Innovators, dreamers, high achievers, and driven individuals with clear goals and impeccable business acumen. These are the traits we often associate with successful entrepreneurs.
When you read more about them, you’ll find that they often start from a good place, a wish to improve the world with their skills and knowledge. They seize opportunities, take risks, and are not afraid of exploring new horizons.
These entrepreneurs, some of whom started with nothing, play a pivotal role in growing a country’s GDP. During economic crises, these entrepreneurs are more likely to come up with new solutions to solve customers’ problems.
While large companies are the main contributors to a country's economic success, some studies revealed that the GDP of most country's economy rely heavily on the growth and sustainability of small and medium enterprises, the SMEs.
Entrepreneurs influence the social behaviours of countries, and sometimes the world. It's profound. One product, one service can change consumers' way of life.
Think Amazon, Facebook, Instagram.
Tips on Becoming a Successful Entrepreneur
The first tip is clear as day - have a goal and system. What are your products and services and how will they solve your customers’ problems? What are your priorities? Where will you run your business and where do you see it in five years? What are their USPs (Unique Selling Propositions)? Who are your customers and competitors? How will you be running your business? How will you fund your business? How will you find your troop, a.k.a your team, your employees? How will you deal with financial challenges?
The first tip to becoming a successful entrepreneur is…
1 - Don’t Be Complacent. Continue to Listen and Educate Yourself
Be hungry for new information. Always listen to recent developments and recommendations from people within your team and industry.
When you’re a consistent learner, it builds on your capabilities as an entrepreneur. Even if you have to attend seminars or sign up for online classes, do it.
Most successful entrepreneurs have role models or people they look up to who may or may not be in the same field. There is a lot to learn from not just their successes, but their failures and observations will help you, as an entrepreneur, become a better one.
A good example would be to innovate your business as it scales with digital invoicing tools that can help your business become more facile.
2 - Find The Winning Team
Without doubt, there is a tight team behind every successful entrepreneur. This group of people share your vision, are reliable, competent, and believe in your products and services.
Make no mistake about it: every single one of your team members is valuable, be it your office cleaner or your accountant. When you start your business, you obviously need someone to keep the business running; so, someone has to come in to manage the operations and finance.
Because without customers, your sales and marketing team must come next. They’re the very lifeblood of your business’ sustainability. So, your sales, marketing, operations, and finance teams will facilitate revenue and operations. Hiring an all-round or project manager will improve your team’s efficiency. This person will ensure everything runs smoothly and according to plan.
3 - Barter, Partner, and Make Use of Free Tools
As an SME, you may not have too much cash to play around with, so think outside the box and use of every free resource you can find. It’s also a good idea to barter with other small businesses to leverage on each others' strengths and network.
Most entrepreneurs start off by using free tools and partner with other businesses to find their footing. Stuff like Google My Business and social media platforms could be catalysts that will launch your business through to its next level.
I know there are a lot of social media platforms out there, and you don’t have to be on every single one of them. If you can, say, create a peer-based Facebook group that helps each other spread the word around or share ideas and recommendations, it’s a great start.
The more people know about your products, services, and company, the better.
4 - Networking and Seeking Help
Don’t be afraid to network around to find customers or ask for help. Most entrepreneurs don’t work alone. They have connections who have, in one way or another, contributed to their success. Sometimes, it’s a mentor. Other times, it’s another person from a completely different industry who helped iron out a challenging situation.
Networking is one of the trickiest and tiresome parts of being an entrepreneur…but it is inescapable.
But don’t start calling everyone you know to pitch your products or services to them. Start with simple meetups. When you listen to them and share your thoughts with them, it will soon become apparent to you whether he or she is your target market.
This can and SHOULD be done online too. Start with Linkedin which is a professional social media networking platform that makes interaction with each other easy. It’s not less awkward. But the more you do it, the easier it gets.
Not everyone is your ideal customer. But your network is your net worth.
5 - Be Financially Prepared
The same way you can chance upon a sudden windfall, you can just as easily go into a financial slump. So, have a good Plan B. It’s not easy planning, securing, and managing the finances of a business. It’s always a good idea to set aside revenue as emergency funds because…emergencies happen.
Even that, it’s not good enough and you may have to take out small business loans or inject funds to propel your business forward or to tide it over until a solution is found.
Stats on Business Growth
The ideal growth trajectory for a small business is between 15% to 45% year-on-year. Suffice to say, no two businesses are completely alike. It depends on the type of business, the industry you’re in, business life cycle, and many more.
On average, the growth rate forecast for an average company is 178% in its first year, 100% in the second year, and approximately 71% in the third.
But the growth of a small business is not measured solely on revenue alone. Your business may have signed on a significant number of new customers, closed more sales, or enjoy a more flexible cash flow.
These are no small achievements because it is the foundation that business sustainability is built on.
Focus on Your Business Goals & Enjoy Better Financial Health
The dream for any entrepreneur is to have a business with good cash flow. The goals you have set for yourself and your business must be clear to your team. There are many different types of entrepreneurs and it is important to note that how you run and manage your business growth differ from industry to industry.
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