From the outset of any new business initiative, success isn’t a given. There’s no absolute guarantee that everything you touch will turn to gold. Nobody has a magic wand.
But what you will find is a road well travelled by previous entrepreneurs, whose pit stops, dead ends and short cuts all provide an invaluable road map for those starting out on the same journey.
1. Nurture the three Ps
Passion, positivity and perseverance should really inform every business decision you make. They act like the primer you apply to a surface before doing anything else to it. Taken together they might be properly distilled as an overall attitude to business, without which you’re arguably setting yourself up for failure. Set out as you mean to carry on and never give up!
2. One step at a time
As clichéd as it sounds, that old aphorism about Rome not being built in a day is equally applicable to most business models. Of course there are overnight success stories, businesses that seem to have sprung out of nowhere fully formed, but these tend to be the exception, not the rule. Most people are advised to take it easy, enjoy the journey and learn those invaluable lessons that the process has to offer. Minimizing your risk in this way means that you’re much better equipped to absorb any losses when they occur.
3. Watch and learn
As we’ve already suggested, numerous other entrepreneurs have gone where you’re about to go, which means there are numerous valuable lessons to be learned. It’s with good reason that many fledgling entrepreneurs seek out a more seasoned mentor. And really, why on earth make the same mistakes yourself? Watch and learn and see how you might maximize the success of other blueprints.
4. Sell yourself and you sell your product
Learning how to sell your product takes confidence. The process of honing your pitch also requires practice, practice that will hopefully bolster levels of confidence to even higher levels. It’s a win/win situation, but as the founder of the company, this ever-evolving sales spin is likely to originate from you. Ultimately any opportunity to sell your product is something akin to an audition for a performance. But sell yourself and you also sell your product.
5. Actions, not words
A simple law of physics suggests that in order to gather momentum, you need to keep moving. The same applies to business. It requires action, not procrastination, or else it stands every chance of getting stuck in the mud. Solution? Believe in your decisions and keep moving forward.
6. Write a business plan
There’s no point launching into business without at least some idea of where it’s all going. Like the map for any journey, a business plan is a necessary and useful tool for gauging progress and winning would-be investors over to your team. It doesn’t have to extend to multiple volumes. Ten pages are often enough. Once again take the time to read and learn from other business plans. There’s a whole plethora of information out there, so use it.
7. Nurture your brand
Whether through a blog, website, hard copy or a combination of these and other platforms, getting punters to trust you and your product requires positive, innovative, transparent branding. Write it. Then rewrite it again.
8. Age often equals invaluable experience
Too many older people, each of them potentially successful entrepreneurs choose not to embark upon a new life in business because they assume (wrongfully) that they won’t be able to keep up with the younger generation. Whilst there are never any guarantees for success, do bear in mind that the life experience that older entrepreneurs have acquired often stands them in much better stead than their younger counterparts. In a nutshell: it’s never too late to start.
9. Build your dream team
As well as not being built in one day, Rome also wasn’t built by a single person, so that your own business success will also depend upon the range of skill sets and attitudes within the wider team. At the end of the day each individual is a valuable and necessary mouthpiece for your brand, so it’s worth spending time getting it right (and ultimately much tougher getting rid of a bad egg further down the line).
10. Stay focused and motivated
Even with a great team around you, it’s your role, as the founding member of that team to keep others positive, motivated and on track. Stay focused and try and nurture a dual perspective that keeps in mind the shorter and the longer-term objectives. And remember: straying from the path (as negativity, inefficiency, etc) will ultimately take its toll on the balance of accounts at the end of each month.