If you’re in the midst of launching a business startup, you have certainly (hopefully) spent a lot of time reading about how the best entrepreneurs became the best. If you have, you have probably heard of Mark Cuban, the current outspoken owner of the Dallas Mavericks professional Basketball team.
Cuban got his start in college starting a series of small yet successful startups but didn’t find himself on the who’s who list of entrepreneurs until he started MicroSolutions, a software and hardware integration company that he eventually sold to CompuServe in 1990. Later, he founded Broadcast.com which he sold to Yahoo! for $6 Billion!
Cuban will be a guest on the ABC hit series Sharktank during their 2nd season starting on March 25th. He was asked what kind of advice he would give to aspiring entrepreneurs. He came up with three pieces of advice to share.
Treat Customers like they Own You
“Because they do”, Cuban said. The basics of business are quite simple. A business serves customers and the customers pay the business. The profit allows the doors to remain open. If the business doesn’t serve the customer in the way that the customer wants, they go somewhere else and the business ceases to exist. The customer owns your business and to forget that only leads to financial pain.
Cuban also reminds entrepreneurs that being nice, respectful, and to put yourself in the place of the customer and treating them the way you would like to be treated is not just the business way of conducting yourself but also the human thing to do. Those who follow the proverbial rule have a much higher chance of success than those who approach customers with an ego.
Bring Yourself Down
If anybody is going to figure out your business startup’s weaknesses, it better be you. If you bring an idea to market, it doesn’t need to be conceptualized to it’s absolute potential but it does need to be a solid product. Before deciding that your product is ready for the competition, think of the ways that others could put you out of business. Be assured that they will try and try hard. Solve the problems before your competitors find them.
Use Your Own Money
Depending on your startup, it may not be feasible to use your own money for 100% of your financing but don’t expect to live the good life while your business is in its infancy. Cuban calls this “sweat equity”. Prepare to work most of the day and eat mac and cheese at the beginning. The more investors you have the less profit you will keep for yourself.
Reading about how others put together great businesses is key to doing it yourself. Never stop reading and learning.