5 Tips For Aspiring Entrepreneurs by Mark Wager
Five Tips For Aspiring Entrepreneurs
By Mark Wager
During the past few years there’s been a lot of changes. Businesses that were once thriving are now struggling while those who remain have had to adapt and pivot their business and as a result careers are no longer as secure as they were previously. Yet in this time of uncertainty there comes opportunities and there are many people who have decided to embrace these opportunities and start their own business. The life of an entrepreneur is not for everyone. It’s a road with many obstacles and success is by no means guaranteed, yet for those very few people who do manage to make it, there are many rewards waiting for them. In this week’s article I want to explore some tips that will help aspiring entrepreneurs on their journey.
People buy outcomes, not products.
The majority of businesses fail because there is a fundamental problem with their initial business idea. The best business ideas fundamentally focus on solving a problem, yet I see entrepreneurs make the mistake of falling in love with ideas that don’t do this and they soon become blind to the ideas failings instead focusing their time on marketing and promotion yet the reality is if you have a bad idea no amount of marketing will help you. Never forget people don’t buy products or services instead they buy the outcome that the product or service delivers. It’s the solution to a problem that people are interested in.
Don’t say yes to every client.
Every business struggles at the beginning and to be honest, for a lot of businesses the struggles never go away and during these struggles it’s easy to accept every client that comes your way. While it’s understandable, it’s also not the best way going forward. This may sound counterintuitive as you want to bring in as much money as possible but there are good clients and bad clients and you need to know the difference between the two. You need to ask what is the true cost of every prospective client and by this I mean the time you will have to spend on the client as well as the potential that this client may lead to other work. Do this and you will find that some clients are just not worth your time.
Look for brand compatibility.
This piece of advice is more applicable if you are planning to start a service based business. Not all clients are equal, some are more valuable to you than others and you may think I’m talking about sales but the money a client generates is more than what they spend with you directly. If you can attract clients that have such a recognisable and positive reputation then just having them as a client reflects well on you, boosts your reputation and makes you more desirable for other potential clients. This is called “brand compatibility.” This added value can be invaluable for your company so identify these clients in your market and focus your attention on bringing them on board.
Know your numbers
Businesses are created on a series of assumptions such as who is your client, what is the expected revenue per client etc. The businesses that survive are the ones that are able to replace the assumptions with actual numbers because the wrong assumptions will kill your business before it has any chance of growing. Analyse the data, every entrepreneur should be able to get their hands on numbers that demonstrate the following. The average revenue per client, the average cost of attracting a client, the percentage of repeat business and the life-long value of a client. If you keep track of these numbers they will allow you to make the right decisions and make those decisions quicker than your competitors.
Be prepared to endure.
The Movie La La Land is about two people chasing their dream, one is an aspiring actress and the other is a Jazz musician. In one scene the jazz musician tells the actress that she’s been asked to audition for a role that she’s been waiting her whole life for, only to find that the actress doesn’t want to go to the audition, and when asked why she replies after so many failed auditions she just hurts too much. When I work with people who have achieved their dream, the difference between them and the people who don’t realise their dream is never intelligence, it’s not money and it’s not even luck. In my experience the most important quality of people who succeed in business as well as in life is their ability to endure. If you want to do something that very few people are capable of doing then one thing is certain and that is you will fail, fail and fail over and over again until you finally succeed.
The business world is tough and the odds are firmly against you. So it’s important to gather as much advice as you can. Learn from the people who have gone before you and failed and learn even more from the people who have succeeded. The keys to success are out there so you just need to go out and find them.
Posted: Thursday 24 March 2022