Tag Archives: entrepreneur

Practical ways to become a better entrepreneur

Entrepreneurial Skills

Do you want to become a better entrepreneur? Every entrepreneur wants to learn and improve in some way or another. There is no one magic answer or solution to become a successful entrepreneur. However, one common trait of most successful entrepreneurs is their desire to self-improvement.

No matter how you define success, there are many common characteristics that are shared by successful business people. Even if you don’t match up to all of these characteristics, don’t worry; most can be learnt with practice and with a winning attitude. Set realistic goals and apply your mind through strategic planning. Make sure you set incremental goals and measurable stages.

There are many things one can do to become a successful entrepreneur. Some of fairly obvious, while other may not be. Here are a few ideas on how you can become a successful entrepreneur:

  • Follow your passions and do what you what you enjoy. If you don’t do what you enjoy, this will most likely reflect in the success of your business.
  • Invest in yourself and take a short course and continuously build and grow your skills.
  • Hire a coach to guide and mentor you.
  • Understand your strengths and weaknesses. Confront and work on your challenge areas.
  • What ever you do, make sure you believe in what you do and take your business seriously.
  • Constantly write and publish a blog to improve your personal brand.
  • Use a professional high quality headshot for your social media account and place a face to your name.
  • Create a competitive advantage and differentiate your business from your competition.
  • Make sure to develop a realistic and effective plan.
  • Review the reason you started your business every quarter and think about your goals and objectives you have set for yourself.
  • Balance your work and personal life.
  • Accept criticism, no matter who gives it to you.
  • Remember that your business is all about the customer. Get to know your customer and offer personalized attention.
  • Learn from your own mistakes.
  • Learn from other people’s mistakes.
  • No business can succeed on its own. So surround yourself with a top-moth business team.
  • You don’t always have to innovate; there is nothing wrong with copying.
  • Don’t let emotions cloud your decisions.
  • Update and optimize your LinkedIn account and profile.
  • The lifeblood of any business enterprise is cash flow, so manage your money wisely.
  • Find and read some inspirational books and grow your knowledge.
  • “There is an app for everything”, so let the app do the work for you.
  • Avoid taking shortcuts that might appear to be shiny opportunities. True quality is only achieved through focused effort over an extended period of time.
  • Don’t be afraid to have those difficult conversations both at work and home.
  • Take the time from your busy schedule to pause and reflect.
  • Take care of your health and exercise. Exercise transforms the brain by enhancing blood flow, oxygen, and increasing mental energy.
  • Present yourself in a professional way. Be aware of how you dress and look.
  • Never be afraid to try new things and accept failures along the way. Any path to success has bumps along the way. Failure is a way to improve your ability to succeed.
  • If you work from home, don’t forget to create a regular work schedule that includes time to stretch your legs and take lunch breaks, plus some days off and scheduled vacations.

Hopefully these suggestions will help you improve your entrepreneurial skills. Improving yourself does not happen by accident or overnight. If you truly want to be a better entrepreneur, grow your business, make an impact and difference, then you need intentional about changing.

Tips and advise for first-time entrepreneurs

Entrepreneur Advise

What does it take to enter the world of entrepreneurship today? It is very easy for first time entrepreneurs to easily be overwhelmed with the plethora of advice, books, blogs and ideas out there on how they should be, look and feel about their startup.

Starting your first business can be an extremely stressful experience—you’re exploring new waters and you’ll soon have to take risks at a level that you’ve probably only ever dreamed of before. Managing that stress and staying productive during your first entrepreneurial adventure is key to the success of every business owner.

Here are a few tips and words of advise for any entrepreneur:

  • Start a business you are passionate and knowledgeable about.
  • Pick a business idea that has a big market opportunity.
  • Nail your mission and vision.
  • Raise as much startup funding as you can.
  • Constantly monitor your finances.
  • Find a solid teammate asap—two brains are better than one
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions—it’s the only way to learn.
  • Look for patterns in advice—then filter, prioritize, and take action.
  • Research the competition
  • Commit to a regular workout schedule.
  • Use Linkedin and other social media to spread your personal and business brand.
  • Ask for advice from other entrepreneurs.
  • Eat healthy and exercise on a regular basis.
  • Build your personal brand—authenticity is key.
  • Surround yourself with inspiring people—avoid naysayers.
  • View all feedback as a compliment—time spent is a gift.
  • Be open to advice.
  • Work with people you like.
  • Develop a great elevator pitch.
  • Hire the right people.
  • Never stop networking.
  • Provide great customer service.
  • Hire an experienced startup attorney.
  • Get comfortable with public speaking.
  • Focus on building a great product or service—but don’t take forever to launch
  • Market and then market some more.
  • Hold yourself accountable.
  • Find the fun—in even the most menial tasks.
  • Just Do It

Warning signs your business needs a facelift

Business Facelift
There comes a time when many entrepreneurs and small business owners have to be realistic and ask themselves if it is time to give up. One of the hardest things an entrepreneur or small business owner will ever have to do is close a business that they inspired.

“When you put your heart and soul into your work, it can be very hard to let go.” – Richard Branson

If you take a step back and take a good honest look at the health of your business, on analysis, you might not have to throw in the white towel. Rather, you realize that all you need is business facelift. In order to arrive at this place, it is important to ask the right questions.

Has your product/service changed – Is your product / service still relevant and filling the current market demands. Perhaps outdated because the market has changed and now it is time to evaluate which direction you want your business to follow.

Blank stares when giving your elevator speech – If you have tried to explain to people what your business is all about only to be greeted with blank confused expression in their faces. If your elevator speech is confusing, then it may be too complicated for customers and investors to support.

Failing to reach financial goals – With all your business plans, projected cash flows,  goals, and anticipating problems; it is your financial projections that your creditors will follow most closely. If you notice you might miss your goals then you should make the right strategy changes.

Revenues start to decline – One of the easiest ways to know how you doing is to look at the financial health of the business. Take a look at your financial ratios and see if your revenue is declining.

Market competition is increasing – Competition is good for any market. One it tells that there is a market for your product or service, but it also keeps you on your toes to provide the best product or service available. It is always a good idea to perform a Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats analysis relative to your competitors.

Your website needs a facelift – Today websites are essential for any business. A well designed website will give your business creditability. Make sure that your website is mobile responsive/adaptive, not in Flash as phones can’t read, loads as fast as possible, always updated, with fresh web design, copyright dates, and easy to manage content.

Has the product market changed – Has the demographics of your market changed? Have the needs and wants of your customers changed? If your product or service is no longer relevant then it is time to take a step back and do some research and find out who your target audience is and how to reach them.

Is your production process efficient – Are you producing your product at the lowest possible cost and in the most effective way. Are there new technologies to lower your cost of production and make your production process more efficient.

Your business name is outdated – Make sure your business name expresses and reflect the products and services you offer.

You are not converting sales leads – If you see that you are not covering your leads, then it is time to do a little homework and analysis to understand why this is happening. It could be product price, sales team performance, product or service is outdated, or possible marketing failures.

Are you meeting goals and objectives on-time – If you notice that you keep on missing important goals and objectives, then you need to analyze the problem and come up with ways to get back on track. Even if it means changing the business plan.

Is your accounting system right for you – Ledgers and spreadsheets are a thing of the past. There are a number of Accounting software that can streamline your accounting system and save costs.

Being your own boss. Tips and advise.

Entrepreneurship tips
Entrepreneurship is no walk in the park. There are uncertainties, hardships, and long hours. But most entrepreneurs believe the benefits far outweigh the costs. Perhaps the most cited reason for taking the plunge into entrepreneurship: the ability to be your own boss.

Working for yourself comes with plenty of benefits, one of which is working without having a boss breathing down your neck and stressing you out. However, what many people who go into business for themselves don’t realize is that without a boss nagging them it’s hard to stay focused and do the work that must be done.

Here are a few ideas and tips to help you remain focused and grow your own business:

Learn to say no – Just because you are your own boss does not mean you are instantly accessible for others.

Always charge for your services – Never pimp away your own services for in order to get exposure. Stay strong on this point. Remember, you have worked hard to acquire skills and expertise. Charge for them.

Trust and listen to your little voice – There is a reason people say this. There are neurotransmitters that fire from our brain to our gut and vice-versa. Some of those transmitters are triggered in the stomach first. You literally feel something in your gut before your brain processes it about one second later.

Remember to give yourself a break – It is important that you take time off to rejuvenate your body and mind. Take a weekend, or a random Wednesday, and do something nice for yourself. If you don’t build in time off, it will never happen. Ever. And you will burn out.

Give yourself a raise or bonus – As an employee you will receive praise, be told you can leave early, or given a day off. As your own boss it is important to treat yourself in the same way.

Create a work schedule – Working for yourself allows you to have the luxury to set whatever type of schedule you like. However, once you set your schedule you should stick to it and avoid the temptation to start work late or stop working early.

Spend your cash on essential items – When you start working for yourself, it’s very easy to start thinking you need this and that, in order to really get going. The reality is that you rarely need as much money or material items as you think you do.

Don’t forget about social interaction – Burying yourself in your work for days without leaving your home or office for some downtime with friend and family is not healthy. Arrange a dinner with friends or even an outing to allow your mind to relax. Organize people who you like, and share some food with them. Drink some wine or tea. Laugh out loud. It does wonders for the soul, and sometimes even your business.

View your work as a career, not a hobby – If you love what you do, you will probably being doing it for many years and decades. Vie your work a s career. One that will serve many people. Be patient with yourself, but also realize your obligation to take it seriously.

Recognize your own problems and pitfalls – One of the easiest ways to make money is to solve people’s problems. Problems aren’t just a great area to find a market, but they also help you create one.

Identify the tasks that will grow your business – As early in your own business life as possible, define the most important things you can accomplish each day and give them utmost priority.

Set you goals and objectives – Make a list of goals to accomplish each day and once you get in the habit of meeting each goal every work day, you should find ways to add new goals and accomplishments to your daily work load. You should also have long-term goals, not only for your business but for your own career.

Create and build your own family tree – Find one person you admire professionally. Become obsessed with that person. Read everything you can about them. Find people that had the most influence on their life and then learn everything you can about those three people. If you take time to learn about others, you will succeed. It is about putting in the work. So many people simply don’t want to do this.

Get rid of all distractions – If you work from home you should consider setting up a work-only space and keeping it free of time wasters. If you can afford to do so, consider renting some office space to work in or set up a store front for your business.

Exercise the idea side of your brain – Write down your ideas every day – good and bad. Coming up with ideas will grow your business. The ideas can be about anything. All you need is to flex the idea side of the brain.

Always dress for success – Treat each work day like normal and do all of the things you would normally do before commuting to a job. Depending on your line of work you may not need to wear full business attire, but even jeans and a T-shirt will make you feel ready to work more than wearing your pajamas.

Share you experience and success with others – Be proud of the work you do. Even you don’t like talking about yourself, you need to celebrate our successes. It is what makes the sacrifice worthwhile.

Find a partner – don’t be afraid to turn your solo act into a duet. By adding another person to your business you have someone else to help take on tasks and to help keep you on task. You will find you work harder when you have someone else that is relying on you.

Consider continuing with your education –  You might be skilled in a particular field but that doesn’t necessarily make you good at running your own company in that field. Consider going back to school o help you learn about good business practices and the basics of entrepreneurship.

How do you know your business has succeeded

Business Success
How do you know when you and your company have succeeded? How do you know that your start-up company is now a viable enterprise and moving towards being seen as a market leader?  How do you know that you business has grown into the company that you dreamed of and achieved all your professional dreams.?

There are a number of traditional standards and measurement techniques and formulas to evaluate your business success like revenue and profit curves, client contract renewals, employee retention statistics, profit and loss statements. All of these metrics will tell if you have succeeded or not.

Apart from these traditional standards there are many non-traditional abstract measurements of success. One of the best ways to evaluate if your business has succeeded is to ask yourself how others view your company.

Here are a few signs that you have succeeded based on how others perceive and view your company.

Your company name is used as an every day verb – You don’t have any further than Google. How many times a day do you say you are going to Google something.

Your employees no longer invite you, the CEO, to meeting – When the day comes and you are no longer asked to attend important company meeting, this will tell that your company has taken off and succeeded. This will tell you that your employees feel empowered, confident, capable of carrying on and innovating as a team. When you are no longer micromanaging any longer, you know your company has succeeded.

You know you have succeeded when you have returning customers – You are experiencing repeat customers for the same or similar product or service you offer.

People come back to buy the same thing more than once – Once you stick your toe in the water to sell a few things, look to see whether or not people to come back to get more.

You notice that clients are finding you – You notice that your company is attracting a clients base that you do not know or ever contacted.

When you are asked to be a keynote speaker or write a book – Any market sector and industry are always looking leaders. If your company is having an impact and influence on the industry, don’t be surprised if you asked to be a keynote speaker at a major industry event.

When your company becomes the default business standard in your industry – When other company’s look at you and try to aspire to how you run your business, is a sure sign of success.

Customers are referring others to your company – There no better compliment or sign of success when your clients are referring their friends, family, and business associates to your company.

When you receive from your clients – The one better than working with great clients, is having these clients asking you if they can come and work in your company. There is nothing better and a huge compliment to you and your company when your clients express their interest to be part of your company in far more active and direct way.

You continue to earn money while on vacation – When you are able to take a vacation and continue to earn money is a sure sign of success. This is a sign that your business has reached a level where your business is able to thrive even in your absence.

When a client or competitor wants to buy you company – the one sure sign of success is when you are approached by a client of partner to buy your company. This can happen when a key player in the industry feels that purchasing your company will give them a competitive edge and strengthen their market position.

Demand for your product or services grows outside of your geographic location – When the time comes and you notice that your client base and customers are coming from all of the world demanding your product or service.

When your competitors employees look to come and work for you – Any growing successful business will need to attract top people and it is inevitable that this might encroach on your competitors.