Oh! How easy it would be, had there been a business-startup fairy who could spin her magic wand and shower success on small and medium enterprise owners. Unfortunately, there is none and one has to put in sweat and soul to take their business to greater levels.
Passion, surviving and positive attitude along with skill set and sheer determination is something that sets successful entrepreneurs apart. There is a lot of ready reading material that claims to help aspiring entrepreneurs but has anybody got that much of time to go through the lengthy stuff?
How To Be A Successful Entrepreneur
In the times of news capsules, when everybody is on the go one requires matter that’s simple, practical and ready to implement. If you are one of those, who are planning to launch their business soon, then this article is something that will not only help you in creating your business strategy but also in excelling it.
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Half-heartedness and lazy attitude doesn’t work at all if you are planning to establish your own setup. Before starting anything, taking a realistic personal inventory is very important. It will help you in understanding your strengths and weaknesses. Reviewing your aptitude, experience, knowledge and personality will help you in understanding how fit you are for the industry you are trying to get in. Dealing with failures and taking them in your stride, financial evaluation is equally important. The key to success is make your passion your work.
- It’s never too late
You are never too old to start anything. Always remember good things can come later in life and who doesn’t know about the success stories of people like KFC founder Colonel Sanders, J K Rowling (Harry Potter author) or Sam Walton (Wal-Mart). Having an experience that comes with age is unique. It can give you a unique point of view about your business.
- Accepting the challenge
Pricking self-ego and continuously learning something or the other helps in knowing different things, which are quite essential when you’re starting off your own business. Having a learner’s attitude helps in dealing with not only different kind of people, but also keeps your ego slim.
- Short-term goals
Having a clear vision helps in giving the right direction to your setup. At the same time creating short-term goals to achieve a bigger purpose can put you on the track to success. You can aim higher and take baby steps to reach the top.
- Raising capital
Not everyone is born with a silver spoon in mouth. It is not necessary that you have a ready wealth to utilise in your business. Refrain from taking any money from family or relatives as any kind of loss, which makes you unable to repay can cause estrangement and awkwardness. You can start with as little as you can manage and later on go for crowd funding. Once you have a flourishing business and the risk is minimum, then you can suggest your relatives or friends to invest in your cause.
- Risk management
Jumping with all your capital in the battleground is not a wise thing to do. There could be people who invested everything in their business and it turned out to be a jackpot for them, but remember it can’t be so with everybody. Absorbing small-quantity losses and taking small risks, in the beginning, will make you stronger and help you in understanding the market.
- Taking cue from others
Learning something from others who are best in their industry doesn’t hurt anyone. Working for few years with somebody who knows the tricks of the game can provide you the best platform. It also helps you in understanding the mistakes and ponder on the ideas that can work well for you.
- The business plan
Creating a business plan can give you a clear picture of things involved in your business. Research, discuss and brainstorm before creating your business plan. It doesn’t have to look like a book. Short, crisp and informative business plan with details including history, organizational framework, and goals of your business will do the job. Inserting graphics and visual material will make it look interesting to potential investors and advertisers.
- Finding the right people
Finding the right people who share the same passion as you do and support a healthy work culture is like half battle won. Having positive people around you who believe in your vision and give their best shot can take your setup to new heights. While hiring the team, always look for values and character because skills can be taught, but you can’t fit contrary values in your company. Having people from different circles creates a marketing chain reaction that can build your confidence and can also give your sales leads.
- Watch that attitude
Your attitude will set the basis for your business. Negativity, short-tempered attitude, laziness, waste of time and money can tarnish your image. Success only comes to those who learn from mistakes and take blame in their stride. Be respectful to your team members and lend an ear to their issues. Having a happy employee will help you in running the long race. Facing challenges and dealing with different kind of people is one aspect of running your own business.
- Mind your expenses
Spending on foolish things and losing all your money is easy. Be careful while spending. Of course, you can’t cut on the staple part but can downsize the expenditure by prioritising.
- Customers are Gods
Knowing your target audience is as important as knowing industry skills. You need to know about your customers in and out. Knowing them will help you in offering the best solutions and dealing with them in the right way. Assuming what your customers want will never make your successful, but taking the inputs and carefully listening to them will, of course, help.
- Turning complaints into lessons
Truly understanding your industry is key to success. But there could be times when you have skipped something and not been able to live up to the expectations of your customer. So, going through the complaints and setting up a grievance cell will help you in learning. The complaints will tell you where you are going wrong, provided you pay a heed.
- Brand positioning
Just taking care of the commercial part, team, and industry is not enough. You also need to create a reputation, a responsible image for your business. Maintaining a company blog along with you and your team contributing as volunteers in community service is something that will help you in creating a responsible brand image in the market. If possible, you can also organise events.
- Self-promote, but don’t sound salesy
Always focus on clients without sounding ‘salesy’ is the mantra for success. There is no shying away in promoting your business or talking about it in public. You can spend some time in compiling and learning what areas to talk about, without coming across as ‘salesy’. Don’t be afraid in asking for a sales opportunity. Talking about your initiative in a subtle way at public events, parties and get-togethers will let people know. This is a kind of word of mouth publicity.
- Be patient
No one became successful overnight. Every good thing takes time to happen. Don’t shy away from investing time in your establishment. Everyone has started as a beginner and climbed the ladder of success in due course of time. Keep calm and follow your instincts to reach the top.
- Delivering more
To create a list of loyal customers, delivering more than expected will do the trick. ‘Delivering more than expected’ doesn’t mean that you have to giveaway freebies but providing the right and satisfying service at a reasonable cost is also something that will earn you loyal consumers.
Reviewing company performance, team’s performance and your own performance can decide the future of your setup. Organising round-tables, group discussions can help in identifying the key result areas. Providing a constructive feedback to your team members and carefully going through their reviews about you will not only create a healthy environment but will also take you few more steps ahead.
- Using energy the right way
We think that managing our time will enable us in doing more work. But it is your energy levels that decide the course of the day. So, keep your energy levels high by managing it wisely. You can also keep low-cal snack handy for instant fueling.
Starting off a business can play havoc on one’s personal life and relationships, but striking the right balance will help in the smooth transition. Celebrating even the smallest things and appreciating your team members helps in creating strong bonds.
Along with taking care of business requirements and your team, it is also imperative that you take care yourself. Following a structured routine of rising up early, followed by meditation and exercise, sticking to a strict and nutritious diet and pursuing your hobby at times will keep your spirits high.
Anand Rajendran is the CEO and co-founder of Uptra, a leading consultancy firm which offers taxation services to business firms and other organizations. As a business entrepreneur and marketing consultant for 6 years, he launched Uptra consultancy services to make taxation process a simple one with professional accountants.