Hard work and persistence is essential to running a business. The most successful entrepreneurs tend to possess passion, perseverance, and a positive attitude – these traits are what set them apart from less successful business owners. Many people think that the best entrepreneurs have these skills innately, but with hard work and motivation, anyone can successfully start a company. Here are some tips to help you become a better entrepreneur.
1). Chase your passion but don’t rush the process
It’s hard to stay dedicated to any endeavor if you lack passion. You have a better chance of success if you decide to throw yourself wholeheartedly into your work. One of the most important things you can have is a refusal to give up. However, don’t confuse giving 110% with risking it all. Putting all of your resources into one opportunity may have been a successful strategy for a few entrepreneurs, but more often than not, you will need to slowly build up to your end goals. Taking small risks while you’re just starting out is a good way to ensure that your company can bounce back from any minor failures.
2). Learning more equals earning more
You may think that the best entrepreneurs know how to do everything on their own. The truth is, nobody knows everything – even the top executives need some help sometimes! Most entrepreneurs have spent time working for others. The best entrepreneurs recognize that working under a mentor and taking the time to learn the tricks of the trade is invaluable experience. Doing so is a great way to learn from common mistakes and take your business to the next level.
You need to accept that learning always comes before “earning”. You’ll need to be committed to learn all aspects of the business – sales, marketing, budgeting – if you want to have a strong and sturdy business. You need to have a good grasp of all of these areas and know how they work together to set your company up for success.
3). Build your “A team”
This tip falls under the same idea as learning from others. Too often, we think we have all the answers and that our way is the only right way. It’s especially hard for entrepreneurs to give up control and trust that others will take care of your company in the same way that you would. However, finding another set of eyes and hands is one of the best ways to improve your business. People from the outside can provide you with valuable feedback and insights that you may not have had access to before. Surrounding yourself with a great group of hard workers is a surefire way to foster innovation within your company.
4). Self advocate – with a good attitude
You are your biggest advocate. As such, you need to be able to present your ideas and pitch yourself with confidence. Take some time to learn how to share your – be authentic, honest, and open to questions. At the end of the day, making the sale is what matters. However, you need to focus on your client’s problems and how you specifically can solve them. Additionally, it’s important to have a great attitude about it. As the founder of your company, your attitude sets the tone for any and all future business transactions. You will undoubtedly face many challenges and obstacles on your journey, but facing those head on and with a positive mindset is fundamental for the longevity of your business.
5). Listen to the market
Marketing and the sale of goods has changed dramatically over the years. In the past, salespeople had a product, found a way to market it, and pushed it as it was. In today’s digitally engaged world, it’s far too easy for customers to find customized products and services or compare goods. The best entrepreneur will find a market with existing demand that has not yet been utilized. Think first of what the people want. Then, do your best to offer it. Long gone are the days of hard sells – today’s world is all about catering to the customer’s needs.
6). Get cash flowing
As the saying goes, “Cash is king”. You simply cannot build a successful business without consistently maintaining healthy cash flow. Many entrepreneurs are creative by nature and find the technicalities of business to be frustrating or confusing. However, this essential component cannot be ignored. One way to keep a positive cash flow is to ask for deposits on work up-front, with balances due on delivery. Of course, the secret lies in decreasing the amount of time between spending your cash and receiving more. Think creatively about how you can receive money up front to minimize the chance of cash flow woes.
7). Prioritize marketing and sales
You can have the best idea, product, and service in the world, but your business won’t be successful until you start turning a profit. Profits are made on leads that care converted into leads. If you’re business is great, you’ll be able to maintain those sales and turn them into lifetime customers. Many entrepreneurs get bogged down in branding details. However, a better alternative would be to turn their attention towards the marketing and sales funnel. As you provide excellent goods or service, your brand will naturally grow. Don’t spend money on your brand in the beginning when you could be spending money on generating customers, who will in turn spread word of their experience with you.
8). Find ways to exponentially increase profits
In business, there are five drivers of profits. If you can master them while keeping your costs in check, your business will reap the rewards. Mastering those drivers follows a process such as this: generate leads, convert those leads into customers, increase the number of times those customers buy from you, increase the average price point of your sales and thereby increase your profit margin. At the same time, remember to keep your costs low where you can afford to!
9). Test, measure, repeat
You can’t fix what’s broken if you aren’t checking to see what needs repairs. On the same token, you can’t tell if your strategy is working if you are not consistently testing, measuring, and analyzing your results. Get scientific about your marketing! Doing so allows you to practice a logic-based corrective course of action. You can’t know if your ad campaign is successful if you aren’t checking up on its reach, impressions, or conversion rates. By testing and measuring these things repeatedly, you can see where you can save money and what parts of your strategy could use improving. Be sure to test and measure key metrics for any new strategies as well!
10). Don’t discount, add value
This step reiterates the importance of listening to the market as well as exponentially increasing your profits. Discounts directly decrease your profits. Instead, try creating added value propositions with low cost or no cost extras. A good trick for faking a discount is by using a sales promotion or coupon. A limited time coupon allows you to test different price points and see how the market responds without permanently hurting your bottom line.
Take care of yourself! While all the above tips are necessary for achieving success, taking care of yourself mentally and physically is also extremely important. Exercising, getting a full night’s rest, and eating a balanced diet plays a vital role in ensuring you implement these policies successfully. Working too hard without making time for yourself can result in negative consequences on your attitude, motivation, and relationships. So while you are working on your business goals, don’t forget to take care of yourself – after all, you are key to the business.