They say hindsight is 20/20, and that is definitely the case for many entrepreneurs that we know and have worked with! Wouldn’t it be great to know in advance what stumbling blocks and obstacles your business will face? Unfortunately that’s not possible, but what we can do is learn from those who have gone before us. One of the best ways to learn is from someone else’s experiences and mistakes! With that in mind, we have compiled our top 10 tips learned from highly successful entrepreneurs.
Start small. Starting small allows you to be flexible, and grow your business incrementally. Investing too much in your business up front sometimes can limit your ability to make the changes your customers want, after your business is launched.
Failure leads to success. It really is true that some of the best successes come from the greatest failures. Successful entrepreneurs do not lose heart when they fail. Instead, they look at failure through a positive lens. After all, failure gives clarity to direction and purpose. Reflecting on both failure and successes along the way will make a difference in your ability to overcome obstacles.
Balance. Starting a business can suck up every spare minute of your day and night. While all entrepreneurs agree that you will have to devote many, many hours to your business, quite a few also look back and wish they had tried to have more balance in their life. Ultimately, you can’t take stuff with you when you leave this world. Make time for friends and family, even if it means working a little less.
Focus, focus, focus! A consistent theme among successful entrepreneurs was focus. Try not to do too many things, since you can’t get eclipse your competition that way. Focus on what makes your business money, and get very good at it. Be persistent towards your end goal!
Continuing education. In today’s world, continuing education is critical due to the rapid rate of change in technology. Continuing education is also important because your target customer is always changing. People’s tastes and preferences change – to be successful you always need to keep learning.
Invest in top talent. Though many successful entrepreneurs start small, at some point they recognize they can’t do it all on their own. And that’s when they invest in top talent. Small and midsize companies can’t rely on company name recognition like large corporations do, so one way they gain an edge is to hire the best people.
Have a mentor. Ideally your mentor will be someone in the same industry, though not a direct competitor. Many entrepreneurs utilize the S.C.O.R.E. organization. Build a relationship and utilize your mentor’s knowledge by meeting with them on a weekly or monthly basis. When you have someone to help guide you, your mistakes will be smaller, and occur less frequently.
Stay grounded in reality. Entrepreneurs can be so passionate and enthused about their business idea that they frequently overestimate and are too optimistic about their financial projections. This can cause major stumbling blocks and sometimes even shut your business down if you run out of capital sooner than you expected. Successful entrepreneurs enlisted their mentor or the services of a professional business coach to review their financial plan, which helped them base their projections in reality, not fantasy.
If you build it, they will come. While that philosophy may work in the movies, it’s not necessarily the case in the business world. Successful entrepreneurs know that offering an outstanding service at a reasonable price to a hungry audience is not enough. Marketing is a critical aspect for the successful entrepreneur. Getting the word out about their new business made the difference between success and failure for almost all successful entrepreneurs.
Just do it! Last but not least, every successful entrepreneur had to actually start doing something in order to be successful. Thinking about a good idea didn’t get them anywhere. They all gathered their courage and made the leap into starting their own business. If you have a vision and have done your due diligence upfront, don’t wait around for someone else to launch your concept. After all, nothing happens until you do something with your vision!