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Plan, hire well and have fun: Top tips for budding entrepreneurs


Daniel Ishag, founder and CEO of taxi comparison app Karhoo, shares his five top tips for budding entrepreneurs.

1) Have confidence in your idea

If you think something is a good idea then go for it. I do not have an academic background so fortunately, or unfortunately, when I believe something will work I just go ahead and do it. Over analysis leads to paralysis.

It’s important to maintain confidence without being arrogant and bring your idea to life with passion (and lots of data).

Some people thought that bringing ground transportation and e-hailing together had already been done and I would be going into a crowded market, but the truth was that there was nothing like Karhoo out there.

I have always believed in the power of good business, and bringing choice to consumers empowers existing businesses to compete against single network operators by levelling the playing field.

2) Get the best team around you

Whatever business I’ve started or been involved with, I’ve realised that you can’t (and shouldn’t) try to do everything yourself. Entrepreneurship can feel like it’s you against the world. At times, it’s like you’re the only one who truly understands what you’re working towards. But surrounding yourself with good counsel, people who share your vision and energy, and family and friends who support you is crucial.

I would say one of my biggest successes is getting the best people to work with me.

3) Mistakes happen – accept this and learn from them

You are going to get things wrong. The very nature of being an entrepreneur means that what you are trying to achieve has not been done before. You are going to make the wrong decisions and may misjudge a milestone or KPI.

Be mindful of mistakes, accept them, develop a solutions-focused mindset and move on. It’s when things go wrong that the fun starts and you find out how good you and the people around you really are.

Learn from your mistakes and realise that there will be plenty more along the way.

4) Have fun

Entrepreneurship is a lifestyle choice and it’s good for productivity (and the sanity of your team) to have fun on the journey from idea to product (or service). Trust, respect and a sense of humour is at the heart of the Karhoo ethos.

Believe me, you want people around you who can make you laugh when it’s 3am and you’re still working.

5) Plan, plan and plan again

Whether it’s a beach break or boardroom presentation, planning is the irrefutable foundation of a successful venture.

It isn’t glamorous and you may have spreadsheets and Gantt charts that take up entire desks, but as an entrepreneur, the unexpected is a daily reality. The more you plan, the more you are able to see five or six moves ahead. You need to control what you can and put yourself in the best position possible to foresee and anticipate problems.

Ensure your approach, from people to finance, is as strategic as possible. It will help you to achieve your overall objectives, remain accountable and measurable and ultimately, help you to succeed.