What I’ve Learnt Starting Companies

What I've Learnt Starting Companies

What I've Learnt Starting Companies

Companies and business are my passion. Ever since I first realised this is what I wanted to be doing, I’ve been turning ideas into companies. I first realised that I wanted to build companies when I was watching an event at my University and the speaker was explaining how he would constantly turn his ideas into reality. This inspired me to put things into action.


Start. Just Start

This is always the best advice I have to give to anyone looking to bring an idea into reality is to simply start. This is the easiest part of the journey, starting. Every company I’ve been involved in easiest thing is to start.


Starting can also put an idea into perspective, test its validity and (most importantly) see if this is something you even want to run. I’ve started a few companies and within a few weeks stopped or pivoted because of the above reasons.


The Sunk Cost Fallacy

Things can go wrong. In fact, at every single stage of business there are things which can go wrong. I’ve had a number of multinational companies trial our product and a month later our company went bust. The important thing to know is what to do when the company fails, needs to pivot or the market changes. The problem a lot of founders get in is throwing good money after bad, this is sunk cost fallacy. Time and money spent on something that isn’t working, not because it will help but because we’re emotionally invested. This sunk cost trap can lead to zombie companies, that drag on far longer than they should.


The sunk cost trap is dangerous since founders stuck in this trap will be unable to work on anything else, any new ideas. Cut your losses and move on. This is much easier said than done but it’s better to be building a growing company than saving a dying one.


Get a Great Team

The most important aspect of a business to get right, one which can mitigate all the other risks or completely kill the company is the team. You’ve got to have, not only a great team but the right team. A team which can work with you, with each other which can build your product. More importantly, a team which is dedicated to the company, nothing is worse (trust me) when you’re working with a great team but one team member leaves for other opportunities. You also need to make sure you’ve got people in your team with complimentary skill sets, there is nothing worse than having great people with nothing to do.


A team which gels and works together and makes things happen is what makes a company a success. You need to work with people who share your passion and are willing to work to make the company a success.


Xavier Parkhouse-Parker

Xavier Parkhouse-Parker

This article was written by: Xavier Parkhouse-Parker - I started my first company at 16 buying electrical products from China and selling in the UK, since then I've started and run three companies, one was sold, one failed and another is rapidly growing, for all of this I was awarded the national student entrepreneur of the year award for the UK. I've also grown a startup organisation by 500% from 40 members to over 350 (in 14 months). I'm currently running Recommendable, the leader in Word of Mouth marketing.