5 Things You Have to Understand Before You Start a Business

Posted October 24, 2013

LRB Business Centers is dedicated to helping businesses any and everywhere. Let us be the first to tell you, there are a few things you need to know before you a start a business. seems to agree:

Image credit: NBC News

Like many startups Weebly, the website creation and hosting service, was born in a college dorm  room. Back in 2006, co-founders David Rusenko, Chris Fanini and Dan Veltri  wanted an easy way to display their work on a website. They weren’t satisfied  with the available options, so they set about creating their own service. A year  later their project was accepted into the startup incubator Y  Combinator, and Rusenko, Fanini and Veltri dropped out of school to move to  San Francisco.

Fast-forward to present: 15 million people have created a site on Weebly, and  100 million people visit a Weebly site every month. The company has been  profitable since the beginning of 2009 and currently employs 80 people.

Here’s Weebly CEO David Rusenko on how aspiring entrepreneurs can do what he did  seven years ago, and turn an idea into a business.

Start. Today. Rusenko cites analysis paralysis as the  single biggest obstacle between a great idea becoming a successful business. “A  lot of times, it’s more appealing for people to think about what they might be  working on rather than actually start doing it,” he says. Your idea doesn’t have  to be perfect — perfect is impossible. Instead of obsessing over every single  detail, “see where it goes, and then adapt it over time,” Rusenko advises.

Don’t expect overnight success. Tech lore is chock-full  of instant success stories. Most of them, Rusenko insists, are pure illusion.  While a startup may blow up quickly – awash in money and press coverage  seemingly overnight – it’s often a result of years of behind-the-scenes hard  work. “If within three months, nothing much has happened, just remember that it  took us over a year to even apply to Y Combinator,” Rusenko says. “Get started  now, but understand that it’s going to be a long and difficult process.”

Build off of past failures. This ties back to Rusenko’s  previous point: hard work rarely results in immediate reward, but it can lead to  amazing opportunities down the road. The most successful entrepreneurs have put  in years of hard work, Rusenko says. “It’s not always directly related to what  they are working on now, but they’ve tried out multiple ideas.” He points to Ben  Silbermann, who developed the unsuccessful app Tote before eventually hitting it  big with Pinterest, as evidence that initial failure should never be the  endpoint.

Create a product people actually want. It sounds simple,  but Rusenko sees many entrepreneurs getting bogged down in the nuts and bolts  too soon. “Early on, people tend to focus on things like getting official  company seals and letterheads, finding a law firm, filing patents etc.,” Rusenko  says, “but those things are actually incredibly easy to do.” Before getting to  the details, make sure you can adequately answer this question: will anyone want  our product?

Like your co-founders. “One of the biggest reasons  companies fail early on, is co-founder disputes,” Rusenko says. And while  there’s always a certain amount of luck involved – friends don’t always make  good business partners (just ask Noah Glass) – Rusenko insists it’s important to have a natural rapport with  the people you’re going into business with. You’ll be seeing a lot of them,  after all. As in a successful marriage, “good communication is key.”