“There is no manual in life”, they say. Everyone has to carve their own path to follow in life. But if you want to take a path that has already been travelled by others, it’s only important to adhere to insights from those who went before you. Entrepreneurship is not an exception. There are entrepreneurial skills that can help you become a successful business person. Even so, it is not an overnight success. You must be ready to work for it. Below are some tenets you must familiarize yourself with to succeed in entrepreneurship.
1. Take advantage of free marketing tools and platforms
In the past, you had to dig into your pockets to market your products. What has changed? How different is marketing today? How is this important to entrepreneurs? Technology has presented us with several ways of marketing and guesses what? Some of them are absolutely free. Social media marketing for instance is absolutely free. What you have to do is have followers. Even so, it also allows you to buy Facebook likes. Just imagine! You can have an excellent product, but without marketing, it will suck. Don’t just focus on engineering, both marketing and an excellent product are important for a venture’s growth.
2. Don’t Take No for an answer
As an entrepreneur, you must be ready to make your hands dirty. There are times you will hit the valley bottoms, those are the times to test yourself and form values. It requires a high level of tenacity to transform a business idea into a profitable venture. One of the reasons why many entrepreneurs fail is fear of failure itself.
During the stages when the business is expanding, most entrepreneurs are usually afraid of cannibalizing their products. Even so, Andresen says that “if you fail to cannibalize yourself, others will do it for you and it will be more painful. To be a successful entrepreneur, you must change your perspective about failure; it should be something to learn from or overcome in the future.
Take the case of Steve Jobs for instance. After founding Apple, he was sent away by then CEO Mike Makula. This really hit him hard. He wondered how he could be sent away from a company he founded. However, he left and founded Next.11 years later, by selling NeXT to Apple, Steve Jobs came back and rescued Apple with only 90 days to go Bankrupt. It is through failure that companies develop missions, values and ideologies. Reflecting on his life later, Steve Jobs said that one of the important memories and lessons he learned in life was from being sent away from Apple.
3. Stay Hungry and Ambitious
As Steve Jobs would say, “Stay Hungry, stay foolish. If your desire to start your own business is way much more than they need to please others, you will start a business even if odds are against you. Every entrepreneur who has made any groundbreaking business venture has had to deal with criticism. This was the case with Bill Gates and even Elon Musk. Some of the business entrepreneurs who you think should even be your mentors will criticize you and even tell you that the business you are trying to start isn’t viable. Even so, with persistent commitment and dedication, you will finally get what you deserve.
Nowadays, most businesses are service-based and convincing someone that your service is worth investing in is even more difficult than businesses dealing in goods. This is very prevalent in The US. Take Brendon Burchard and Simon Sinek for instance. These are two people who were in high paying jobs; working in world-class companies. Even so, it reached a point where they weren’t satisfied with their jobs anymore. They had to strategize on how to acquire relevant knowledge in their fields of interest. Brendon hard to learn several topics on psychology. Even so, he realized that what would give him an edge over others was knowing how to market himself. He, therefore, spent three months learning online marketing. Today, Brendon is the CEO of High-Performance Academy and is one of the 25 most influential people in the world. Be ready to pay the price of what you want.
4. Develop a business plan
Only that which has been created in your mind can manifest itself. Having a business plan allows you to have your ideas on paper and imagine how the business will be. The business plan would help answer very important questions such as;
- Why should people buy your products? Before starting a business, ask yourself why you think somebody will buy your products. Just because there is no British restaurant in an area doesn’t mean you will have a successful venture if you start one there. Sometimes, there are English people though they are used to the foods of the community so they will not easily come to your restaurant. Have all these factors been considered? Moreover, don’t expect overnight success. When a business is just starting out, you should have a core purpose; you should not be defined by products. You should try new things which are aligned with your why and keep what works. When airplanes were invented, some transportation company’s really lagged behind. They defined themselves only by providing railway services.
- How the business will operate on a daily basis. How do you deal with emergencies? Even the best of plans gets hijacked. Do you have systems in place to handle emergencies or even help in expanding into other product lines?
5. Have networks
Don’t be afraid of asking for help. Just pause for a moment and think about how you obtained the contacts in your contact list. You cannot fail to get what you want if you are highly connected. You can have coffee together while going on about your goals and guess what? Along the way, somebody will mention something that will really change your life. Or even better, since they know you, they can connect you with someone they think you can’t blend well with. This is how Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak; the two minds behind Apple met.
Wondering where to start? Familiarize yourself with these tenets. Networks allow you to meet like-minded people. Marketing allows you to expand into other businesses. These should be your guiding values while starting a new venture.