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How to Make 6 Million in your Startup’s First Year

After over 20 years in marketing industry, I’ve pretty much seen it all.

Then I meet a client that achieves the impossible, and recently, for me that was Frank Richmond, the Founder of Cirrus Networks.

The Perth-based tech start up grossed $6 million in its first year.  For most startups one million would have been an extraordinary feat; luckily, I deal with big thinkers, entrepreneurs that share my ability to imagine the impossible, and who fuel those ideas with enough energy until they come to fruition.  I’ve often said: I learn a lot from my clients and Cirrus is one of them.

How did this IT solutions company succeed in an arguably saturated tech market?  Founder Frank Richmond condenses this in to three key attributes: decisiveness, vision and commitment.

Breaking his entrepreneurial process down into steps, Richmond explained how he grew Cirrus to a $6 million company within 12 months, confidently predicting that Cirrus could gross $20 million in year two.

Here are the five pieces of advices we can all learn from his journey:

1.    Commit to action.  The hardest part of business is committing yourself to risk.  Taking that first step can be daunting, but as the saying goes; you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.
2.    Be different.  It seems everyone wants to work for themselves, therefore your idea needs to shine like a beacon within your chosen industry.  To succeed, you need to work not only harder and faster than your competitors but forge a significant point of difference.
3.    Customers = Number 1.  Your customers need to be your priority (unless you intend to donate $6 million to your own company).  Without them, you don’t have a business.  Remind yourself and your staff of this every single day.
4.    Prepare for battle.  Especially in the early stages of development, a startup can be extremely exciting; but have you got the winning formula ready before you enter the market?  Are you 100% satisfied with your product?  Do you have the right team?
5.    Mind the gaps.  A startup should aim at providing a solution; filling a hole that no other business can.  When analysing your market, search for neglected demographics, charter unexplored territories – aim to put your footprint where no other company has wondered.

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