Whether it is a multibillion-dollar company or a business that is just starting out, the success of the business is highly dependent on the success of the entrepreneur. There are several reasons why a business can fail such as lack of profit, insufficient revenue, wrong business model and lack of funding. Even so, these challenges are manageable. Below are steps you can take to manage them.
1. Sell Before you build.
Why do we always think we have the best ideas? So we think our ideas should be adopted by everyone. This was the case with Macintosh. Apple spent so much time building the computer only for it to flop when introduced to the market. You can only know what you have is invaluable by seeing how customers interact with it. Moreover, this may give you new insights. Think about Honda’s case. Dismayed after investing so much on motorbikes only for them to fail, Honda employees decided to take out that negative energy by just riding the motorbike as a way of having fun.
To their surprise, they were seen by passersby who then adopted the motorbike for fun. With this, Honda managed to set out and attack other sectors. Customers will only use products that solve their problems. Moreover, do market validation.
You can also buy YouTube likes if you don’t have an already established platform. If you have some people pre-pay for your product, then know you have a valid idea. With preselling, you will be able to test your pricing and adopt the best model. During pre-selling, you can also use a low risk method to test your pricing model.
2. Focus your efforts
Technology has led to an endless supply of information. This has presented entrepreneurs with difficulties in making decisions. As an entrepreneur, you must learn to focus on your business objectives. Moreover, it’s important to know activities that take your time and energy then have strategies for dealing with them. Determine your product line. What happens to tasks that fall out of the business’s focus? Do you stop using them?
Now, to create a lean company structure, outsource such products. Moreover, most starting out entrepreneurs are always caught in the rat of trying to do everything by themselves. They, therefore, deviate from activities that are of utmost importance. Have guidelines of when to delegate so that you define what is important. Tools such as Amberley are great in maintaining focus. When Steve Jobs got back to Apple, the company had more than 250 product lines. The first thing he did was to focus on important things. He reduced the product line to four. Worth the focus on the four, the company experienced such an exponential growth never witnessed before and as it stands today, Apple is the biggest company by market value. Some of the guiding tips to acquaint yourself with are;
- Resist perfection. How do you know that customers will love your product? Sometimes even market research fails, more so when the products are alien to the market. Therefore, if 85% are happy with the product, move to the next task. Remember, in the end it’s not about whether your product is 100% perfect but how the customers interact with it. Perfection has been the main cause of failure for entrepreneurs.
- Reduce your to do list. Remember, not everything going on around you is worth paying attention to. Delegate and only do that which requires your attention.
- Make decisions faster. We spend a lot of time scouring the net for information only to fail to make a decision in time. Resist the urge to make a decision after having all the available information. With 70% of the necessary information, decide on what to do and move on.
- Never hide behind the business. What causes entrepreneurs to do this? How can they deal with it? If you have very many projects to work on, then you are overloading yourself. If it’s taking you too much time, then you are working on what you should have delegated. Know your place as the leader
3. Know who to be around
How do we form habits? Who has the most influence on us? Now American psychologists say we are influenced by the close, the many and the powerful. Out of which, those close to us have a profound influence on what we do. These are the family, friends and colleagues. How do your emotions evolve? How do you feel in the morning? What about in the evening? Now all these are pegged on who we are around. By spending even a little time with someone, you change a lot about yourself. Not only your mood but also your decisions and habits.
As an entrepreneur, you want to surround yourself with optimistic and open-minded people. These kinds of people will not only support you but also help you view the business ideas from a large perspective. This may increase your momentum or help you carve the next path to follow. Surrounding yourself with pessimists is very detrimental to your confidence. As an entrepreneur, you want to believe in your business even if no one believes in it. How would you convince me to believe in your business if you don’t believe in it in the first place? Being very intentional about the characters you bring to your inner circle helps you avoid failures associated with them.
4. Have a business culture
In his book the Lean Startup, Eric Ries encourages entrepreneurs to create a culture of learning and innovation. As the leader, employees expect you to set the standard. Give your employees time to pursue something they love. At Google, for instance, employees are allowed to take 15% of their time to work on projects of their interest. Guess the impact of this on the company! Gmail came to be through this strategy. Business culture is mainly borrowed from your own values. To achieve your goals, know your best practices and have them plugged into the company processes.
Failure should give us lessons but only fools wait to learn from their own mistakes. These are the mistakes made by our successors. The only way to avoid them is to acquaint ourselves with these lessons.