Every entrepreneur encounters challenges along the way—success is a winding road with gravel paths. The following ten tips are a compilation of expert experiences, which will hopefully enlighten you and all your endeavors.
1. Do something you love:
Work with something that you are passionate about and have a strong desire to learn about. Get involved in something that you can see yourself doing in the long run, being both happy and profitable. Clients prefer doing business with people who are sincerely enthusiastic about what they offer. Your passion for your services will exude confidence, aiding in the way that you conduct business.
“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”
2. Two is company:
Deciding if you want to partner up or work alone in your business is a crucial decision. Keep in mind that partnering up is compared to a marriage in your business life, and before you jump to tie the knot with someone, you should ask yourself similar questions: Can you see yourself working with this individual every day? Does this individual compliment your own skill set? Does this person mimic your work ethics and values, and does he or she share a similar interest in the company?
Make a list of pros and cons of how gaining an individual will benefit your company. Be realistic with your expectations.
3. You snooze—you lose:
A good entrepreneur sees roadblocks and stops to figure out how to maneuver around them, whereas a great entrepreneur has already hurdled over them. If you see something that you are interested in, move fast and aggressively—the window of opportunity won’t be opened for long.
Focus on growth and delivering to customers rather than a Plan B or back-up plan.
4. Sign up for Facebook and Twitter:
Social networking has become the most widespread method of marketing businesses, and more and more companies are becoming more involved with the social media sites, such as Facebook and Twitter.
By creating an online presence, you are creating exposure for your company, which will overall increase traffic and search engine rankings. Fan pages are used to effectively campaign your product, by keeping your audience connected to all information that you want to share.
5. Never be afraid to try:
How else will you learn otherwise? Although the word risk can have a negative connotation, Steve Pavlina, American self-help author, motivational speaker and entrepreneur, provides a definition of his version of intelligent risk, as “those where the potential downside is limited, but the potential upside is virtually unlimited.” Those are the risks that you should not hesitate to jump on.
“The key to intelligent risk-taking is to look far enough ahead. When thinking about personal growth, I don’t just think a year ahead or five years ahead. I think across the span of my whole lifetime (sometimes even thinking beyond the grave… seriously). Pavlina says he asks himself, “What difference might this make over the span of the next several decades?”
By taking a risk, you are taking a stand; by doing nothing, you are being neutral, and being neutral is way more negative. Embrace possibility while keeping the dangers in perspective.
6. Understand your potential:
Although you may be at the top of your business, that doesn’t mean that you know any and every detail. It is important to acknowledge your weaknesses and hire the help you need. You want to hire staff that will help contribute knowledge to your company, knowledge that you yourself might already have but want to expand upon. Be open to having team players around, and always make sure to properly reward your employees for the hard work they supply.
7. Become familiar with rejection:
According to Ron Ashkenas, managing partner of Schaffer Consulting, “rejection is critical for success.” Although discouraging and painful at times, know that rejection is inevitable and one would be untruthful to say that he or she never endured it. Just remember to never take it personally and don’t blame yourself. Instead, maintain relationships with clients that have rejected you, because it might just mean that they rejected you for now.
Business psychologist and small business coach, Debra Condren says that: “Every time you get rejected you learn something about yourself.” She suggests looking at it more as a learning opportunity and a way that you can better yourself.
8. Don’t’ be afraid to take charge:
Clients will respect you more when you respect yourself, and by showing that you won’t settle for less than you’re worth, your business skills will be greatly appreciated. Entrepreneur associated by Young Entrepreneur Council, Lawrence Watkins offers his advice on not being afraid to ask for more, especially when working with clients that have major budgets. “With my first pitch to a major client, I was scared of rejection and only asked for a small relationship which we could grow from that point. They declined the offer and I heard from back channels that the leadership thought that I was too ‘small time.’”
9. Form friendships:
They say never to mix business with pleasure… but it is okay to get personal. After all, it’s not what you know—it’s who you know, and what better way to know someone than out of the suit and tie. By forming personal connections in the industry, it has proven to increase your rate at success. Prove that you are a well-rounded individual, who enjoys golf and football games. After you have proven that you are more than you just a piranha trying to pitch, it will make conducting business a smoother transaction.
10. Never forget your family:
They are the most important relationships you have, and they will always be there for you at the end of the day. No one ever said that business is easy, and it is common for an exuberant amount of stress to consume your life, however, leave the stress at the door. You are still a father or mother, and a husband or wife—don’t let the briefcase tell you otherwise. Make sure to designate time with family and friends, and remember to have fun in life. You will find that when you do so, your positive attitude will inflict on life in the office as well.