The time leading up to starting a business is both exciting and scary for all those involved. It’s a time of nearly endless possibility, but the future founder needs to practice caution to keep those possibilities from turning sour. To help with that, we’ve rounded up nine of our favorite pieces of entrepreneur advice.
In This Article:
- Be Unique
- Follow Your Connections
- Do Something You Love
- Learn from Your Competition
- Prepare for No Income
- Keep At It
- Pick a Target Demographic
- Ask For Help
- Have An Exit Strategy
Don’t do what lots of others are already doing. It’s tempting to jump on trends, but it’s better for your business if you can fill a niche no one else is thinking about yet. Sometimes it’s okay to tackle what’s popular at the moment, but make sure you’re putting a unique spin on your approach that differentiates you from competitors.
Follow Your Connections
Especially in today’s social media age, having the right connections is crucial to starting a business. So when you’re deciding what to do, don’t just settle on a great business plan and go for it.; you should also think hard about what industries your closest and most powerful connections can help you penetrate.
Your contacts in high places can set you up with clients and even offer you entrepreneur advice for their industry.
Do Something You Love
Have you ever noticed how, when you’re doing something you’re truly passionate about, you get a lot more done in a lot less time? Or how your work is of higher quality?
Entrepreneurs face an extremely competitive environment, and they need every advantage they can get in order to be successful. Failure is all but inevitable if they don’t have the huge advantages brought by a passion for their work.
Learn from Your Competition
Your competitors are, without a doubt, your best resources for entrepreneur advice. Build a roster of 5-10 businesses you think will be your competition and carefully analyze their business models. Find the best and worst parts, and incorporate the former into your model while avoiding the latter.
Too many entrepreneurs think that they should just execute their vision to the best of their ability and hope for the best. Unfortunately, entrepreneurship is not that simple.
Prepare for No Income
Be aware that you will not be able to pay yourself a salary for quite a while after you launch — at least, you should not, or it will significantly hamper the business’s chance of success. It’s a good idea to make sure you have enough savings to support yourself for about two years with no income. Doing so will give you plenty of wiggle room to establish clients and develop your brand.
Keep At It
Don’t give up. Just because your business does not gain any traction in the first week or the first month or even the first year does not mean it is a failure. In fact, it’s perfectly normal — it takes most small businesses at least 2 years to become profitable.
That being said, know when to quit. If it’s been 2 years and you still have zero progress, you’re probably doing something wrong.
Pick a Target Demographic
Don’t try to focus on everyone when you’re branding your business. Pick a niche and go all-in on that instead of trying to target general audiences.
Even extraordinary entrepreneurship success stories like Facebook did not start out targeting general audiences. In fact, they only targeted a single university student base at the time of launch. Like Facebook, your business should start out targeting a small demographic and will hopefully grow out of those constraints over time.
Ask For Help
An entrepreneur starting a business absolutely can’t do everything alone, especially if they are going at it solo. There is no shame in asking friends, family, or former business associates to help; believe it or not, people like helping other people achieve their dreams. Asking for entrepreneur advice or even help with your daily errands is perfectly acceptable.
Have An Exit Strategy
Know from the start that failure is a possibility — one-third of businesses fail within two years. Plan accordingly, maintaining a fallback plan just in case you need to call it quits.
That being said, DO NOT go into your business with an expectation of failure. You need to trick your mind into thinking success is inevitable (even while keeping your exit strategy intact) so that you can keep the advantage of self-confidence.
This is some essential entrepreneur advice, but there are many more specific areas like business plan writing and branding strategy that you’ll need to familiarize yourself with before starting your business. We wish you luck!
IF YOU HAVE STARTED YOUR OWN BUSINESS, LET US KNOW HOW IT’S GOING IN THE COMMENTS SECTION BELOW! ALSO, LET US KNOW IF THERE’S ANY KEY ENTREPRENEUR ADVICE NOT MENTIONED IN THIS ARTICLE.
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