Last week was very special. KnowNow has been trading for one year now. Phew, David & I survived our first year in business. Not only that we are cash positive and we have a growing pipeline of new opportunities. Yippee. Plus, I can see the marketplace warming to our message and wanting to consume what KnowNow offers.
This blog is really a summary of the lessons learnt from my perspective over the last years efforts. What we are pleased with and what we would do differently if we had our time again.
2014: That was the year that was
When we set up KnowNow Information David & I knew what we wanted to achieve, namely creating a sustainable business that would have a long shelf life, leave us with a multiple sets of income streams based on product and services customers would want to purchase. What I have learnt is that being innovative and offering great product and service is all well and good on paper, the reality is very different.
KnowNow had grand visions of creating a beautiful solution but we did not have the funds to do this from day one. Which meant a more meandering journey. The irony of which has put us in a healthier financial position, but has delayed the realisation of the original dream.
Five lessons for any budding entrepreneurs out there…
- The world does not move at the pace you need it too, decisions that others need to make still take time to be made. No one cares that you needed that decision yesterday.
- Cash, Cash, Cash. Start ups need cash to grow and feed themselves. KnowNow has had to grow organically. Which means you have to earn to spend. Which means you re-invest every bean back into your baby…. which means you personally stay poor. But stay happy.
- Their is loads of help out there for you to succeed. A real change has occurred since 2008 where it is now very much OK to be an entrepreneur. KnowNow has tapped the Innovation Voucher scheme, Growth Accelerator and is actively bidding for grants from a variety of sources too.
- Find your feet fast. Focus on what you want to do and get on with it. Avoid distractions as your original idea needs to have the TLC only you can provide. No one else is going to make it happen.
- Sometimes you have to say no. Not all opportunities that come your way should be jumped on. Some are distractions, some maybe profitable but if it is not what you want to do.. then jump off that bandwagon. See point 4!
2014 was brilliant and I am so glad that David & I set up KnowNow Information. The hard work is still to be done and the KnowNow team is really looking forward to the adventure ahead.
Thanks for reading, Chris