We’ve been asked a bit what advice we’d give to anyone starting their own brand, so we’d thought we’d share it with you all in the case of use for anyone out there who is starting their rollercoaster journey. 

1. Don’t quit your day job

I happened to hear about this (thankfully) before I started Herboo from a book called The Overlap, essentially by not putting your business under the financial pressure of you and bills you’ve got to pay. Reality is your business isn’t going to bring home the bacon on day one.
 
You wouldn’t be expected to close a big deal on your first day in a new job, would you?
 
By not being under financial pressure, you are free to make the right creative decisions for your business, test what works (and what doesn’t) and set up a strong foundation for when it is a profitable business.
 
Read more on the Overlap

 2. It’s not about what you do or make, it’s about why you do it.

The world is a big place and chances are someone out there has already thought of your idea. At the beginning, I was so caught up on finding my ‘unicorn’ – that intangible miracle idea that would change the world.
 
The idea, it turns out is the easy part, the challenging work is how you do it. How are you listening and adapting to your customers? What problem are you trying to solve for them? What are the reasons as to why you are trying to expand your business?
 
Don’t feel the pressure of trying to come up with something ground-breaking, you can innovate, improve and improve on any idea that’s success is based on you having a good grasp on why you are doing it.
 
3. Be the point of difference
 
The world is a hustling, bustling place and there is a lot of noise out there – especially now everyone has a smartphone with an abundance of brands talking to them 24/7. It’s dangerous to be following with what someone else is doing, you will always be a step behind them and be ignoring what your business is calling out for.
 
Ways that you can be different:
- Your customer service – how focused are you at making your customers happy
- Your business model, what’s your channel strategy to get new customers.
- How you make your product
- The experience you give people no matter which touchpoint of your business they reach
- Your tone of voice, brand identity and personality

4. Find your mentors
 
Herboo would not be where it is if it wasn’t from finding those who would give me valuable advice. Other people have made the same mistakes you have before you, life is too short to make all these mistakes yourself so learn from others.
 
Once you have found your mentors, make sure they are part of the brand journey, update them after you have asked their advice – even if this time you didn’t follow it due to another factor.
 
If you are struggling to find mentors, turn to books, podcasts and blogs there are plenty of amazing resources that will help you on the road to greatness. The podcast ‘How I Built This’ or the Tim Ferris Show are my normal listens.
 
5. Be a generalist
 
Don’t be afraid to roll up your sleeves at the beginning, you can specialise later. From design, sales, finance, packing, designing your website - the works. You will be amazed about how much you learn in a short period of time and always think when you hire a specialist in that area. It will feel a bit like a juggling act at first but soon you’ll sense what your business needs your attention on.
 
6. Stop comparing yourself to others
 
Every business started somewhere, it didn’t just miraculously appear, it took hard work and graft. Comparing yourself to other businesses, how many stockists they have, how much money they make, how big their team is, will just dampen your drive.
 
They have plenty of years on you but what you should focus on is your ideas, observations for the market and how you are going to action them in unique and interesting ways.
 
7. Be self-funded
 
Herboo started on a £2K personal investment on money saved from years working full time jobs. It has grown organically based on what has brought in revenue balanced with the mantra only do it if it is fun interesting or worth it. It means you are in complete control of your business from day 1 and are making decisions that are right for your business.
 
8. Make a community
 
Starting a business is tough, it has its highs and its lows, and you must interact with many different types of businesses along your way. Having a community of like-minded businesses both in your industry or following a similar model is worth it’s wait in gold. You can share experiences and dealings you have had and perhaps even collaborate.
 
9. Value your time
 
At the beginning it is very tempting to absorb every living moment of your day in your business. After all, paying yourself can be optional. There comes a time when you need to value your own time, make sure that you are still being able to be you. Your business is depending on your creative ideas and working around the clock 24/7 won’t bring out the best you. Where you can, set personal boundaries, time off and always ask yourself if it is worth it.