Nowadays, nearly everyone is looking forward to becoming an entrepreneur and create the next big thing. Wannabe entrepreneurs are motivated by the benefits associated with owning a startup. These include becoming your own boss, starting something from scratch, adding value to individuals near you, and making money along the way.
However, according to Harvard Business Review, 75% of startups usually fail when successful. So, what’s usually the problem?
Being an entrepreneur does not come naturally to most people. In fact, it comes from experience and knowledge. To operate a good business, you should assume a proper role, which might mean doing things in a way that doesn’t come naturally. Otherwise, your idea might fail.
Here are the 9 tips that experts agree are what one needs to be a successful entrepreneur:
1. Be a risk-taker and be ready to fail
Failure doesn’t mean you won’t succeed. On the contrary, it’s a building block to success. Successful entrepreneurs don’t allow the fear of failure to hinder them from going for something they believe. Some of the risks won’t even arise, but those that do will define you.
2. Keep networking
It’s not about what you know, it’s about who you know. When your business is still at the infant stage, connections are what will keep it alive. You never know who might have the skills and resources that will help you. When you finally get off the ground, the initial people to support you will become powerful allies. Before long, you’ll be able to help another struggling startup.
So from today, connect with people and keep a record of every person you meet. Do not be afraid to seek help and advice. Be sincere and genuinely listen to what they do or what their interests are. Sometimes, they might even help you for free. Stay in touch with them and build a network because you’re going to need it. You need quality relationships on your way to the kingdom.
3. Master your niche
Most startups thrive because they’ve identified a specific niche and cornered the market. For your company to succeed, you should discover a feature, product or service that other people have not figured out yet. This will give your company a competitive advantage over the rest, and you’ll have most of the customers buying from you. So, the secret is to try and become your niche’s guru.
4. Be a perpetual learner
Even after you leave the academic classroom, you’ll still be able to learn something new daily. This is why entrepreneurs can’t help but be constant students who are ready to take advice, listen to ideas from others, and learn from those who went ahead of them.
Entrepreneurship revolves around solving problems, and to provide practical solutions, entrepreneurs should learn something new daily.
5. Don’t worry about the wallet
When starting a new business, you’ll be taking on a couple of financial hits and as the saying goes, you need to spend money to make money. However, there’s more to that than just avoiding being a miser. Successful business people don’t think so much in terms of the amount of money they make, but rather how much value they should add. The value might be financial, but it can also be psychosocial or social.
Therefore, always think about the value your product or service adds to customers and how you can increase it.
6. Try not to be broke
While it’s good to be willing to invest in your business, avoid throwing in your life savings. It’s worth noting that to add value to your customers, you should be able to buy groceries and pay rent. That way, you will be able to know what you should do to pursue your dream as an entrepreneur and also support yourself. To ensure that you don’t go broke, find a part-time job or a source of passive income, which will be your shelter in the storm. It’ll not only give you financial relief, but it will also be your best networking outlet.
7. Be flexible and pay attention to the market
You may nail the perfect niche, but that doesn’t mean it won’t change with time. Markets may change frequently and cause consumers to want to go with those changes. The winds of change will come, and if you can’t react or pivot when they do, you might be blown away.
Your initial idea may be excellent, but you should resist getting too attached to it. You should be open-minded to find out what the market wants and is ready to pay for and provide it to them.
8. Take care of yourself
A successful startup won’t be meaningful if you end up destroying yourself. Health is more precious than anything else, and you shouldn’t sacrifice it for the sake of your business. For the most part, what might appear as hard work may eventually derail your career. Getting stressed, losing sleep and not eating healthy can shorten your life’s expectancy. To gain strength and carry on with your goals, you should take care of your health.
9. Play the long game
You’re expected to be part of the day-to-day challenges of operating the business, but you should create time once a week to consider what you’re doing for the future of your business. This may include training, capital development, marketing, community engagement, and employee development. Today’s investments will pay you dividends tomorrow.
While you may know a few people who didn’t follow all of these tips but are successful entrepreneurs, those could only be exceptions. Keep these tips in mind and watch your startup grow into a reputable brand that will stand the test of time.