8 Essential Tips For Small Business and Startups From Expert Entrepreneurs
These days, it seems like everyone is hoping to become an entrepreneur and come up with “the next big thing”. Who can blame them? When successful, the benefits to owning a startup are obvious: being your own boss, creating something from scratch, bringing value to the people around you and, of course, making a bit of coin along the way. But the key phrase in that equation is, “when successful.” Too often, startups fail – 75 percent of them, to be exact, says The Harvard Business Review. So what goes wrong?
Unfortunately, not everyone is cut out to be an entrepreneur. Or at least, not by nature. To run a good business you have to be able to assume the proper role. If that means doing things and acting in ways that don’t come naturally, then so be it. Otherwise, you will risk failing like that 75 percent. Here are eight crucial points the pros agree are prerequisites to becoming a successful entrepreneur.
1. Take risks and be willing to fail
Failure doesn’t preclude you from ultimately succeeding – in fact, it’s often a necessary step. The best entrepreneurs don’t let the fear of failure prevent them from going for what they believe to be a great idea. Some of those risks won’t pan out, but the ones that do will be the ones that define you.
2. Never stop networking
When you haven’t gotten your business off the ground, connections will help to keep it afloat. When you do, those initial helpers will turn into powerful allies. Soon, you will be in the position to bring another struggling startup into the black.
“Make connections and keep a record on each person you meet,” Clare Dreyer, career expert, told Forbes. “Ask for their advice and help. Keep in touch with them along the way and build your network before you need it! Quality relationships are the keys to the kingdom.”
3. Learn your niche
Many startups succeed because they’ve identified a niche and have cornered that market. By discovering a service, product or feature no one else has thought of – or at least effectively pulled off – you give your company a shot at success. George Shepherd, Professor of Law at Emory University, recommends entrepreneurs “become the guru in that niche.”
4. Be a consummate student
Long after you leave your last class, you still learn new things every day. As an entrepreneur, you must always be a student – willing to take advice, listen to other ideas and learn from those who’ve been there themselves.
“Entrepreneurship is about solving problems and learning on the go,” Andrew Medal wrote for Entrepreneur. “It’s exciting to learn new things and as entrepreneurs, we should be learning something new every day.”