Entrepreneurship is like providing eco system to a tree to nurture. Watch your steps. Re evaluate your status. Ensure direction is right. Most of the time patience runs out, cracks develops in the faith, fruits gets destroyed or goes to some one else.
The best lesson I have learned is to clearly define your target market. Without that, you are not focused on any of your objectives. Without a clear market, your marketing efforts go to everyone, not the group you have selected. By focusing your market, you avoid costly expenses and can better serve your true customers.
Thanks for all the insightful responses and for contributing. Check out my latest blog article "9 Valuable Bits of Business Advice For New Entrepreneurs," in which I've compiled much of the advice you have all provided and included links to some of your mosaicHUB profiles.
1) know yourself and never lie to yourself.
Read the 7 habits - use that book to guide. Think synergy and always begin with the end in mind . . . You can boot strap plenty of businesses ideas but if you fail to position it for the sale you will never be rewarded for your hard work.
73% of businesses never have a wealth event because they fail to plan the end from day 1.
The lesson that I have learned and that has been reinforced time after time is that you must know and understand who you are, what you want, what is your passion and how much you are willing to give in order to succeed before you make any decisions about entrepreneuring. People who do not do this are far more likely to fail. They are far more likely suffer in their career. They are also likely to search constantly for a better deal without finding the right one. Once you have the first four features in order, traditional business analysis, commitment, launch and operation systems that are readily available will help to maximize your opportunities for success. The final step is to proceed cautiously and fearlessly. Pursuit of learning and living what is right for you and pursuing your passion intelligently and without fear is the most important lesson that I would like to pass along.
If you want to succeed you have to be prepared to risk failure. However, you must remember that failure is an event and not a person, so don't be afraid to get up and try again.
Patience combined with determination. In addition, any business whatever the size needs to have the ability to accept rejection and see it as a positive way to develop and learn for the future.
1. To Be Truly Successful . . . You Must Work LESS!
2. You Can Sell at Prices HIGHER than Your Competition!
3. The Customer is Always . . . WRONG!
Find a simple business platform of business plan.
See if someone like you, or who you think is like you has succeeded at the business.
Get to work. Get started and don't quit.
If you want to shorten the time it'll take you to succeed, copy the successful person in the industry you go into. Better yet, get a coach or mentor in the exact same business.
I've been teaching a workshop for entrepreneurs since 2006 (http://businessmodelworkout.blogspot.com), and the "lesson" taught through that workshop is, Create and refine a SYSTEM.
This system is made up of three processes: marketing, sales and production. All successful companies and startups, use such a system. It is impossible to succeed without it, as it is a system designed to attract, convert and serve customers.
Thanks for a great question!
Hi Rob, the single most important lesson is: Be ready to be wrong. All the advice here is excellent, yet all of it requires trial and error to find the best way for you to execute it. You will make bad investments, you will hire the wrong people and you will miss opportunities, it's the nature of entrepreneurship. If you cannot accept and learn from mistakes that will cost you money, time - and worst of all, clients - then you will not find the patience and perseverance necessary for you and your business to develop, grow and succeed.
No matter what, keep focus on the vision and stay flexible to market dynamics.
Planning. All good businesses should have an idea of where they want to be at a point of time in the future and create a plan to get there. All long journeys same made up of a path of small steps.
However the plan must be followed and developed to overcome problems along the way and to identify a new path if the goal changes.
Other factors, such as location, product, USP, minimising costs and people are all
important but businesses need to plan to succeed.
Fine tune the model and make it work as a pilot. Keep the pilot low cost, and be close to the customer to achieve valuable feedback. Once the pilot is successful, rapidly scale.
Stop thinking like a small business owner!!!
Ask yourself this: "If Richard Branson didn't have a dime, and had to build his fortune back from where I am now, would he be doing what I am doing?"
The answer is invariably, "No!" So, what would he do?
From that point of view, I'd have to agree with Jim Finkelstein. At the end of the day, it's ALL about people! Here's why ...
a. If your small business has only 10 basic systems
b. If it takes you 3-5 years to become basically competent at any one of them
(never mind 5-7 to become reasonably good, and 7-10 to master)
c. Then you are in for a thirty to fifty years to become competent in even a small business.
... You don't have that time!
So, do what Richard Branson would immediately do ... begin to leverage through people! Set them the task of solving the rest of the issues on the list.
I echo the comments by Steve Meyer and Danita Harn. I, too, have helped lots of small companies get started and some larger ones get focused. The underlying objectives I try to encourage are to 1.) have a clear vision of the goal and know that the route to achievement is not going to be a straight line, and 2.) allow yourself to be wrong and make mistakes. Learn from the mistakes, make changes and move on quickly. Oh, yea. And one other that I try to always follow, for myself, is Trust Your Gut. Strip out the emotion and let your decisions follow your instincts.
As you go through all of the things that others have suggested -- money funding, expense management, legal agreements, intellectual capital, report cards, good clothes, etc., -- the one item that is constantly neglected -- particularly in the tough times -- are your PEOPLE. People are the most important asset. They leverage (or can mess with) everything else on the list. Don't ignore your people. Don't assume that they are inspired because you are. Lots of lessons here!