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12 tips for startup companies, from the desk of Mark Cuban

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As every entrepreneur and small business owner knows, starting a business is not as easy as it sounds. There is no set standard of guidelines or rules. That’s because everyone is different, and has their own.

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Mark Cuban’s 12 Startup Rules

However, taking advice from those who have done it successfully could be considered wise. So, today, let’s take a look at “Mark Cuban's 12 Rules for Startups.” And, for the record, these rules don’t just apply to people founding startups. They’re also effective for anyone thinking about working for a startup, as well.

1) Passion is the Key – Never start a new business unless it’s something you’re passionate about at the time. You need to love it, as well as be obsessed with it.

2) Forget Exit Strategies – According to Mark Cuban, you can’t be obsessed with it if you already have an exit strategy. If you’re obsessed, you have no intentions of giving up… ever.

3) Hire for Compatibility – Don’t hire people just because of their skills or interviewing abilities. Make sure your employees are compatible with your startup. If they really love working there, you have created a loyal team.

4) Know Your Sales Goals – How will your startup make money? How will sales actually be made? Answer these questions before you get going.

5) Know Your Main Strengths – These are also called your core competencies. You must know your company’s strategic advantages. Once you do, this will help you understand how to outshine your competition.

6) Do Lunches Outside the Office – This is you and your staff’s chance to get out of the office and network… engage… talk. Don’t waste lunchtime sitting at your desk mulling over paperwork.

7) No Privacy Allowed – When it comes to startups, privacy is a bad word. You need to have an open-office environment. That way, everyone stays in tune with what’s happening with the company. And, the team works together to keep energy levels up. Privacy is for the bathroom stalls. There’s nothing like counting on that effective executive who leaves you to build an empire. If an exec must make personal phone calls, but can’t make sales calls, you don’t need that one. Empire builders are not team players, and will online pollute your startup.

8) Effective Technology is Better than Innovations – Most startups have a very small staff. So, it’s best to just let folks use what they know. If you know Apple better than PCs, go with Apple. If you absolutely love Windows 7, stick with it. Worry about innovations as you start to grow.

9) Create Flat Grounds – In a startup, you don’t want your managers reporting to other managers. All this will do is create politics within your startup. And, you certainly don’t need that, at least not in the beginning.

10) Swag is Wasted Money – Polo shirts with your logo embroidered on them are for trade show reps, and the likes. Don’t waste money buying swag for all of your employees. Do you seriously think they’re going to wear them out in public on a typical day? Seriously?

11) Handle Your Own PR – What’s the purpose of a PR firm during your startup phase? You don’t need to hire someone else to put you in touch with websites you frequent and publications you subscribe to already. Instead, email these people, and introduce yourself and your startup to them. Since their goal is to discover new things, they’ll welcome your emails. Engage in industry-related conversations with them. Soon, you’ll find yourself becoming their “go to” source for answering inquiries about your industry.

12) Make Jobs Rewarding and Fun – Reward your staff for their accomplishments… cash is always nice. And, do what you need to do to keep stress levels down. Designate a company bar, and come up with a signature drink, including a “virgin” version. Employee morale needs to remain high. So, do you part to keep it that way.

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