Lots of people give lots of advice to startup leaders.
What's the one single best piece of advice you'd give to a leader of a start up? Business plan is written, LLC is formed, initial funding commitments have been obtained but $'s have not yet flowed and development is not yet started.
Don't avoid the 1,000,000 mile journey because you can't see yourself going 1,000,000 miles now. Start... and take it one step at a time. For every entrepreneur that launches his company/service/software/product, there are hundreds who talk about launching for years and years. I know those people. I have friends like that. They change ideas like socks, always talk and talk, build plans in their heads and simply NEVER do anything in the real world. They will never leave their day jobs.
There is only one factor that's 100% accurate to distinguish between an entrepreneur from a entrepreneur-wannabe: EXECUTION. Real entrepreneurs fail sometimes, entrepreneurs wannabes never get to the point where they know if they failed or succeeded.
Make sure you know exactly how the service or product you're creating will deliver value to prospects in your target market and then maintain a maniacal focus on the features and functions that generate the value.
Everything else - your terms of service, your marketing plans, your support plans - everything should follow logically from that understanding of your unique value proposition.
And, yes, as ron M pointed out, execution matters!
There is lots of great business advice that you can read and get on here. Execution matters is the most importantly clearly. Knowing who your customer is, having plans, expecting the unexpected, understanding your market. . . all great advice.
I am going to throw out the one that over my years of facilitating strategic growth initiatives with SMB, family-owned businesses, and start-ups consistently proves to be one of the most important:
Don't have an affair with your business. Don't forget your own foundation of family and spirit. The fabric of your spiritual, family and friends is your foundation. Don't forget them. You need them. You need their support. You need their love. You need a shared commitment to success. You need them to provide perspective. You need them to replenish your spirit when you get kicked.
Earn the support of your family as you launch. Sometimes we are so focused on earning investor support, landing beta customers, polish our unique value proposition that we forget to maintain the lines of communication with our friends and family. We expect that they will support us unconditionally and way too often we abuse that unconditional support. Make sure that you provide them the same high level open communication that you would the most important investor -- because they are.
Stay on top of your FRM Make sure your FRM (family/friends relationship management) is treated as important as your customer relationship management and your investor relationship management. Be transparent with the down -- not just the up. Say thank you. Plan date nights -- and keep them. Create spaces where they can complain about Mom/Dad not being there. And then make sure that you are.
Because in then end -- that is what will always be the most important.