Starting a business isn’t always smooth sailing, with deep funding, a solid concept, well-researched information, and a strong network only some factors deciding your future success. Here are some valuable pieces of advice from serial entrepreneurs.
1. Be Your Biggest Critic
Starting a business is similar to starting a marriage. Everyone starts out hopeful and dreamy-eyed, but you’ll soon be confronted with a reality that is either good or unpleasant, depending on the choices you made when you first got started. Before you fully commit, it is strongly advised to take your time and challenge your assumptions to ensure that this is a sound plan.
2. Learn How To Market Your Business
Starting a small business is tough enough, but if you don’t know how to market it, your chances of success are slim. Also, for the most part, marketing your offering on Facebook and Twitter isn’t enough. You’ll have to hone your in-person marketing skills and learn how to talk face-to-face with folks who might want to do business with you. Even if you don’t currently possess these skills, it is possible to learn them.
3. Be Ready To Pivot
The start-up market is highly competitive. While your business idea may have been perfectly sound at the time of conceptualization, by the time you actually get started, a lot of variables will have changed. To keep up with the changing times and be successful, entrepreneurs must be capable of quickly changing direction. Collect the feedback from your beta users and incorporate changes demanded by the market. Conduct polls and surveys to better understand the challenges your target audience is facing and work on solving those problems. Constant innovation is the key.
4. Don’t Expect Good Results Overnight
According to Matthew Kelley in his book The Long View, “Most people underestimate what they can accomplish in a month and overestimate what they can accomplish in a day. We overestimate what we can accomplish in a year while underestimating what we can achieve in a decade.” It’s not uncommon for people to start working on their business, feel like they’re making no progress, and then give up. We must keep in mind that regular labour, even if it is only a few hours every night, will get us far. The most successful companies and brands aren’t built overnight, and they usually take a lot of hard work from a lot of people over a lengthy period of time.
5. Focus On The MVP
Too often businesses focus on the wrong thing to test a theory. Try putting something out there with the MVP (Minimum Viable Product) before investing thousands of hours and dollars. Curious about a concept? Ask your friends and community. Not sure about a brick-and-mortar business? Get a temporary pop-up or mobile concept. Want to open a restaurant? Cook for others in your kitchen or cater events first.
6. Fail Fast And Often
If you’re a perfectionist, the idea of starting a business and failing can be especially terrifying. Don’t be afraid of failure. Experiencing lots of little failures is simply a part of life and business. In the end, failing fast and often will make you stronger.
7. Focus On Solving One Problem At A Time
Entrepreneurship can appear to be a heroic journey to many people who are new to it. However, the reality is that establishing a business and being an entrepreneur are not exactly glamorous occupations. It’s all about tackling one issue at a time and meeting deadlines. Many days can be routine, and some can even be frustrating or boring, such as when you have to come up with a month’s worth of social media content. People frequently fail to begin or complete their product/website because they have superhuman notions of what it takes to be an entrepreneur.
8. Have A Financial Plan
Many entrepreneurs start on a company venture without fully comprehending the financial implications. You’ll need money on hand to handle day-to-day operations as well as unforeseen needs. Make sure you have a good plan in place and that you understand how money flows in and out. You’re more prone to struggling and making rash judgments if you don’t keep track of your funds
9. Remember That Everything Happens Eventually
A great leader once said that if you’re passionate about something and work hard, everything will eventually fall into place. Failure usually occurs because people give up when they are not seeing the results they want immediately. You can compare starting a business to going to the gym after an extended break. At first, you’re going to feel exhausted, but still proud that you took the first step. If you’re persistent, you will see results.