Those who set out to build a startup will face countless challenges. So many challenges, in fact, that most who set out to build a business fail after only a few months, even when they have a strong idea and good team.
However, with careful planning and smart decision-making, aspiring entrepreneurs can reduce the risk of failure and put their startups on the right track. Just ask Ron Flavin (startup expert and Co-Director of the San Francisco Founder Institute), who has written this post outlining what founders can do to ensure their companies are ready for success.
The blog post, “Eight Tips for Entrepreneurial Success”, originally appeared on Ron Flavin’s blog, and has been republished below with permission.
For many first-time startup founders, finding entrepreneurial success can be elusive. Today’s post explores eight tips for building a solid foundation of entrepreneurial success.
First it was all an idea, an idea that inspired you to change the course of your life and create a new path for financial stability. Some call this a passion, some a calling, but whatever you may call it, the decision to become an entrepreneur is your contribution to the world and also a gift to yourself.
It is never easy to start a new life pathway as an entrepreneur. This is especially true if you have been working for others for most of your life. For many, it can seem difficult, if not impossible, to leave a life to which you have become accustomed. But for those of you who have made the decision to take the plunge and start your own business, these eight tips can put you on a path towards achieving entrepreneurial success.
1. Surround yourself with positive energy
Your business is your love child. You created it and brought it to life. Before you start doing something, it must be something you really love. The positivity surrounding your business will always affect your performance. As you build your business confidence, you’re building your personal confidence, too. Also, surround yourself with people who understand what you do and support you. As you commit to your business more and focus on its growth, you will see changes in you and your business.
2. Know your business and your customers
You should know what your business is about and who is it for. Why did you create your business? What does it stand for? Who is your target customer and what is your market? If nothing comes up to your mind then you are not learning enough about your business. You should know what your business stands for and what will it be. More important, you should know and understand your customer almost as well as you know yourself. You cannot achieve entrepreneurial success if you don’t know your customer.
3. Always be moving and always be learning
Next, one should always keep the ball rolling, when it comes to business you should always move, and keep on striking. Learn ways to improve yourself and your business everyday: ask coaches, listen to podcasts and read self-help books. Always be moving and always be learning. If ever you stumble, learn from your bruises and continue working. There are countless resources available to help you stay on a pathway of continuous learning. Two of my resources include the U.S. Small Business Administration and Founder Institute.
4. Improve and innovate
Change is inevitable. The strongest, most successful entrepreneurs are not afraid of change but rather, embrace it and prepare for it. To attain entrepreneurial success, you must embrace change and continually be seeking new ways to improve and innovate your product and service to meet the changing needs and desires of your customers and target market. As the father of modern management Peter Drucker said,“Neither studies nor market research nor computer modeling is a substitute for the test of reality.” You should not just rely on market research but your product must have passed a standard of what your customer finds valuable.
5. Delegate tasks so you can focus on those things you do best
Successful entrepreneurs know their strengths, their weaknesses and what they do best. Moreover, they also aren’t afraid to delegate tasks to others. As an entrepreneur, your business is best served when you are focusing your efforts on the tasks that you do best and add the greatest value to your company. Tasks that are outside of your core areas of expertise should be delegated to others in your firm. And when you delegate to others, you are showing that you have confidence in their abilities, which helps build stronger teams and a more prosperous company.
6. Never give up
This may sound cheesy and repetitive but never give up. There are times that hindrances and setbacks get in your way, but that shouldn’t stop you from pursuing your dreams. Don’t let fear or anything shatter your dreams and ideas and never stop scouring for new ones. Sometimes your idea may not work out as you want to but start looking at different angles and you may find what you’re looking for.
7. Set unrealistic targets and goals
To be successful, you have to push yourself forward—hard. One way to do that is to set goals and targets that on the surface may seem unrealistic or even unattainable. It may sound absurd but nothing should stop you from dreaming. Creating unrealistic goals inspires you to strive harder, wherever you came from, whatever you might be doing right now. Pushing yourself beyond your perceived limitations will always unleash your greatest potential.
8. Learn to let go
From not giving up to letting go, business is a series of contradictions, but one should let go of things that are not beneficial to you or your business. Letting something go doesn’t mean giving up on your dream but knowing what to risk what not to. Business is a game and you shouldn’t always bet, a true entrepreneur knows when to stop and wait.
For each person, the pathway to achieving entrepreneurial success is a distinctly personal and unique experience. For some, success seems to come easy but for others, the path is riddled with obstacles and challenges. But whatever obstacles, challenges or barriers you may face, following these 8 tips can help you achieve entrepreneurial success. Interested in talking more about entrepreneurial success?