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Business planning – Painkillers or vitamins?: Five tips for a first-time entrepreneur [Startup Smart]

Many first-time entrepreneurs try to come up with an idea that's completely novel or alters an existing solution. In some cases, they're looking to build a product that can somehow improve consumers’ lives.


All three are fine as long as you ask yourself one question: “Is this something people need so badly they're willing to give their credit card details to an unknown startup?”


There are two kinds of products, painkillers and vitamins. While consumers may be willing to buy vitamins, they simply have to buy painkillers if they have a headache. As a startup with no brand, and limited marketing budget, you're much more likely to succeed if you're selling a painkiller that solves an existing problem.


When faced with two potential employees, one with a great attitude and the other with great skills, always take the former, as you can train for skills but not for attitude.  Try to find the top people that fit your company culture – period. It doesn't matter what industry they're from and how polished their CVs are – some people have it, some people don't.


With the former, you want to get up, adjust and keep going. With the latter, well it's better to avoid them altogether. How? By listening to advice and finding valuable mentors who have done it before.



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