For many, being your own boss is synonymous with freedom. You are free to make decisions for yourself. But, many things depend on external factors. Even though you are the one leading the way now, many have walked those steps before. Successful entrepreneurs implement and constantly change their strategies for business growth.
They have a thing or two to say about entrepreneurship. However, there’s no such thing as a perfect formula for managing a startup. So, which words of wisdom should you follow? The ones that force you to think in a new way.
Don’t allow talk to delay execution. What separates successful entrepreneurs from plain dreamers? Action.
Many people dream of starting their own company, but they never do. Why? Because of the excuses they make.
There are thousands of reasons not to start a business. But, at some point, you must embrace the risk and make something happen.
And you need something tangible. It is easy to sit and discuss funding, meet with board members, think about potential failures, and get wrapped up in planning, But, if all you do is talk, you’ll get nowhere.
Focus on Delivering Value for Money
If you are running your startup like most people, you’re probably laying the foundations by filling in knowledge gaps through books and courses, or by developing the company website and smartphone app.
Of course, product development and personal education do matter. But, people will pay you right now to provide them with a solution!
You can serve your customers and build your business at the same time. Instead of spending your valuable time just planning future marketing campaigns and fundraising for product development, create something of real value. Facebook started when Mark Zuckerberg got hired to do a particular job, not when he started working on the name and logo.
Be Calculative, Plan
Of course, action and delivery matter the most, but you can’t just delve into a project and let things take its course. Even though startups are somewhat a gamble, and there is some luck involved, keep in mind that luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.
Make SWOT a part of all your plans. Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats – take all of that into account, and be honest with yourself. Having a short-term, one-year plan will give you a new lens through which you can analyze the problems you face.
Be a Solution
Don’t start by thinking about what product you’ll be selling. Instead, think about what it will solve. When your startup is fixing a problem, gaining a solid customer base will be a lot easier. Your business should fill a void in a certain niche or market.
Mike Kappel, the successful entrepreneurs behind the Patriot Software, didn’t create it just because he loves software and wants to sell it. According to his own words, he wanted to solve problems that many startups face.
After delving into those issues, he figured out he can be the one to provide affordable and easy-to-use payroll and accounting software. It’s what many small business owners struggled with at the time, and many still do.
Balance Passion with Wisdom
Passion is one of the most important ingredients for successful entrepreneurs. However, you shouldn’t let it take over all your decisions. Let knowledge be your guide. Then, passion will move you forward.
Talk to your targets and do market research. That will tell you a lot about your startup’s potential. Don’t be afraid to ask the experts either.
Reach out to pros that can offer helpful advice about certain aspects of your business. Hear out what a lawyer or financial advisor has to say.
Think of managing a startup as driving a car. Your mind controls the steering wheel and your passion hits the gas pedal.
Speak Up About Your Endeavor
Many entrepreneurs don’t know how to sell. When your business is brand new, telling about it to the world can be intimidating. Still, you need to get over what people think.
You’ll come across many skeptics, there’s no avoiding it. You must be ready to deal with critics. If you can’t convince clients to hire you and support your startup, you won’t be able to make a living off of it.
You can’t afford to be shy. If you are not particularly extroverted – fake it until you make it. Even though the big shots in the tech industry became successful because of their inventions and innovations, and not because they are excellent motivational speakers, you can see all of them on stage, all the time!
Whenever there is a major convention, a new product launch, etc., the head of the operation must be there. Put yourself out there. The need to network and market will never stop.
This statement seems obvious, but it does carry a lot of weight. It might not appear so, but behind every “overnight” success story, there are months and years of hard work.
Time will be your biggest investment, not the funding. Aside from your skills, it’s the most important thing you can offer to your business. Make sure every hour is fruitful.
While you work, never stop learning. Always keep an eye on new tactics and use the ones that will help you enhance your goals. Take these words of Eric Siu, the CEO of Single Grain and successful entrepreneurs, as a takeaway, “Success is the continued refinement of goals.”