Entrepreneurs often start a new business without planning enough or knowing what is most important.
But this is generally not the fault of the entrepreneur as it is often hard to predict how a business will pan out.
They often have an idea they think is great but are a little unsure of how to execute it.
Remember there is more to a business than a great idea and it is important to think about the big picture rather than just focus on the idea.
Here is a quick guide that will hopefully help entrepreneurs on their journey.
1. Remember your passion
While there is more to business than the thing you were passionate about, to begin with, it should still remain the focus of the company.
The products or services you are providing are an extension of yourself so make sure not to forget that and continue to focus on providing a better offering than anyone else.
Whatever you thought would be your niche in the market should remain your focus.
You had a good reason for pursuing this idea so do not let others talk you out of it or slow you down.
Pivoting a little bit is okay as long as the primary aim remains the same. Sometimes a small pivot can help to turn your idea into a reality.
2. Can I get that in writing?
No matter what you are doing, make sure that all agreements come in writing.
They do not have to be formal contracts, but having a client, customer, contractor, or other professional put their intentions in writing will save you headaches later.
If things are not done to their specifications, you will know what your recourse is.
You will also know what to do if they do not meet your satisfaction. Do not just agree to something verbally as it can come back to bite you.
3. Hire well
Do not hire just to have a warm body available. Hire people with talent who match your passion and enthusiasm.
You will get more done if you can trust the people around you to have your business’s best interests at heart, but do not be fooled as people will do what they can for themselves.
Depending on your business consider seeking out new graduates as they tend to be not as frustrated with the work environment yet and will be keen to learn and impress.
They usually have fresh ideas, and they may be a little cheaper than someone with more experience.
They want to know that their employer cares about them and many younger professionals are seeking companies that are making a difference.
Use this to your advantage.
4. Keep hiring or taking applications
Do not hire a fantastic person and forget everyone else.
Offer internships, take applications and continue to get to know professionals seeking work.
If you begin to grow, you will not be overwhelmed, trying to find an applicant pool to interview.
You will also be in less of a bind if your fabulous new hire does not work out as well as you had hoped.
Don’t settle for average just because you’ve hired somebody already and always be looking for people who can help you to improve your business.
5. Pay well
Whether we are talking about paying contractors or employees, do not be cheap! While you might want more bang for your buck, do not underprice people.
You want to be successful, and you will attract more successful people if you pay for their talent. If you cannot afford to pay a large salary, at least offer great benefits or perks.
Work with young professionals to pay them well in whatever ways you can, and remember money isn’t always the answer to keeping people happy.
For example, if they want to work one day from home one day let them as a little can go a long way.
Many people will stay with a lower-paying employer if they work with them, over going to the highest paying employer who expects extra work for no more pay.
6. Accept failure
While we hope that we will not fail, do not be afraid to fail. Failures come in many forms and may not be as bad as we think.
Maybe you try to introduce a new product, and it flops. That’s fine.
Accept that some things just do not work out. Keep trying.
Failure simply means that you took a risk, and it did not work out, and remember you are always taking a risk by being an entrepreneur.
Do not take unnecessary risks, but do not be afraid of calculated risks.
Know the consequences of failure from the beginning, but do not fear failure as it is a fact of life.
For example, I once met a small business owner who paid $25,000 to take over a store from a woman who was ready to get out of the business.
She said, “Well, if it fails, I am only out about one car payment, but if it succeeds, I get to work for myself.” Sixteen years later, she is still in business.
She has expanded to add more products and she has hired a store manager. It is still a small business, but she was not afraid to fail.
7. Learn from that failure
Not every product or service will work out, but you should learn why.
Maybe the product did not work as intended, or it was too similar to something else on the market. Could you rework it and try again, or is it just not something you want to offer?
You must make that decision, but you need to look at your failures through a critical lens.
Which parts of failure were yours, which were out of your control, and what did you learn from it?
8. Schedule and plan
Do not work 24/7.
First of all, no one can sustain that kind of work schedule so it is completely unrealistic and can actually have a negative impact on your business.
Schedule your work times and plan for yourself so you can plan a dinner with your spouse around your scheduled client meeting times.
If you only want to meet with clients on Monday and Thursday, do not schedule a meeting on Wednesday unless there is some extenuating circumstance.
Do not allow clients to run your life. Run your life and your business in a way that suits your life.
You do not have to keep 8-5 working hours every day. Choose the days/times you want to work and stick to it.
Final thoughts: Simple lessons for entrepreneurship
As an entrepreneur, you must make the decisions you feel are best to make the company match your vision and remember difficult decisions will need to make along the way.
Not everyone will understand or agree with your choices, but you have to decide what is best for your business and moving forward.
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