It has become much easier to start a business for yourself. This is great news for people with skills, an idea and the motivation to make it happen says Paul Haarman.
However, for those among us with no prior experience in business, starting a business can be a daunting task. It’s not always easy to know where to begin and sometimes a little bit of guidance is needed. We all know there’s a lot more that goes into being successful than just having an idea. You have to put the time and effort into bringing your product or service to market instead of spending every waking moment watching cat videos on YouTube (don’t pretend you don’t do it). One way to make sure you even get as far as bringing your product or service to market is by following helpful advice from those who have been there before.
So I’ve collected some tips from very successful people across different industries for this post – take a look.
1. Make sure you know your business inside out
One of the best pieces of advice I have received is to ensure knowledge of your product or service inside out before you even begin to think about starting a business.
Know everything there is to know about it, what other companies are doing in the same space and how they’re putting their products and services together – right down to things like packaging and promotional material (if necessary).
2. Test your idea with people
A lot of entrepreneurs make the mistake of thinking that everyone who enters their store/office/home will automatically love what they do, but this isn’t always the case! That’s why it’s vital to talk to friends and family and even complete strangers if you can (cold calling, don’t worry it won’t kill you) to see if they have any interest in what you’re doing.
3. Test your idea with potential customers
Some business owners are so enthusiastic about their product or service that they can come across as pushy. There is a fine line between being enthusiastic and being annoying, so the best thing to do before committing wholeheartedly to your business is to go out there and test if people have any interest in what you have on offer. If people aren’t interested, try adjusting your product or service until you find something which works – after all, variety is the spice of life!
4. Don’t give up too soon
When selling products or services, some businesses make the mistake of giving up too soon. If your product or service isn’t flying off the shelves straight away, don’t assume it’s not going to work. Sometimes businesses just need time to take off – that doesn’t mean you should wait around for years before making any decisions though!
5. Know where your money is going
Start-ups have a huge propensity for wasting money by not being very selective with how they spend their funds. To counter this, ensure you know where every cent of your start-up capital is going and what kind of return on investment each part of your business will yield explains Paul Haarman. This way you won’t be throwing good money after bad if something doesn’t go according to plan (and trust me, there are some things that don’t go to plan).
6. Have a marketing strategy
Marketing your product or service is one of the most crucial parts of starting a business – you have to do it! However, not all marketing strategies work for each business so be prepared to adjust as you go along. Ensure that your marketing strategy has a good mix of online and offline activities, depending on what kind of company you run. And DON’T just rely on social media – it’s great but people don’t buy from platforms no matter how much we thought they would in 2011 (remember when this happened?).
7. Be prepared for criticism
Being a successful entrepreneur means being able to take criticism from customers and industry experts alike. Whether it’s constructive or harsh, you need to be able to receive feedback and adapt accordingly. It’s this kind of adaptability which separates the successful from the not so successful, or in some cases, still-startups.
8. Ask for help when needed
The great thing about being an entrepreneur is that we’re all part of one big enterprise community where we can ask our peers for advice and guidance whenever we feel stuck and don’t know how to move forward says Paul Haarman. This is why it’s important to network with other entrepreneurs through business incubators, workshops, seminars etc. By doing this you’ll make connections that may prove to be invaluable in your career down the line!
9. Make time for yourself
Sometimes though, entrepreneurship can take over every aspect of an individual’s life and cause them to neglect themselves. This is why it’s important that you schedule time for the things which you love doing – whether this be reading, exercising or playing video games (that one’s up to you). Self-care and self-love are crucial parts of keeping yourself happy and healthy!
10. And most importantly: make sure your product or service is actually needed by the market
This last piece of advice may seem like a no-brainer. But we’d be surprised if we found out how many entrepreneurs fail to follow it explains Paul Haarman. Before starting a business it’s vital that you know that there isn’t an already existing business providing the exact same product or service as what you’re offering, otherwise your idea just won’t work.
10 key pieces of advice to help future entrepreneurs succeed! There’s no doubt that entrepreneurship requires a lot of effort and determination but in the end it gets much easier and a lot more fun!