“I dreamt of being an Entrepreneur one day, and hence I’m here!”, if this is what inspired you to be a part of the horse race, then you are definitely in the wrong place. This is not the game for the cat in the adage.
Likewise, you can’t be a great entrepreneur if you get into it without having a clue about what it takes to create a new business enterprise. Every new entrepreneur should follow the tips below, if they want a shot at being successful.
1. If you don’t have a clear idea, you won’t make it.
It’s one thing to imagine something working, but it’s a whole other thing to make a business out of it. Make sure the idea that you have thought of is workable, and not does only remain on paper. Think hard about your idea and every part of the business that it might become and then come to a decision on whether or not it is worth your time. You have done plenty of research on your plan, so do not harbor any thoughts on hypothetical profit scope. While pivoting is always an option in case your start up hits the dead end, take your idea through multiple rounds of cross checking to ensure you do not face the classic dilemma of an entrepreneur – “Should I preserve, Pivot or Stud Down”
2. Start on a small scale.
Before your product is ready to hit big time, you have to find out if there actually is any interest in one what you’re doing. You don’t want to spend months on your business only to find out that there really isn’t any interest out there in what you’re doing. You should remember that any new venture brings with itself a plethora of rejection. Hence, it is better to have a “test drive” rather than getting drained of your savings at one go. And if you are angel/seed funded, starting small but dreaming big is more of a norm and less of an option. Traditionally, any angel or seed funding you may get will come with the rider that you do a pilot project, ensure proof-of-concept and when you have crossed the “valley of death” , you bring in more resources and hit the market full throttle.
3. Outside financing is for further down the road.
Until you have a product that is ready to hit the market, you should be taking care of all of the financing yourself. Often, your ‘superb’ idea might not work initially and might take some time to pick up. During this juncture and always, you should remember, that nothing is yours except the money in your bank. It’s never a good idea to take people or a bank’s money before you are sure that your business is going to make money. Paul Graham, the co-founder of Y-Combinator, famously said that being overfunded is one of the least recognized but important reasons why start ups fail.
4. Keep your day job.
This one can be combined with the above mentioned point. This is because the only way that you are going to be able to fund a new business venture is by having a job and paying for it yourself. Your entrepreneurship is not going to happen in a single day. You may even want to get multiple jobs to be able to finance your business in the early stages. Of course, companies like Yahoo will hate this – its employees launched start ups while being on the payrolls of the company, there is no reason why you should not use the certainty of having a job to cushion the uncertainties of a start-up.
5. Your business needs to make a profit.
Okay, this one is obvious, but many new entrepreneurs focus way too much on other things besides the one that matters most: profit. If you find yourself looking at web page analysis or other numbers other than your profits, you’re doing something wrong. Your business needs to establish a brand but most importantly skyrocket your monetary gain. Arguably, the single most important reason that led to the Dot Com bust was start ups focusing on eye balls and not revenues.
6. Make sure you work with the right people.
Human resource is THE most important asset that any start up has, and if not picked properly, it can also become the sinker that sunk the ship. Be extremely careful whom you select as your core team, and more importantly, as your co-founder. A very common mistake that entrepreneurs make is not being attentive enough while selecting a co-founder. You need to see for yourself if a person is the right candidate for the job before you accept them onto your team. You need people who would deliver and not anyone who would eat away on your resources. The people in your team should be there to drive your business to newer heights, and it should not be the other way round. Don’t just hire people because they are your friends.
7. You need to be a motivated to succeed.
Ideas are dime a dozen – execution is the key that separates the chaff from the wheat. Big and impressive looking spreadsheets, long strategy meetings and other such things are indeed required, but for a start up to go past the tipping point, the founder(s) will have to dig in and get dirty. Many entrepreneurs fail because they don’t fully commit to their new businesses. They think that they can hire a few people, let everyone know what the great business idea is, and then everything will work itself out. That just doesn’t work. Every successful entrepreneur puts their lives into their work, which means that there won’t be much free time anytime soon. If you really are sure that entrepreneurship is right for you, you have to say goodbye to some of the things that you are used to in your daily life.
These are all very basic principles that all entrepreneurs should know, so if you dream about having the next great startup, be sure that you have what it takes to make it. Remember, hard work never gets wasted!
Ronald Alexander is a passionate writer and avid blogger currently associated with Forsyth.co.uk, which provides business services including flexible office space and virtual office services in Manchester.
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