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Theresa Gattung's 5 secrets of success

My Food Bag chef Nadia Lim and Theresa Gattung.

My Food Bag entrepreneur Theresa Gattung shares her top 5 secrets to starting a successful business.

1. A successful business almost always requires a mixture of skills.

My Food Bag’s founding ­entrepreneurs, Cecilia and James Robinson, adroitly recognised this when they chose to join forces with the most talented cook of our generation, Nadia Lim, and me, in setting up My Food Bag.

2. It is the founders and early ­“joiners” who take a start-up ­business to scale.

Surround yourself with the best people you can find to join you and don’t skimp on hiring the best advisers.

3. Being an entrepreneur is the new “cool”, but it’s not for everyone.

It means risk. Investors want a return and banks expect loans to be repaid and may require personal ­guarantees. Key suppliers may also require personal guarantees. Your time’s your own, all right, but in the early years you’ll be working every minute.

4. Take care when investing in a friend or family member’s business.

Don’t invest in a friend or family ­member’s business more than you can afford to lose, or more than would adversely affect your ­relationship with that person if you did indeed lose your money.

5. Everything goes in cycles.

Interest rates have been at almost unprecedented low levels. Common sense tells us the ­likelihood is that they will rise, so this is probably not the time to be borrowing to maximum capacity for anything, whether that’s a business or a house.

And finally, if you’re a woman in your own business, join Company of Women.

Co.of Women – coofwomen.biz – is an excellent community, support and learning organisation for female entrepreneurs, whether ­experienced or just starting out.

This article was first published in the February 4, 2017 issue of the New Zealand Listener. Follow the Listener on Twitter, Facebook and sign up to the weekly newsletter.