Becoming an entrepreneur is exciting and one of life’s great adventures. While there are many benefits to becoming an entrepreneur, you will also find that it is a risk and there are many challenges and hurdles to overcome. The good news is that business leadership is a well-trodden path, which means that there are always things that you can learn from experienced and successful entrepreneurs to help raising seed capital and find the way towards your success. This article will look at several lessons that can be learned from experienced entrepreneurs that will hopefully help you to overcome these challenges and achieve your goals. Keep reading to find out the best lessons from entrepreneurs.
Stick with a Safe Business Idea
First, one of the most common pieces of advice that you see from successful entrepreneurs is to stick with a safe business idea. People often come up with business ideas that are too risky or niche (often a personal passion), but this is not the best move, particularly for an inexperienced entrepreneur and, instead, you are better off going with a safe idea. While these are often not as exciting or glamorous, you will find that you are more likely to find success and develop the key skills and knowledge required to then take on riskier projects down the line.
Build from a Position of Stability
Even with a safe business idea, you will find that starting a new business will be risky and most startups fold within the first few years. Therefore, you should always build the business from a position of stability and never because you need money right now. Many people will continue to work a full-time job while they build their business and then make the switch at the right moment. Alternatively, you could find work on the side while you build the business and/or use personal savings so that you are not reliant on the business finding success straight away. In addition to financial stability, it is also sensible to start a business when you have stability in your personal life. If you plan on having a child, traveling the world, or purchasing a home in the next few years, you might want to put the idea on ice until you can give it 100% of your attention.
Don’t Rush Market Research
One of the most common mistakes that you see inexperienced entrepreneurs make is rushing through the market research stage. While you might be excited about launching the business, you will find that you are making things much harder for yourself if you wish through the market research stage as this is how you learn how to build a business that will stand out from the crowd and attract your target market. You need to learn as much as you can about the industry, your competitors and your target market and then use this information to build a brand that will find success.
Secure Enough Funding
You also do not want to start your new business without enough money to keep you going. Most businesses fail because they encounter cash flow issues, so you want to make sure that you secure enough to get you set up but also keep you afloat until the business finds its own feet. You need to calculate your startup costs and then avoid getting started until you have secured this amount. A few of the best funding options for a new business include:
- Bank loans
- Angel investors
- Venture capitalists
Keep Costs Down
Leading on from this, you also want to make sure that you keep your costs down early on. When first getting started, you do not want to waste any money so that you can maximize your bottom line and increase your chances of survival. You want to keep your costs down, but at the same time, you also need to make sure that you can provide a high-quality product/service for your customers as well as make work as easy as possible for staff. You can then look to make upgrades and spend more once the business finds some stability, but to start with you need to make sure that you are keeping your costs down.
Surround Yourself with Talent
The most successful entrepreneurs understand that they have their limitations and will overcome these by surrounding themselves with talent. Running a successful business is a tremendous amount of work and requires many different skillsets and types of knowledge. Therefore, you need to find talent to help you along the journey and to fill any gaps that you currently have. You should also make sure that you are providing regular training and career development opportunities for people in your team so that they will stick around for the long haul. To attract talent to a startup, you need to make sure that you are providing a healthy work-life balance, positive company culture and the chance to learn and grow within your company.
Find a Mentor
Entrepreneurship is no walk in the park and there are many challenges and hurdles at every step of the journey. Therefore, it is helpful for inexperienced entrepreneurs to find a mentor that will be able to offer them advice and guidance along the way. This could be key for overcoming challenges, avoiding common mistakes, and learning the best ways to take your business to new heights. In addition to finding a mentor, you will also find it helpful to read books, read blogs, listen to podcasts, and network within the supportive entrepreneur community (both online and offline).
New entrepreneurs are often impatient and expect their business to blow up overnight. Overnight success stories are very rare, which is why patience is such an important attribute for entrepreneurs. It can take a business several years to turn a profit, so you need to make sure that you are in it for the long haul and willing to wait (this is also why it is so important to build from a position of stability).
Have Hobbies Outside of Business
Starting and running a business can take up a huge amount of your time and energy. While it is good to have a strong work ethic, you must also make sure that you enjoy your life outside of work and maintain a healthy work-life balance. Therefore, hobbies are so important so that you can enjoy your time outside of work, disconnect, and have fun. You can contact Mike Savage of New Canaan to learn about the importance of hobbies as a business leader and how these can be key for reducing stress and bringing joy into your life. Mike Savage is a successful entrepreneur that has a handful of passions outside of business, including muscle cars, Koi fish, Lego, and his foundation that helps children in poverty in Honduras.
Be Wary of Burnout
Following this, you must also be wary of burnout as an entrepreneur. You certainly need to have a strong work ethic and be willing to put in the hours but starting and running a business can easily become all-consuming and you might find yourself thinking about the business even when you are not working. This is how you burn out, which can have a serious impact on your health, personal life and even your business. Therefore, you need to be wary of the main signs of burnout and find ways to quickly reduce your stress if you are suffering. A few of the main signs of burnout include:
- Constant fatigue
- Mood swings
- Feeling overwhelmed
- Change in appetite and/or sleep habits
- Loss of motivation
Stay Current with Business Tech
These days, it is vital that you stay current with business tech. Business tech has evolved at a rapid rate in recent times and there are now all kinds of technologies that can assist with all areas of the business. You are making work a lot harder for yourself if you are not embracing this tech, so you want to make sure that you stay current by reading blogs, following relevant pages on social media, attending events, and listening to tech podcasts.
Prioritize Customer Service
Finally, you want to make sure that you are prioritizing customer service from day one. Your customers will determine your success and brand reputation, so you want to make sure that you are friendly, professional, and always willing to go the extra mile. It can take a while to develop a positive reputation but only a second to ruin one, which is why customer service needs to be a priority from the very start.
Hopefully, the advice in this post will prove to be useful and help you to find success with your business venture. Becoming an entrepreneur is exciting and one of the most rewarding things in life is seeing your business find success, but it is not an easy road and there are many challenges along the way. By following the above tips, you’re giving yourself the best chance of success.