Thinking of entering the ruthless world of entrepreneurship? Here are some useful tips from successful entrepreneurs to give you a helping hand.

It’s been said time and time again that life’s too short to learn from your own mistakes… so why not learn from others? Specially catered for entrepreneurs from entrepreneurs, we’ve compiled nine insightful tips from industry veterans on what they wish they’d known before starting out in their business ventures.

1. Product-market fit is absolutely essential

“First-mover advantage is extremely overrated unless you can patent your product. Being first in, you’ll be spending a lot of money trying to educate the market on your company’s product. Instead, listen to customers, understand value gaps left by your competitors, and build a compelling solution that solves the customers’ most pressing problem.”

– Matthew Ng, Founder of

2. Company values are underrated

“Looking back to when we started, we should have had more defined values to help us shape the culture of the company. Values help identify who will be a good fit for your team, sets expectations, and guides the decisions you make every day to move the business forward or resolve issues. Creating values for the company has reaped benefits to this day, strengthening the culture and atmosphere of BASE, and ensuring that team members are all on the same page.”

– Jack Thomas, Founder of BASE

3. Know your metrics – and measure your progress by them

“I wish I knew about the metric ‘CAC vs LTV’ (consumer acquisition cost/lifetime value ratio). It would have really helped me approach marketing with a more long-term view and acquire my customers in a more efficient manner”

– Daryl Chew, Founder of Nail Deck


4. Resilience is a crucial element of entrepreneurial success

I wish I’d known that some people would try to stop or block me from following my dreams, setting up new businesses, and innovative charities. If I’d known that earlier, I would have been more prepared and not so hurt when these situations occurred. I would have realised that they had their own agendas and let go of the hurt more easily. However, the good thing is that I learnt to be resilient. Never let anyone snatch your dreams and passions away, and never give up on standing up for what you believe in.”

Tania De Jong, serial social entrepreneur and TEDx speaker

5. Don’t skimp on competitor research before you start advertising

“If you are marketing on Facebook or Instagram, the best thing you can do before spending money on ads is to go onto your competitors’ Facebook page, click on ‘Page Transparency’, and look through the creatives that they’re running. This will give you a good idea about what kind of creatives are working for them, and then you just have to tweak and change the ads to fit your brand. This would’ve saved me thousands of dollars if I knew this from the beginning.”

– Patrick Psotka, Founder of SPARX Underwear

6. Face your fears – and the unknown

“Don’t let the fear of ‘not knowing’ an industry well enough discourage you from going into it. You’re actually coming in with a fresh perspective, which is good because you might be able to find shortcuts or other ways to challenge conventions.”

Natalie Bin Narkprasert, Founder of COVID-Thailand Aid

7. Know that you don’t always need external funding

“Put yourself in a position to raise capital from a position of strength, and only if truly needed. There are plenty of incredible businesses out there that have raised zero capital. That is a truly awesome path.”

Athan Slotkin, award-winning business strategist and former poker professional

8. Don’t rely on automation without first understanding the problem

“You have to do things manually before automating them effectively. When problems arise that need to be solved at scale, it is important to first consider how it would be solved if there were just one single person experiencing the issue. This allows for a deeper understanding of the pain point, which inevitably results in a significantly more effective solution for the end person using your tool.”

– Matt Zerker, Founder of Tethr

9. Treasure your loved ones too – even as your business grows

“You can start a hundred businesses, but you only have one shot at being part of your loved one’s life – they don’t care about your platform, they care about your presence.”

– Lou Chan, Co-founder of GuestReady Group


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