Thursday, April 30, 2020

10 Things Every Entrepreneur Must Know

Are you a budding business owner? Do you see entrepreneurship in your future? Here are a few things you should probably know before you take your first tentative steps into the business world…

You have to work really hard

There are no two ways about it: if you want to be a successful entrepreneur, you’re going to have to work really hard, I mean like Steve Jobs levels of hard for a lot of years. If you can’t handle working long hours and pouring your hearty and soul into your business, then it probably isn’t for you but remember: once you’ve built up a successful business you will reap the benefits and you will be able to take it a lot easier. So, what you have to ask yourself is whether a few years of hard work now is worth it for a successful business and the lifestyle that comes with that later. If you’re serious about being an entrepreneur, the answer is probably YES! 

The bank isn’t your only option

One of the hardest things for entrepreneurs is finding the capital they require to get into business and keep their companies afloat. Right now, the banks ate a lot more cautious about who they will lend money to and that means more loan applications are being confused. That doesn’t have to be a problem! Right now, there are more sources of business income, including Angles Investors and crowdfunding websites, than there has ever been before. So, don’t get disheartened if you can’t find secure a bank loan and explore every option available to you.

Having a decent education helps

Okay, so there are a few success stories of entrepreneurs who had little to know education but overcame the odds to become multi-millionaires, even billionaires, but the fact still remains that having a solid education gives you a leg up when it comes to being a successful businessman or woman. Particularly useful are MBAs in business, innovation and entrepreneurship, like the ones at Northeastern University, because they teach you to think, act and evolve like an entrepreneur. So, maybe your first business investment should be an investment in your own education.

Delegation is a must

Where a lot of entrepreneurs go wrong is in thinking that they must do everything for themselves, not only because it is cheaper but because they want to have complete control over their businesses. This is a sure-fire way to burnout. As I mentioned earlier, you do have to work very hard if you want to be a successful entrepreneur, but you really don’t have to, and you really shouldn’t try to do everything at all times.

What you should do is work out where your strengths and weaknesses lie and focus on doing the tasks yourself that you have the skills to do well. Everything else you should aim to outsource, if not at the very beginning, as soon as you have the capital to do so. Not only will this help you to stay healthy and stay in the game, but it will also enable you to hire the best people with the best skills to make your business the best it can be and that is how you will succeed.

Great entrepreneurs solve problems

For the most part, the most successful entrepreneurs haven’t come up with revolutionary new products or mindblowing ideas. They have simply identified a problem that needs to be solved and created a solution to do just that. It doesn’t matter how interesting your ideas are or how innovative your products are if they don’t solve a very real problem or meet a common need, you are unlikely to sell as much as you could, and chances are you won’t still be in business a decade from now.

Slow and steady wins the race

A lot of budding entrepreneurs things that going full steam ahead is the best way to reach their goals and make their business dreams a reality, when in fact, it is often the opposite that is true.

The most successful entrepreneurs are confident but cautious. They take small steps to build their businesses up gradually; they implement a stage of their plan, wait to see how it goes and only when they see success do they move on to the next stage. This helps them to stay grounded, stay in control and avoid losing all of their money when things don’t exactly play out as expected. Be like them and have big plans by all means, but implement them gradually and only when you’re sure the time is right to do so.

Expect setbacks

If you start a business thinking that everything will always go your way. If you think that you’ll launch, everyone will immediately love your product and start buying it in their droves so that you never have to worry about paying the bills or keeping your employees on, then you are setting yourself up for a fall. 

Sure, if you’ve planned well, chances are you won’t have to worry excessively, but you can bet that you will have setback along the way and things won’t always go the way you planned. The trick is to plan for the unplanned and expect those setbacks to come along then when they do happen — and they will— you will be able to deal with them calmly, professionally and in such a way that your business won’t suffer dramatically. 

Learn from your mistakes

We all make mistakes and that is okay, but instead of just moving on from your mistakes, if you’re serious about being a successful entrepreneur, you should also learn from them. Mistakes aren’t failures — they can teach you so much about yourself, your company and your customers if you take the time to sit down, analyze them and work out WHY things went wrong. That way, you can learn from them, do better next time and improve your entrepreneurship skills as well as your business.

Know when to quit

Sometimes that great idea you had just isn’t going to work. There isn’t any sizeable market for it; the product would be more expensive to make than anyone would ever pay for it and you just don’t have the skills to make it all happen. Instead of holding on to that idea anyway, you need to be brave and give it up. It doesn’t mean you’ve failed as an entrepreneur; it means that you’re a sensible, pragmatic person who knows that being successful is about finding the right idea at the right time and working hard to make THAT a reality. Go back to the drawing board and find that great idea because you know there is one, and by quitting now, you’ll still have the money and motivation to keep going come what may.

Just get started 

No one ever started a successful multi-million dollar business by sitting around dreaming and you won’t either. If you want to be an entrepreneur, sooner or later, you have to take the plunge and just start doing. Yes, it’s scary and a real business might not end up being as good as the one you’re dreaming about, you’ll never know until you try. So, start drawing up that business plan or building that product prototype and don’t look back — it’s the only way to do what you want to do.

Being an entrepreneur can be tough, but it is also one of the most rewarding things you can do, and as long as you know what you’re letting yourself in for, and you’re willing to work hard, there is no reason why you can’t succeed.

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