Succeeding as an entrepreneur in the 21st Century takes hard work and persistence because, unfortunately, there is no business startup fairy who magically bestows success on small businesses or their owners.
Most successful entrepreneurs follow the same patterns and share similar basic characteristics.
Hundreds of online articles and published books claim to know the secret of success in business, but for the most part, they boil down to the same major points.
Passion + Perseverance + Positive Attitude = Success
So...... here are the main items to take into consideration if you’re developing a business.
1. Love what you do.
Passion is key to keeping a business strategy moving. Half-heartedness in an entrepreneurial endeavour will chip away at your drive to succeed. Perseverance is the one thing that’s guaranteed to move anything over time, whether it’s a person, a job or an entire company.
2. Take baby steps.
Jumping all in is rarely ever successful. There are success stories about people who invested everything once and came out winners after six months or a couple years, but those are rare. Risk management is an essential factor in any startup, and balance is vital. You can absorb losses more easily if you take smaller risks in the beginning. Those will provide essential and productive lessons.
3. Learn from others.
Successful entrepreneurs often worked for others in their field of choice before striking out on their own. Spending a few years in the industry under an excellent mentor will provide a good launching pad. Learn from your predecessors’ mistakes and brainstorm about how to improve upon their model. Find someone willing to teach, and think about starting your business elsewhere when you leave.
4. Learn how to self-promote.
Confidence and a good elevator speech can take any pitch to the next level. The first marketing any company experiences comes from its founder. Spend time learning how to share your vision without coming across as “salesy.” Don’t be afraid to ask for the sale, but remember… the client is always the focus.
5. Constantly take action.
Entrepreneurs are movers and shakers. They can’t afford to analyse every detail or they’d never get anywhere. There is no place for procrastination in a startup. It’s a 24/7, no holiday or sick days kind of job that demands constant forward momentum. Make a brief assessment at every step and move on it. Trust your instincts.
6. Set goals and make a plan.
Decide why you are starting a business (set goals) and use these to help develop a plan.
Read about successful businesses. Take in the wealth of knowledge that’s been provided by successful entrepreneurs such as Steve Jobs and the personalities from Shark Tank. A successful business plan does not have to be a book. A 10-page plan is digestible yet long enough to include everything you need to start.
7. Build a reputation.
According to Brandi Bennett at HostGator, maintaining a blog on a well-hosted website, or volunteering your time and skills, shows instead of tells the community, and thereby builds expertise and trust.
8. It’s never too late to start.
Many successful entrepreneurs started later in life. J. K. Rowling (Harry Potter author), Julia Child (chef), and Sam Walton (Wal-Mart) all started their wildly successful brands after they were comfortably along in their lives. Having the experience that comes with age can give you a unique outlook on your business. Life experiences bring depth that the most educated young adult, by his or her nature, is less able to foresee.
9. Build your "A team".
Finding the skill sets and attitudes that support the culture of the brand you want to promote will foster innovation and enhance your reputation. Include folks from outside the company for the people you rely on. That will start a free marketing chain reaction that can build confidence and revenue.
10. Be mindful of your attitude.
The attitude of the founder will set the tone for the business. Negativity, laziness and entitlement waste time and money while they tarnish your reputation. Success largely depends on making mistakes and accepting blame in stride. Owning up to and facing challenges head-on is what makes a mere business owner a leader.
Successful CEOs tend to follow a structured, daily schedule of rising early, exercising, having snacks on hand for fuel and socialising many evenings of the week.
Striking a balance may take a while, but working toward this list as a goal for starting your company will make the difference. How an owner feels about progress and how quickly a business can be up and running and feeding that bottom line, will swiftly feel the impact.