I’m starting a new business. What are the most important matters I should focus on and what are the ones I should leave for later?

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So there’s a lot of falsehoods that get passed around when people start businesses. They get wrapped up in the vanity of it and look to create everything that makes you look like a business owner but will make you broke quicker than you can blink.

I promise you that you will suffer the most awesome fails (not in a good way, you’ll just be in awe of how terribly you’ve failed) you have ever seen. You will mess of things at least 10 times for every aspect up your business that you try to improve and everything will still be fine as long as you pay your taxes. Things like;

– What should my company name be?
It doesn’t matter…
– What should my logo look like?
It doesn’t matter and you’re wasting money…
– Should I trademark my business name?
Nobody cares enough to take it from you so it doesn’t matter…
– What should be on my website?
Matters a lot actually but if you can’t drive traffic it won’t…
– Should I file as an LLC or a corporation? Nobody cares but you bro!

So on and so forth people go thinking these things matter.

Here’s the real, the IRS only cares about how much money you made and if you put it on the right form. Your kid(s)/ future children only care if you put food on the table, your family and friends don’t care until you start to show some level of success (they probably won’t support you when you start. Get over it quick and keep pushing so that they can support you, stop getting in your feelings it’s your job to motivate them to want to help) and your customers especially don’t give two shits unless you help them.

The only thing that matters when you start a business is sales. Sales determine whether you live or die. Sales determine whether you’re stressed or happy. Sales determine if you have to accept a client you know you’re gonna hate working for or not. Sales create cash flow and cash is king.

Stop worrying about vanity stuff and learn to sell your product. Once you can do that consistently then you have a business. All that patting on the back people give you for starting that LLC will go away in a week, but once you say I hit $1M in sales everyone will publicize it for you!

I’m telling you this from working with businesses that are just starting. Businesses that were going to or had already filed bankruptcy, to working with million dollar projects and people who didn’t have two nickels to rub together. It’s all a game and once you have money the game gets significantly easier but it’s about learning how to sell your product first. Everything else is easily fixable and then they actually matter.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying you shouldn’t put passion or love into what you do.

I said learn to sell your product so you can do what you do. I said none of the vanity stuff matter until you learn to sell your product so you can be as great as you are for your customers. I didn’t say anything about not putting love and care into your business in fact I believe that you should go above and beyond for anyone who gives you their money but you also have to respect yourself and your time because you deserve it too.

At the end of the day my mission is about creating generational wealth for people. I’m all about putting love & care into my business, but it doesn’t change the fact that if you don’t learn to sell your product you won’t have a business to serve clients with. There’s a reason that 85% of businesses are gone in 10 years and it has everything to do with cash flow.

Daquan Hall is the owner of Learner Market Group, a consulting firm that helps small business owners grow their business.