Venturing into business is a big move in one’s life, especially in terms of financial, emotional and physical aspects of well-being. You have to dedicate a big chunk of your time in making sure that everything will run smoothly as you go along. Risks and dangers, however, are inevitable but you can learn the lessons not-in-the-hard way.
Here are tips on how to become a successful entrepreneur:
Take your time in doing your research on all stages of the business life cycle. It is important to know any possible pitfalls and focus on how you can strengthen your product and improve your business model. As an entrepreneur, it is a wise move to be informed on everything that has to do with the success and failure of your business. You are on a dangerous ground if you don’t know your disposition – your target market, the pain point you are trying to address and how your product can actually solve it.
Research everything about your market – location, local culture, lifestyle, habits, etc. This first step will give you a hint if you’re going to make a good fit or not.
2. Never stop learning
When you run a business, it’s unavoidable that you learn everyday in a really fast and huge pace. Never get tired and never stop learning. It doesn’t mean that you don’t know anything when you want to learn; it’s just that there are things that you didn’t realize fully before. Always allow a space in your head for learning and innovating yourself. That’s for your own good anyway.
3. Stay focused
It is vital to focus on your goals more than anything else. Part of it is because ideas tend to give birth to more ideas that could possibly contradict each other later on, so identify your main focus and stick to it.
When you run a business, you should be able to at least understand every aspect of it – accounting, sales, marketing, customer service, etc. However, learning so many things at once could ruin your focus. So know what you have to do; get ready to hit your goal; execute it and move on to the next. Every now and then, remember to look at the big picture and make sure that all of your tasks and activities are consistent to your main goal.
4. Acknowledge your competitors’ strengths
It also pays to know your competition, if there’s any. Examine numbers; Test competitors’ products and service. Compare what they can offer compared to what you plan. Acknowledge their strengths and learn from their mistakes. But not that you don’t have to follow their business plan to get ahead but exceed what works. Maximize and heighten what your competitor has to offer. Brand your business with its own originality and creativity. A different strategy will surely work wonders for you.
5. Finalize a budget
A budget is surely among one any startup’s biggest concern (if not the biggest) – the blood of any business. If it’s a small business, a personal loan or business loan is considerable to withstand all the expenses. But, if your startup is aimed to be highly scalable, you will also need a bigger amount to sustain and grow your startup. Learn to effectively communicate your needs with your partners or funders and make sure to only agree to a partnership only if it makes a sound business deal. Put your budget on paper so that any correspondence will be easy soon and if any conflicts arise.
6. Ask for help
A startup business may look like a self-sustaining business, but building good connections could be beneficial. There are Facebook groups, online communities and local startup groups that help one another in building startup businesses. Join conferences, meet new people and ask for their help. You’ll be surprised to find out that there are people who are willing to help and provide you with enough guidance.
Cristina Beltran is a writer, blogger and online marketing specialist at MoneyMax, Philippines’ leading financial comparison website.