When you’re working to build a business, it can be tough to get your feet off the ground. Thankfully, all successful entrepreneurs have been there, and know how hard it can be to get things moving when you’re just getting started.
When I got my start as an entrepreneur, I remember wondering whether I’d be able to make it–if I had what it took to rise to the top in my field. I found it helpful when other entrepreneurs shared their tips with me, and I want to do the same for others who are working to build a business on their own.
Tip #1: Know Your Audience.
When you have a great idea for a product, you know that it would make your life easier–but you’re not trying to sell your product to yourself. The odds of creating a lasting business are higher when
about how your product or service could benefit them, and listen to their feedback. When you show customers that you’re interested in solving a problem for them–not just making a sale–it’s far easier to build a solid community around your business.
When you ask your audience questions, be genuinely curious. Work to fully understand what they need rather than try to convince them that your product can solve their problem. Listen to understand where they’re coming from, and don’t start preparing a response until you’ve had time to fully process what they’ve said.
Tip #2: Strive For Continuous Improvement In All Aspects Of Life.
You won’t get everything right when you start your business, and that’s ok. When you work through issues with the idea that you’re constantly learning along the way, it can help you see struggles in your business as opportunities for growth. Bumps in the road are par for the course when you’re starting a new business, and it’s key that you don’t let the day to day struggles of getting started get you down.
As you work to improve your business, be sure you’re prioritizing self-care to minimize the possibility of burnout. Sleepless nights are inevitable sometimes, but generally, try to get enough sleep, exercise, and maintain some semblance of a social life as you build your business. Doing so can help you keep your eye on the prize without making you feel like your business is all you’ve got. While having 100% focus may sound ideal, it can be counterproductive over time.
Tip #3: Stop Trying To Appeal To Everyone.
Your product or service isn’t going to be for everyone, and that’s a good thing. When you’re meeting the needs of a specific group, your business idea will not appeal to the masses. The more you get to know your target audience, the more you’ll realize that your product is created specifically for them. Dial in on the exact needs of your target market, and work to meet those needs with more specificity than anyone else. Your target market will see that you’re catering to exactly their needs.
Tip #4: Reinvest Your Revenue (As Much As You Can).
Investing in yourself–and your business–is key to growth. In your first few years as an entrepreneur, it’s likely that finances will be tight. This is normal, and a sign that you’re doing the right thing as far as investing in your vision. As much as possible, use the revenue you’re creating to continue to grow your business. Instead of trying to control all aspects of the business yourself, use some of your newfound cash flow to find and hire employees who will help drive your business forward. You may also want to use some of your initial revenue to work through market research to help you understand more about what your audience needs.
Tip #5: Use Competition As Motivation.
If you’re in a market where there’s heavy competition, that means you’ve chosen to provide a product or service that your audience needs. Competition is a good thing and can help you keep your finger on the pulse of what your audience is looking for. Try not to stress about competition. Instead, use it as motivation to continue to offer your customers the best that you can. In the event that you lose a customer, don’t take it personally. Look at it as an opportunity to find out what your competition is doing differently that’s helping them appeal to your market, and use that to shape your vision for your product or service moving forward.
Tip #6: Use Your Time To Create Systems.
Your goal should be to create a business that can run without you. Instead of spending time trying to run all aspects of your business on your own, invest time into finding high-quality employees who you can trust. Develop systems that allow you to step away and focus on product development, customer experience, or another aspect of your business that drives growth. When you create systems that allow you to take a step back, you can rest assured that your business is running like a well-oiled machine, even when you aren’t supervising every move of your employees.
Tip #7: Done Is Better Than Perfect.
I get it–as an entrepreneur, you know exactly what you want your business to look like, and it can be tough to stop short of perfection. Sometimes, however, the quest for creating the perfect product, system, or response to a customer can make it tough for you to move forward. Try your best to create high-quality systems and products, and revisit your decisions regularly to look for ways to make them better. Remind yourself that very little is permanent in business. If something isn’t working, you can come back and make it better down the line.
Have you read?
Elon Musk, Twitter and The New Deal in Corporate Takeovers by Ralph Ward.
How to Set Your Wealth Goals by Ty J. Young.
Why the secret to winning strategy is simple by Rosie Yeo.
Weighing up your options – the art of decision making by Kerry Swan.