What are the trends? How big is the market? Is it a growing or shrinking market? How will your services impact the industry? Who exactly is the target market? Who are your competitors? How is your product or service different and better than your competitors?
Don’t be afraid to ask the hard questions. Knowing the answers will increase your chances for success. The internet will provide lots of useful information, but you need to get out there and talk to industry experts and all the different players relevant to your potential new business.
Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower. – Steve Jobs
The value of your networking goes well beyond the initial meet and greet. Your contacts can open doors to money, customers, vendors, employees and also provide some useful insights into the marketplace. It’s very important to let people know what you’re about and create as many mutually beneficial business connections as possible.
Networking is marketing. Marketing yourself, marketing your uniqueness, marketing what you stand for. – Christine Comaford-Lynch
Sometimes, first-time entrepreneurs feel the need to jump at every opportunity they come across. Juggling multiple ventures will spread you thin and limit both your effectiveness and productivity. Do one thing perfectly, not ten things poorly.
Don’t start a business simply because of profit margins. Try to do what you enjoy. Businesses built around your strengths and talents will have a greater chance of success. It’s not only important to create a profitable business, but it’s also essential that you’re happy working in the business on a daily basis. If your heart isn’t in it, your long-term focus probably won’t be either.
Never go into business purely for the money. If that’s the motive you’re better off doing nothing. – Richard Branson
If you need large sums of capital to launch your venture, go back to the drawing board. Find a starting point instead of an end point. Scale down pricey plans and grandiose expenditures. Simplify the idea until it’s manageable as an early stage venture. Find ways to prove your business model on a shoestring budget. Demonstrate your worth before seeking investment. If your concept is successful, your chances of raising capital from investors will dramatically improve.
Always be prepared for a chance encounter with a potential investor or new customer. Can you state your mission, service and goals in a clear and concise manner in under thirty seconds? Make sure you fit the pitch to the person you’re talking with.
No one knows everything, so don’t come off as a know-it-all. Try to find successful, knowledgeable individuals with whom you share common interests and mutual business goals that are willing to nurture you to become a better leader and entrepreneur. Check out business networking events featured on our website where you can meet people on a similar journey and possible mentors.
I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. – Maya Angelou
Entrepreneurship is a lifestyle, not a nine-to-five agreement. Working to the point of exhaustion will burn you out and make you less productive. Don’t make excuses. Eat right, exercise and find time for yourself.
Don’t’ talk the talk’ unless you can ‘walk the talk’. People will be impressed with action not a whole lot of talking about what you are going to do. Make sure you endorse your business enthusiastically, yet tastefully. Avoid exaggerating truths and touting far reaching goals as certainties.
Forget about cool fancy offices, fast cars and expense accounts. Your money will now be your company’s life-blood. Watch every dollar and check every expense. Try to keep your expenses to a minimum for the time being. Maintain a low overhead and manage your cash flow effectively. It’s also a good idea to start receiving some financial and tax advice moving forward.
You must gain control over your money or the lack of it will forever control you. – Dave Ramsey
Most entrepreneurs make a few initial mistakes, some product and service adjustments may be necessary before finding the ideal solution. Keep in mind, through the twists and turns, many great companies have been built where the failure of an initial idea wasn’t the failure of the company.
Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm. – Winston Churchill
One thing is certain in business. You and everyone around you will make mistakes. – Richard Branson
The biggest risk, is not taking any risk… In a world that is changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks. – Mark Zuckerberg
There’s nothing that can prepare you to become a successful entrepreneur. There is no such thing as a ‘perfect plan’. There is no straightforward road or one less travelled. Never jump right into a new business without thought or planning. On the other hand, don’t spend months or years waiting to execute. If you have decided to do it, then just do it. One thing is for sure, you will become a more well-rounded entrepreneur when tested under fire. The most important thing you can do is learn from your mistakes and never make the same mistake twice.
Screw it. Let’s do it! – Richard Branson
It’s failure that gives you the proper perspective on success. -Ellen DeGeneres
There is no such thing as failure – failure is just life trying to move us in another direction. – Oprah Winfrey
Successful entrepreneurs agree that just because you didn’t succeed with an idea, it doesn’t mean you’re a failure. You just have to own the disappointment, learn from the experience and then move onto the next venture. You want to make sure you take the time to feel it and feel how it changes you, because it will.
That feeling will give you greater empathy for what other entrepreneurs have been through to get to where they are today and a better understanding of the courage and perseverance it really takes to build a dream. In turn, this will make you a stronger, wiser and more determined leader ready to take on the next challenge and become the successful entrepreneur you know you can be.
Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly. – Robert F. Kennedy
The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing. – Henry Ford
Contrary to popular belief, a smart captain does not go down with the ship. Know when it’s time to walk away. If your idea doesn’t pan out as predicted, reflect on what went wrong and the mistakes that were made. Determine what you would have done differently, how you will utilize these hard-learned lessons to better yourself and your future entrepreneurial endeavours.
Sometimes by losing a battle, you will find a new way to win the war. – Donald Trump
Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts. – Winston Churchill
I don’t believe in failure. It is not failure if you enjoyed the process. – Oprah Winfrey
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