I started Pocket Nurse® in 1992 with one product. Now we have over 5,000 products and almost 100 full-time employees. By no means was this a simple endeavor. There were certainly fewer good days than bad in those first few years.
Despite the challenges, I wouldn’t trade the experience. Pocket Nurse is the most fulfilling effort of my life and is continually teaching me a lot. I’d offer the following tips to new entrepreneurs interested in starting a new company:
- Don’t be a perfectionist- Always strive for perfection, but be very careful not to let it hold you back. It’s better to create a somewhat flawed product than no product at all.
- Start small- Believe in yourself enough to dream big, but start small. Push your company to be the best at one niche service before expanding.
- Work for others- The obvious benefit of starting your own business is making your own hours and earning financial freedom. Unfortunately, you won’t get either of those benefits for a long time, so don’t expect them. Instead, think of the good you will do for your customers.
- Never get comfortable- No matter how established you feel, there is always more to do. Continually strive for improvement, and your business will be incredibly successful.
- Stand by your values- A company is nothing without its mission, vision, and values. At times, these will be tested. By standing by the values you’ve already established, you say far more about yourself than a perfect shipping schedule ever could.
- Take risks- If you’ve chosen to start your own company, chances are you feel comfortable with risks. Don’t lose sight of this as you expand. Easily won awards aren’t worth as much as hard-fought successes.
- Let your passion guide you- Pocket Nurse began with a pocket organizer for nurses. This was not my passion. We eventually decided to sell medical education and simulation supplies to nurse educators. I felt (and feel) very strongly about helping students learn valuable skills in the classroom. We’re all patients-in-training, so I appreciate my opportunity to make a lasting impact on patient outcomes. In addition to my own satisfaction, pursuing my passion helped me inspire a devoted group of employees, the most crucial tool of Pocket Nurse’s success.
When you chose to start a business, you proved your willingness to take risks, work hard, and follow your passion. As you begin to establish your business, you prove yourself once again. Your ability to maintain the traits you started with, prove your worth as a leader and entrepreneur.
This is a post from Anthony Battaglia, President at Pocket Nurse.