The internet doesn\u2019t make global markets \u2018accessible\u2019 or \u2018easy to break into\u2019...It makes it possible.Simon Baker, CricHQ"If you\u2019ve started your own business, you\u2019ll know there\u2019s no shortage of people willing to give you advice \u2013 whether it\u2019s from professionals or amateurs, friends or foes," says Simon Baker, founder and CEO of CricHQ.\u201cToo often the most readily available \u2018advice\u2019 comes from people who have never founded a business, taken a risk, or done the hard yards themselves,\u201d says Baker, who founded CricHQ in 2010.CricHQ is now the world\u2019s largest digital platform for cricket, and Baker has in recent months been invited to speak in forums offshore on how to grow a startup.\u201cWhat I\u2019ve learned is there\u2019s no guarantee of success, he tells CIO New Zealand. \u201cEntrepreneurship may start with an idea, but execution and hard work is what determines success,\u201d he says on the key themes he discusses during such forums.His recent speaking engagements include the Collision Conference in New Orleans and the RISE conference in Hong Kong. The latter had more than 10,000 delegates from 70-plus countries.Baker says good advice in one situation might be bad in another. He reckons, \u201cthe best tool you\u2019ve got is hindsight, ensuring you don\u2019t make the same mistake twice."Insider's insights With this in mind, he shares his \u201ctop five tips to set you up, not trip you up\u201d when starting a business.First, \u201cTrust your instincts.\u201d\u201cEntrepreneurs are often overwhelmed with advice that can distract them from acting on their own insights and understanding of their industry,\u201d states Baker. \u201cWhen seeking advice, make use of informal networks and remember to trust your instincts. Don't rush to appoint paid advisers or appoint a board. And take time to choose the right people and partners with the experience to help your business grow and prosper.\u201dSimon Baker, founder and CEO, CricHQWhen looking for investment, we need to bring our A-game from the outset if we want to compete with startups coming out of Asia, the US and the UK.Second, \u201cStay on top of the numbers.\u201d\u201cMany people advocate getting a financial adviser involved early because of their ability to help manage the business and raise capital. \u201cGreat CFOs with the right experience and networks are hard to find,\u201d he says. \u201cTo start with, get a good accountant, part-time or full-time as required, and explore Virtual CFOs (as a service) when the time is right.\u201dThird, \u201c Global customers have fishhooks.\u201d\u201cThe internet doesn\u2019t make global markets \u2018accessible\u2019 or \u2018easy to break into\u2019,\u201d he explains. \u201cIt makes it possible, but the more markets you enter the more time zones, geographic barriers, and cultural differences there are to overcome.\u201dHe says CricHQ has more than 100 staff across six countries. \u201cWe\u2019ve chosen our markets carefully and it has paid off.\u201dFourth, \u201cKnow when to protect, or share IP.\u201d\u201cTrademarks and patents can cost a huge amount of time and financial resource to establish and often there is little value,\u201d says Baker.\u201cIn fact, some of the best gains I\u2019ve made have been because I\u2019ve trusted others with my ideas rather than keeping these close to my chest. A better use of your time and energy is focusing on strategies that overcome the competition, rather than protect against it.\u201dFifth, \u201cProfessionalise your offering and look for investment abroad.\u201d\u201cNew Zealanders are lucky that we value innovation as a nation and that seed investment is relatively easy to attract,\u201d he states.\u201cBeyond this, too often our \u2018number eight wire\u2019 approach does us a disservice in the international market.\u201d\u201cWhen looking for investment, we need to bring our A-game from the outset if we want to compete with startups coming out of Asia, the US and the UK,\u201d he says.New Zealand has a great international reputation, and there are plenty of investors looking for great ideas in our market, he adds.To ICT professionals who want to tread the entrepreneurial route as he had (Baker\u2019s previous employers included Telecom [now Spark], Fujitsu and Civica), he advises:\u201cStarting up a business takes a huge amount of commitment and sacrifice\u2026 If you're in any doubt as to whether this is for you, it's probably not. \u201cSend news tips and comments to email@example.comFollow Divina Paredes on Twitter: @divinapFollow CIO New Zealand on Twitter:@cio_nzSign up for CIO newsletters for regular updates on CIO news, views and events.Join us on Facebook.