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  • Lucy E. Cousins

6 Must-Read Tips for New Start Ups

Being an entrepreneur is hard. You're attached to your phone and laptop 24 hours a day, constantly making decisions about branding, marketing, social media, and your bank balance is always on your mind. Yet, more and more Aussies are gladly sacrificing the 9–5 grind (The Great Resignation, anyone?) for a chance at becoming their own boss. While the experience can be wild and rewarding, starting a business is a lot harder than most people think.

So we recently sat down with Rebecca Klodinsky, 32, founder of multi-million-dollar brand IIXIIST, who created her (then) side-hustle nine years ago on her bedroom floor after realising there was a gap in the market for high-quality, affordable swimwear. Within a year, her brand was a household name and soon after transformed into a $7M a year global powerhouse that's worn by a long list of celebrities ranging the Kardashians, Jenners, Hailey Bieber and more. Not bad, eh?

Here she shares her tips on successful startups and the things no one warns you about:

Get comfortable with finances

"Every good startup should always be aware of its financial situation, but you'd be surprised how many entrepreneurs have no clue about their finances, and hence cannot easily predict they are about to slam into a brick wall," she says. "There needs to be thorough reporting and KPIs that are studied closely each week to understand how much you're spending, earning and retaining versus your goals. You can't manage what you are not measuring, so make sure you get your key reporting metrics identified and tracked."

Do everything and don't worry about the noise

"When you first start your business, no meeting or opportunity is too small. Think of them like leads with the opportunity to generate new partnerships and marketing initiatives – there is no roof on a slam dunk," she says. "Equally as important, don't get sucked into the noise and hype you see about other startups – focus on building your business so you can be the one left standing."

'Dropping out' doesn't make you the next Steve Jobs "Yes, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs were [school and university] dropouts – but that doesn't mean you should be too. So many aspiring entrepreneurs think if they remove the suffocating shackles of education they too could create the next 'big thing', but the truth is, Jobs and Gates were rare exceptions," she stresses. "You will never know enough. You will always be forced to make a decision without fully understanding what is coming. As a founder, that is just something you have to get comfortable with. Making sure you're always exercising your learning muscle will better equip you to make sound decisions."

Be prepared when you mix love and business

"Women continue to shine in all facets of business, cracking the proverbial glass ceiling once and for all, but unfortunately there is still little talk about making sure your personal finances are safe should the unexpected happen," she warns. "Be sure to set the rules from the get-go with a cohabitation or prenuptial agreement and be sure both sides are crystal clear on expenses and who will be contributing to what. If you can’t talk to your partner about these things openly at the beginning of a relationship, there are bigger issues at play."

Always be adaptable

"Any startup that says it's immune to changes in the market is setting itself up for failure. External market forces ultimately dictate how your startup will fare against changing trends and competitors in the industry," she says. "If a startup doesn't truly understand or disregards what is happening outside of its own office, it is doomed to fail. For a startup to truly reach success, it may have to pivot several times until it finds the right mix of product-market fit."

You won’t get rich — at least not right away

"If your business starts to grow and become successful, it feels fantastic – you’re seeing money roll in with those dollar sign eyes," she explains. "While it's tempting to reward yourself for all of your hard work, the reality is you should be feeding and growing your business with the money it brings in – not treating your business like your personal piggy bank. Good bootstrapping builds a long-term profitable business."

This is a blog featured on Remedy Content. We specialise in wellness, health and lifestyle content, copywriting, editing, and design for start-ups and small businesses. If you have a word-y problem, we'd love to hear about it! Get in touch for a chat/ brainstorm/ strong coffee/ craft beer.

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