1. Look at your current workload completely honestly. Delegate and cut tasks brutally.
Too many of us spend time plowing away on tasks that don't matter. Look at all of your to-dos honestly, get rid of some, delegate others.
2. Do the ugly stuff, your research and business plan, first.
No matter how much it hurts or how much you just want to dive in, do your business plans first. Do it!
This post is full of product photos and label designs that didn't work for me. I'm re-designing everything.
3. Don't reveal details too early, you never know how long development will take.
I make this mistake all the time, it's better to reveal details when you're near-done.
4. Don't launch until you're completely confident with your product...
Take your time to develop something you're proud of. Time spent depends on your project, too. I've read some people in my field will take years to launch something. Some movie directors I like will sit on something and slowly incubate it for decades! Quality counts, take your time.
5. BUT don't take TOO long or you can get stuck in development hell for YEARS.
On the other hand, don't drag it on for too long, set realistic deadlines for yourself and execute. Sometimes you have to relax and just do.
6. Contract outside help when/where possible.
If you're stuck forever somewhere, consider hiring help with things you can't easily do. Like web design, photography, graphic design, etc.
7. Focus on Quality...
Quality is #1, don't put out anything you can't be 100% behind and proud of. It's easier to sell something you love.
8. But cut the fat wherever possible, by doing things like shopping in bulk.
Shop in bulk , shop around, do what you need to keep costs realistic but also high quality.
All cutting-room floor efforts, but not in vain. You learn from what doesn't work.
9. Keep inspiration high, take classes for and network in your field.
This is very important to learn as much as possible about your field but also to stay inspired. Make craft groups, work with friends, visit museums, get a job with a business you want to start. (Work at a cafe if you want to open a cafe.) Be interactive and get out often for new inspiration.
10. Work on what you do a little bit every day, and never the passion fizzle out.
Don't work too long or too hard, don't lose sleep over our business when avoidable. Work a little bit every day, and keep the fun and passion high.
I've learned everything above the hard way making lots of mistakes over the past 17 years of making stuff for the web and another eight years of making or curating products to sell.
Got any further business questions? Or better tips! I could always use more. Please feel free to share via e-mail or in the comments!