Starting a new business is risky. Learning from the mistakes, and successes, of others can help you reduce your risk of failure and increase the likelihood of becoming successful. First-time entrepreneurs often have a lot of learning to do, but with the right team, attitude and work ethic, the journey you're just beginning could prove more fruitful than ever anticipated. Here are 6 quotes, and lessons, for first-time entrepreneurs to keep in mind.
"The only way to win is learn faster than anyone else." -- Eric Ries
While this may be the case for all entrepreneurs, it's especially true for first-timers. There will be a lot you don't know about starting a business and making it successful. Personal development must be a focus. Learn everything you can about what it takes to make your business sustainable financially, from adhering to regulations to marketing more effectively. Learn as much as you can and as fast as you can.
"In God we trust, all others must bring data." -- W. Edwards Deming
A data-driven culture is a must. Going with your gut and taking risks has a time and a place, but your business shouldn't ignore the wealth of data that's readily available. If data analysis isn't your forte, find those who know the right tools and how to use them to provide you with actionable insights. The metrics that matter for your business, aside from profits, will vary so focus on those that really matter at each stage of the business and use the data to optimize each.
"Not a single person whose name is worth remembering lived a life of ease." - Common
Becoming successful in business won't happen overnight or easily. Entrepreneurs that think that's possible probably won't see their startup grow. People will tell you no and they'll doubt your business idea or product potential... at least at first. The easy route is an unlikely road for many entrepreneurs. In order to really be successful, entrepreneurs must keep pursuing their passion to find opportunities that allow them to develop a business and refine their product.
"When entrepreneurs ask me how to get customers to tell them what they really think, I respond with two words: charge them." -- Jason Fried
You won't be able to increase your bottom line without charging your customers. Pricing isn't easy and there are a number of factors to consider including production costs, value and your customers. When you launch, make an educated guess and then reevaluate the numbers once you've had a chance to learn pricing thresholds from new customers. You can even A/B test your price points.
"A startup is a temporary organization designed to search for a repeatable and scalable business model." -- Steve Blank
Change is inevitable in life and in business. Your product, your business model, and your team will change throughout the process. As you narrow your target customer base, fine-tune your products, pricing and marketing efforts, your business is likely to change. Embrace the changes that occur naturally as fighting them could drive customers and all-star employees away. Remember, your ideas and business will change and it's up to you to make the most of it.
Related: Get help with your business plan.
"People don't buy what you do, they buy why you do it." -- Simon Sinek
What is the purpose of your company? If you're reading this and saying, "I don't know," you need to sit down with your team today and develop your new business's purpose and vision. Sometimes what distinguishes one business from another is their purpose. Making money or pleasing investors isn't a good idea. Focus on why you exist, how you're aiming to help customers, and the values your team operates by and go from there.
Learn fast, take calculated risks and focus on developing an ever-lasting business. Knowing who your competitors, customers and colleagues are will allow you to refine your business model and products for greater success. While there is a lot of information out there aimed at helping entrepreneurs, these quotes and lessons can serve as guidance from taking your company from a startup to a success. (Image: stockimages via freedigitalphotos.net)