How To Be A Successful Entrepreneur: 35 Rules

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If you want to learn how to become an entrepreneur, today’s your lucky day! Read on to learn the important rules you’ll need to follow to become a successful entrepreneur.

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In this article:

  1. What Is an Entrepreneur?
  2. What Are the Characteristics of an Entrepreneur?
  3. Financial Rules
  4. Operating Rules
  5. Relationship Rules
  6. Marketing Rules
  7. Customer Care Rules
  8. Self-Care Rules

How to Become an Entrepreneur and Get Rich

What Is an Entrepreneur?

An entrepreneur is a person who earns a living through activities not considered as employment.  In short, entrepreneurs earn a living by operating a business, which is financially riskier than employment.

However, with the greater financial risks associated with entrepreneurship also comes the possibility of much greater rewards. That’s why entrepreneurship has made more millionaires compared to employment.

What Are the Characteristics of an Entrepreneur?

Generally speaking, entrepreneurs are creative, risk-taking people. While a bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree and experience aren’t requirements, passion and entrepreneurial skills are.

Putting up a business and making it profitable requires the ability to think of ideas, mostly out-of-the-box ones. Such ideas are crucial for bringing customers in and enticing them to continue patronizing the business so it can thrive.

But there’s a fine line between entrepreneurs and successful entrepreneurs — the ability to get the right things done.

If you want to learn how to become an entrepreneur, here are rules you should follow.

Financial Rules

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Take finances seriously and follow the rules to become a successful entrepreneur.

Whether you like it or not, a business is primarily about making money. Your ability to comply with these rules will determine how profitable and enduring your business can be.

1. Focus on Profitability

While you’ll have to consider other aspects of your business, your primary focus must be on its profitability. Everything you do must be geared towards maximizing revenue and minimizing cost.

2. Minimize Operating Costs

Make it a habit and a goal to minimize your operating costs.

3. Don’t Hire People

Unless you have to, don’t hire people. This will help you lower your operating costs.

And if you do hire people, don’t move to a bigger office unless you’re all packed like sardines already.

Don’t hire a PR firm, which usually costs an arm and a leg. Try to keep it in-house.

4. Prioritize Others Before Yourself

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As the owner, the business should pay you last, meaning, after your employees and all operating expenses are paid. And this only up to the extent of your business net income after taxes because otherwise, it might lose money.

5. Don’t Sell Yourself Short

Don’t sell your business short by offering resale deals, such as insanely low prices for your products and services. Your business needs to benefit from transactions with customers, too.

6. Don’t Be Greedy

While profitability should be your primary concern for the business, it’s not a license to be greedy. In fact, greed can make you do stupid financial things that can compromise your business’ long-term profitability and survival.

7. Trust Your Gut When Raising Money for Your Business

If it’s very hard or feels impossible to raise money from lenders or investors for your business, your business idea probably won’t be able to raise money immediately.

If you can easily raise capital from investors, then take as much money as you can.  In contrast, if raising capital’s too easy, then you should consider selling your business for as much money as you can.

8. Try to Be Comfortable With the Idea of Selling Your Business

Speaking of selling your company, never close your mind to the possibility of selling your company later on. When you keep your options open, you don’t close possible doors of opportunities for major windfalls in the future.

Even better, sell your very first business as soon as you possibly can – at a very good profit, of course.  Don’t take chances but instead, lock in on a very handsome return on initial investment so you can put up an even bigger one immediately.

9. Don’t Rush When You’re Selling Your Business

When you decide to sell your company, “warm-up” your prospective buyers by pitching to them at least a year earlier. You can do it by offering your business to them and providing them with monthly progress and financial reports to always keep your business on top of their minds.

10. Work Fast If You’re Selling Your Business for Shares

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If you’re selling your business for shares of stocks instead of cash, unload the stocks in the market ASAP. This will help you lock in on the stocks’ current market price and avoid a potential price drop later on.

Operating Rules

While these rules aren’t financial in nature, they can significantly impact the way you manage your business. The success, survival, or demise of your business can be affected by the consequences of not following these rules.

11. Treat Your Employees Well

Manage your employees well because your business’ operations depend greatly on them. If you don’t handle them well, several things can happen.

First, they may become demotivated to the point they’re performing very poorly, or worse, they may bolt out.

Second, if you don’t provide them with clear job structures, they might get confused as to how to help the business succeed. Worse, such confusion may lead to mistakes or negligence that can damage the business.

When you provide clear job structures, you make things clear to them. These include what they need to accomplish, what their responsibilities are, and the rewards they can expect for good performance.

Lastly, if you don’t immediately fire employees the moment they start doing things that undermine your authority, it can spread to the other employees. When this happens, you’ll have a massive problem that’ll cost the business greatly to solve.

12. Hire Locally

Hire locals because you can see them, talk to them, and manage them better at the office. It’s very risky to manage people virtually.

13. Micro-Manage Your Software Project

If your business needs to develop software, be on top of it. If you don’t, the programmers you hire might not develop it exactly the way you envisioned it.

14. Avoid Stressing Over Factors Beyond Your Control

Don’t stress over economic developments. Instead, focus on how you can continue making your business thrive, which is something you have greater control over.

15. Accept Change

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Embracing change and learning to adapt for success

Accept that things always change, and more importantly, prepare for it. In this way, your business will be able to thrive in today’s fast-paced economy.

Relationship Rules

No man’s an island. Including entrepreneurs.

  • You’ll need to have good interpersonal relationships with customers to continue operating a profitable business.
  • You’ll also need good relationships with your employees because your business depends on them to thrive.
  • If you need investors, you’ll need to establish good relationships with them, too.

16. Communicate

Communicate clearly and regularly with all your business’ stakeholders. These include your customers, employees, investors, and suppliers.

17. Treat Your Business Contacts Well

Treat your employees like they’re your kids. Give them gifts when they do well, celebrate their successes, and correct them lovingly when needed.

Like children, too, listen to them when they need to express their concerns or problems in the business. Doing that helps you nip problems in the bud by encouraging the troops to give you immediate feedback on challenges experienced by the business before they escalate.

Throw parties (from your personal account, not the business’) for your top customers and investors if you can afford it.

If you’re renting office space, make sure to befriend your landlord. This is especially important if you sell your business, because you’ll need his approval to let the new owner take over your lease.

Meet up regularly with your competitors, but listen more than talk. It’s about learning lessons from them that may even help you beat them at their own game!

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Marketing Rules

Your business’ products and services won’t sell by themselves: you’ll need to market them well! Here are some rules to live by when it comes to effectively marketing your business.

18. Push Your Brand

Promote your brand as much as you can through excellent branding and exhausting all promotional means. Some of the best ways to do this include:

  • Word of Mouth: Whenever you get the chance to talk about your business with anyone, do so. You’ll never know if that person needs your business’ products/services or knows others who do.
  • Blogging or asking the help of bloggers and social media influencers in promoting your business to the right niche, which gives it a more personal touch compared to hiring a PR firm; and
  • Creating and actively managing a social media page with quality and engaging content.

19. If Your Business is Providing a Service, Call it a Product

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Because products are generally valued more by people over services, call your business’ service a product instead.

20. Avoid Making Hyperbolic Claims

Don’t exaggerate your business’ promos and claims. You’ll sound too good to be true, which can lead your prospects into thinking you’re up to something.

21. Know Who You’re Selling To

Study your target market well by researching their demographics. The more you know your niche, the more you’ll know how to position your business in their minds.

Take the time to know your customers very well. Learn about their histories, current situations, and accomplishments.

22. Innovate in How You Can Provide Value to Others

Plan and think of ways to continuously provide more value to your customers through new products/services or sponsorships for them, if they’re advertisers.

If you don’t have clear ideas on how to do this, take the time to ask your customers directly what else they need. That’s as direct as it can get.

23. Grab Opportunities to Talk to Decision-Makers

When you get opportunities to meet with your prospects’ primary decision-maker, don’t even think of saying “no.” Doors of opportunities like these are hard to come by so take advantage of them.

24. Be Open to an Equity Bribe

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If you’re desperate to get your first customer, consider an equity bribe. Offer to give equity to a partner in exchange for them agreeing to be a paying customer.

But, if your product is something somebody specifically asked for, don’t offer equity. Just sell the product to them.

25. Don’t Be Afraid to Hire a Customer

Be open to the possibility of hiring your customers. It can give them a better appreciation of you and your business and might just increase their patronage.

Customer Care Rules

Take care of our customers and they’ll take care of you. Consider these rules to keep your customers satisfied and wanting more.

26. Remind Yourself You’re Selling to Other Humans

Always remember your customers are people, not companies. Treat them as such so you can build genuine relationships with them.

27. Give Customers a Little Extra

Always give your customers a little more than what they paid for. It will make them really loyal to you in the long run because you show them it’s not just about the money.

To the extent possible and for as long as it doesn’t compromise your personal health, safety, and the company’s reputation and profitability, do everything you can for your customers. Customer satisfaction is what will make your business succeed.

28. Invest in Improving Customer Communication

Make it as easy as possible for your customers to contact and purchase from you. You need them more than they need you so don’t make it hard for them.

This includes providing as much information as you can about your products and/or services on your website (if you have one), social media pages, or brochures. If possible, present all important information in a concise manner to help them decide easier.

Self-Care Rules

What’s the point of making your business healthy and thriving if you’re sick, anxious, or burned out? Here are some important rules to ensure you’re always in great condition to take care of both the personal and professional aspects of your life.

29. Get a Life

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Creating a healthy work-life balance to be a successful entrepreneur

Always remind yourself life isn’t just about your business. Get a life outside of your business, spend time with your loved ones.

Eat healthily, get enough at least eight hours of quality sleep, exercise regularly, and do something you enjoy.

30. Face Competition Head-On

Don’t run away from competition, but instead face it. They’ll force you to think of better products and services that meet people’s needs and increase your profits, too.

31. Embrace Failure

Don’t treat failure as failure but instead as opportunities to learn how to become a better entrepreneur and person. Even your failures can be successes if you learn valuable lessons from them and apply them.

32. Always Try to Improve Yourself

Set aside regular time to think of new ideas to improve yourself, your personal productivity, and your business’ products and services. Practice generating at least 10 new ideas every day to develop your idea muscle.

And speaking of new ideas, don’t be afraid of the possibility of someone stealing them. If you train your idea muscle regularly, you’ll generate more great ideas than what other people can steal from you.

33. Avoid Procrastinating on a Brilliant Idea

When you realize you came up with a very brilliant idea, act on it as soon as possible. The longer you put it off, the more likely you’ll forget and fail to implement it.

34. Focus on What Will Help You Reach Your Goals

Make wise use of your time and focus on the highest-value items in your life. Don’t waste time with stuff like meetings that you don’t need to be present in.

35. Pray

You can tap into your spirituality as a guide to help you make business decisions. Whether you’ve just landed a great opportunity and you’re feeling thankful or you need to make a difficult decision, praying can help.

You can even pray for your competitors because their success is tied to yours. If they succeed, it means your industry is gaining traction, and later on, you can even get into a partnership or have them buy your company. Win-win!

Being an entrepreneur isn’t something you can take lightly. It’ll require you to work hard and take risks beyond what employees experience in their career.

However, being a successful entrepreneur is one of the best things one can ever accomplish in life. It can provide you with so many opportunities to enjoy a full and satisfying life that many in the corporate rat race may never enjoy in their lives.

Based on these rules, do you think you have what it takes to become a successful entrepreneur? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.

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