1. Have a clear vision of what your business will be, and believe in it. If you pick an idea on gut feeling, do your research. Only one in 100 ideas are really successful.
2. Hire people who are better than you and whose strengths are your weaknesses. Build and lead a strong team to tough out the bad times.
3. Acquire basic business admin skills. An MBA is far from compulsory, but it could be to your advantage.
4. Raise funding from family, friends and contacts in the early stages. Establish a track record, then go to institutions and outside investors.
5. Find the best professional advisers. Hiring the right lawyers and accountants gives you a valuable informal personal support network.
6. Be flexible. Responding to the market and customers pragmatically is critical to business success. Learn to manage risk.
7. Learn your limitations and be ready to hand the reins to someone better qualified. Starting a business is not the same as growing it.