Entrepreneurship has become increasingly popular in recent years. You only have to search online for ‘set up my own business’ or ‘make money online,’ and you’ll soon find that your social media profiles attract adverts for a multitude of courses and business opportunities designed to free you from the grind of the 9 to 5. Some of these business opportunities paint a very rosy picture of sipping cocktails on a beach as the money comes rolling in. The reality of life as an entrepreneur is often quite different.
Here are nine tips to help you navigate the path to success as an entrepreneur.
1 Find where your passion and skills can solve a problem
The most successful businesses solve a problem that people want to fix. The laptop computer enabled us to work on the go, and music streaming services allowed us to ditch our CDs and get access to any song within a few clicks. Building a successful business can take blood, sweat, and tears. In the moments when it gets tough, you need to have a real passion for the problem that you are solving and the skills to address it effectively.
2 Get clear on your goals
You’ll need an extreme focus on your goals that enables you to critically assess your workload and determine what is bringing you closer to your goals and what is simply time-wasting. Some of the most successful entrepreneurs have their goals visible in their home or office, and they write them out daily to keep focussed.
3 Take imperfect action
So many businesses never get started because the budding entrepreneur was waiting for the perfect moment, the ideal website, or the perfect product. Perfection does not exist, and perfectionism stops us from achieving our goals. Instead, get used to taking action, explicitly taking imperfect action. You will need to train yourself on what is good enough to launch with, which is often known as a minimum viable product. Your customers will soon tell you what works and what needs to be tweaked or completely changed.
4 Invest in your skills and knowledge
Successful entrepreneurs are lifelong learners who invest in their personal development. It might involve reading a book written by someone who has a skill you would like to master or listening to a specific podcast. You could find a mentor who has achieved a level of success that you would like to replicate and take them out for coffee. Be careful who you choose to learn from; make sure your mentor is the real deal.
5 Network with winners
Entrepreneurship can be a lonely place to be, especially if your friends and family are not entrepreneurial. Find out if there are networking opportunities in your community that will enable you to spend time with successful business owners who you can learn from, add value to, and potentially do business with.
6 Protect your most precious asset
There is one asset that you can’t buy, and once it has gone, we can’t get it back. That’s time. As an entrepreneur, you have to protect your time fiercely. One of the most effective ways to do this is to time block your day so that you account for all the essential things you need to achieve and allocate a realistic amount of time for them. Try to eliminate distractions as far as possible, for example, put your phone on silent and find a quiet place to work.
7 Develop high-performance habits
Being a successful entrepreneur is not just about working hard and having a great business idea. To have long term success, you must work on all aspects of yourself: your mindset, your health and fitness, and your resilience. Make sure that you prioritize essential healthy habits such as drinking water, eating healthy food, exercises, eating well, and getting enough sleep and time off. These basics will create a strong foundation that will give you the strength and stamina to succeed.
8 Listen to your customers
Your business exists to solve customers’ problems, and the most successful enterprises become obsessed about delivering the best possible customer experiences. When you are working extremely hard, it can be difficult to hear any form of criticism about your business. Customer complaints and suggestions are an incredibly valuable insight into how to make your business more successful. Listen to what they like about your business, and what they think could be better. For example, are you offering payment solutions that make life easy for your customer?
9 Find the right partners for the journey
Few entrepreneurs achieve success all on their own. We can only be experts in certain areas, and for others, we need to buy in expertise from other people or businesses. Get the right basics in place. If you are creating an online business, you can read our guide to taking your business online. Make sure that you have the right business insurance, accounting solutions, and a terrific payment solutions provider who will protect you and your customers. For example, payments experts UTP Group offer a unique level of fraud protection for their customers. With the right partners, you can amplify your success.
Conclusion: be the best for you to build the best business
With entrepreneurship, there is no such thing as an overnight success. The people who seemingly created millions in no time at all have often been honing their ideas and skills for years. There are rarely short cuts that pay off, beyond learning from others who have achieved the success that you would like to replicate. Be realistic about the price of entrepreneurship on your time and relationships. Think long term; do you have the passion, the skills, and the resilience to solve a problem for people and become obsessed with solving that problem better than anyone else can? If you have the right foundations for success, then by surrounding yourself with the right networks of people and the right partners, you will go far.