The most important gift you can give to your business in the early stages is to get great systems in place to manage all the mission critical aspects of your operations. The number of people who tell me they have everything in their head is frightening. You cannot grow unless you create a solid foundation. Very early in the Boost journey, we discovered the value of systems — particularly when we decided to move to a franchise model. Strong systems will save you when the going gets tough because — like military training — they give you something to fall back on when your brain is in a fog and you have a thousand urgent things screaming for your attention at once. I was fortunate that my brain works in systems, and every day I was either tweaking or creating a system so the business could grow. Of course, no system will work unless you have an A-team in place to ensure that, as the business grows, it develops into a relatively sleek and streamlined operation. Without good systems and a winning team, you risk creating a scary ‘Frankenmonster' of a business that will need a lot of pruning and restructuring down the track to get it back into shape.

It's also important to consider what the future shape of your business will be and make sure the important decisions you make in the early days take you closer to that goal and not further away from it. In the case of Boost, franchising was on the cards from the outset but franchising isn't right for every business ...

Get The Accidental Entrepreneur, 2nd Edition now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from nearly 200 publishers.