7 Things Every Entrepreneur Needs To Know
Seven Things Entrepreneurs Need To Know
By Mark Wager
In these dark times during a global pandemic, it’s difficult to see any positives. People are getting sick, the economy is getting worse and many good people are finding themselves without a job. However, this state of forced change has given some people an unexpected opportunity, which is to live the life of an entrepreneur. I know several people who have lost their jobs and while struggling to find new work have found that they have to create their job themselves by starting their own business. It’s amazing how necessity breeds innovation. In fact some of the worlds top businesses were started by people during tough economic times like we are facing today. So if you are an entrepreneur or are thinking of starting your own business then these are some practical tips that will make the transition into your new venture a lot easier.
Be prepared for tough times
There’s no such thing as overnight success. Building a business is a long and difficult journey and there will be a lot of tough times ahead. The harsh reality is that the vast majority of businesses fail and in my experience the entrepreneurs that succeed are not always the smartest but they are always the most resilient. They have the courage to fight through the tough times and carry on when others decide to quit. Apple, one of the worlds most successful companies started in a garage. So be prepared for a long journey with many ups and downs. Some days you will be celebrating while on other days you will doubt whether you should continue. It’s during those uncertain days when you think about quitting, you will know if you are really an entrepreneur.
Solve problems, add value & make people happy
If you have never been to business school that’s fine because most of the worlds successful entrepreneurs didn’t go to business school, so you are in good company. If you are struggling for a business idea or your current business is struggling, then you need to remember the key fundamentals of business which is people will always have three main reasons to be willing to hand over their money. They will pay to solve a problem they may have. They will pay if they believe their purchase will add value to their lives and they will pay to be happy. Your business has to do one of those three things. If you can solve a problem, add value for people or make them happy then you have the basics of a successful business.
Having a good idea is not enough
Here’s a common mistake that I see entrepreneurs make. They come up with a good idea and think that the hard work is done but having a good idea is just a small part of the overall process. There are many businesses out there who are selling products or services that they didn’t invent but they are doing so better than the people who had the original idea. The key is the execution of the idea rather than the idea itself. A great execution of a poor product will always sell more than a poor execution of a good product so having an idea is great but it’s just the start of the work you have to do in order it be successful.
Your best marketing tool is to have happy customers
If you are reading a book about marketing that is more than a year old then it’s already out of date. The business world has changed during the past few years and is continuing to change. Social media has opened up how we interact with each other. Now with a single click on a keyboard, someone on the other side of the world can see your business. Within this sea of change there remains one consistent. We are influenced by people who we know, like and trust. If someone we know recommends a product, we are more likely to use that product. So, never forget, make your customers happy and they will bring you other customers.
Look for opportunities
As an entrepreneur, you may not know what tomorrow will bring but tomorrow will come and it will bring new opportunities with it. The secret is to recognise those opportunities because a lot of opportunities are hidden within our fears. If you haven’t done something before it’s natural to be hesitant and to doubt yourself, but fortune favours the brave, not the hesitant. Sir Richard Branson who runs Virgjn Atlantic airways once said “If somebody offers you an amazing opportunity but you are not sure if you can do it, say yes - then learn how to do it later.”
The best and worst thing about being an entrepreneur is that you are your own boss. This is good because you are in control of what you do and when but the downside is that when you work for yourself you are not always a good employer. Be aware of how you would have responsibilities for your employees you have responsibilities to yourself now and by that I mean make sure you manage your health both physically and mentally. Having a business is stressful and it will consume many of your hours but success is only worthwhile if you are healthy enough to enjoy the rewards of your labour. Give yourself permission to take breaks and unwind because you are your business and if you are not healthy then neither is your business.
Don’t do this alone
To be a successful entrepreneur you need to be good at many different roles. You need to be a salesperson, a customer service representative, a marketing expert, an accountant, a website designer and more. No matter how good you are you are not going to be good at everything. There will be support out there, people who are willing to help. Focus on what you are good at and bring people in who are good at what you are not. Success is not a singular effort. You won’t always be able to do this alone so don’t even try.
No one wants to turn on the television or to open the newspaper and hear about how people are losing their jobs and definitely, no one wants to be one of those unfortunate people but within each cloud is a ray of sun shine and there are opportunities just waiting for people to seize them. Maybe it’s time to turn a hobby or a passion onto a business or maybe you see a solution to a problem that other people haven’t thought of yet. Whatever it is there are opportunities out there.
Our economy is like a snow field. When there’s heavy snow, some people freeze while others go skiing. Today’s economy is tough, but you need to decide if you are the type of person that does nothing and freezes or are you going to take advantage of the situation. Are you an entrepreneur?
About the Author
Mark Wager is a Leadership Coach with over thirty years of managerial experience across a range of industries. A former Broker Sales Manager with a London Finance House and a National Manager for the Ministry of Justice Mark specialises in working with Leaders helping them overcome the barriers, both technical and mental standing between themselves and success.
A strong believer in taking complex leadership & psychological theories and making them accessible to people regardless of their background, education or industry Mark has helped develop Leaders from some of New Zealand’s leading organisations such as Fisher & Paykel, Weta FX, Heartland Bank, NZRL, NZ Netball, NZ Soccer, NZ Basketball, Amnesty Int, Barnardos, Oxfam, Red Cross and many more.
If you are serious about becoming a better Leader then contact Mark today to learn more about how coaching can help you.
Posted: Wednesday 30 June 2021