble, and STAY HUNGRY!
  4. Money management: Most people struggle with money management so you should never feel discouraged in that. I have noticed that a lot of adults were not taught about saving money as children so often times they learn the hard way when they come to a realization that everything has been spent. To avoid this ALWAYS check your business account and billing statements at least once a week if not more, and make sure that you always spending within reason…. You never know how long it may take to generate enough business so that your store is self sustainable (it could take anything from days - years). Also,make sure that whatever money you have set aside for company use is used ONLY for that.. come tax season you want to make that process is as easy as you can possibly make it (i.e. money was appropriately spent and receipts have been kept for everything).
  5. Strategy: You really shouldn’t bother starting anything if you have no plan set in place from the beginning on how to finish it. Just based on how multifaceted starting a company can be, it’s easy to see how elements of organization could get lost in the process! You have to remain focused and create an achievable goal that you continue to build off of and develop as time goes on. You also have to accept that there are many ways to go about achieving your goal as well. If your first couple attempts fail it doesn’t mean you should change the end goal but, you may need to change your strategy in getting there.
  6. Develop a Message: This is an important starting point when it comes to building a business for yourself. Think about what you are passionate about in your life and grow from there. For us as African American women, there have been times where we have felt excluded when it comes to buying beauty products. From that experience we built the core message of Kuvit Beauty. Building a beauty company with a central focus on inclusion, a beauty company that supports anyone that loves makeup from the start. Not including other communities as an afterthought or when it becomes trendy. Find something you care about, that you can identify with, and that you would be proud to promote and make it work for you! In this day and age so many more people are becoming more consumer conscious, people care about who they give their money to and what these companies represent. So having a message to build from not only can help guide you when you first start, but will help to bring a genuine customer base to your company as well.
  7. Customer Service: I can not underscore this enough, Customer Service is such a key part of building a company that people want to continue to support. How you deal with the people who are supporting you can make or break your company. I have watched so many big companies run into this issue because of their lack of focus on this aspect of business, at the end of the day the customer has the power so making sure they have a good experience when they shop with you is important. Always treat them kindly, no matter what tone they use to confront you about their problem. Always go above and beyond, think about how you would like to be helped if you were in there shoes and try your best to accommodate them. Try your hardest to solve their issue even if it is out of your control, just showing the effort goes an extremely long way.
  8. Make Mistakes: This might sound a bit odd but this is an important aspect of starting a business. Mistakes will be made along the way but do not let that discourage you, always look at a mistake as a lesson and move past it. Nothing will come easily when you start your own business, there are so many things to learn, and you learn as you go, so ultimately mistakes will happen. You can do as much research as you want, but actually doing is a completely different story, so be prepared to mess up. You’ll mess up big, and you’ll mess up small, but without those mistakes you will never learn how to adjust your business to make it more successful.
  9. Focus: As simple as this sounds, this can be the reason why your business doesn’t take off. Especially when you are young, and there are so many different distractions take a breath and focus. When it comes to building your business you will only get what you put into it. Businesses are draining in so many aspects, there will be times when you can’t stop working on building and times when you want to do anything but think about your company. Push past those times and hold yourself accountable, or have people around you that will hold you accountable and focus at the tasks at hand. There is nothing more rewarding than seeing growth in the company you built from the ground up, and that’s what makes it all worth it.
  10. Tell everyone: When I say this I don’t mean share all the details about what is going on with your company. But don’t shy away when people ask what your working on because you never know who is listening. I can’t tell you how much help or how many opportunities have come our way because we spread the word about Kuvit Beauty. You might be surprised how helpful some of your family/friends are and how supportive they can be. Spread the word about our dreams and I promise you will speak opportunity into existence.