The modern business landscape is changing much more rapidly than the way we perceive the world of business. Because of this, many talented entrepreneurs are settling for what seems like a “safe bet”; i.e. working an 8-hour+ job, Monday through Friday. Just to be clear, there is absolutely nothing wrong with this – if you don’t care much for leaving a legacy in the business world, and work only so that you can support a lifestyle that you’d like to stick to, this will suit you perfectly.
On the other hand, many promising entrepreneurs are still scared of the big bad business world out there and, therefore, choose to settle for the least risky option. In truth, starting a business nowadays isn’t that hard, but it is time consuming; however, one thing is for certain – a passionate entrepreneur is a successful one.
Start with an idea
What sets apart an entrepreneur from a non-entrepreneur mindset isn’t an abundance of ideas, but the need to make them happen. Without this craving, an idea will never evolve, but passion has a funny way of finding a way to overcome a wide variety of obstacles, whether by jumping over, or going head-first through them.
But enough with the metaphors; having an idea is truly all you need in terms of fuel and motivation.
Bear in mind, however, that millions of aspiring entrepreneurs also have ideas, some probably better than the one you’re planning to pitch, which means that having an idea is a crucial and unavoidable prerequisite for business success, but far from the only means necessary for starting and running a quality business.
Take things into your own hands
As an entrepreneur, it’s your role to get your name out there, but without a viable product or service, or without any means to make things happen, even being the best “talker” in the world won’t help you. If you’re all talk and no action, you will gather a large following, but at the cost of looking like a charlatan, meaning that a lot of people will know about you, but only in the negative light.
On the other hand, if you’re busy all the time, working on everything except promoting your business, the few people who know about you will respect you immensely, but what does this mean? The word of mouth can only get you so far and with all the work invested into a project and no one to buy it, you will turn into a martyr – something completely opposite to, yet equally as bad as a charlatan.
You might have already guessed it – walking the fine line between martyrdom and “charlatanism” is the best route to success. Feel free to sacrifice your work hours on a project, but only if it will get you new prospects – once you’ve gotten enough people talking about your business or project, it’s time to get your hands dirty and make everything that you’ve promised come true!
Don’t be afraid to invest
Sure, the money will always be tight. No matter what means of financing you obtain, there will always be a need for more. This, however, is no excuse for saving up cash for the “rainy day”. Sure, this tactic might make sense in your personal life, but as a startup entrepreneur, if you’re saving “just to be safe”, you’re not really saving at all.
This doesn’t mean that “being cheap” sometimes doesn’t make complete sense. For instance, as a paper sales company, you won’t really need the most cutting edge of computer technology, for example – buying technology in bulk might not be a bad idea here; well, as long as it doesn’t hinder productivity, at least.
Alternatively, never try and save up on expert tools, as this can quickly turn detrimental! If you are a retailer, going for a multipurpose product like the Dymo LabelWriter 450 Turbo means that you can print as much as 71 four-line address labels a minute and print postage, while you’re at it.
The customer always deserves attention
The “The customer is always right” cliché doesn’t quite say it all, but you should always treat them as friends. This means being pleasant and kind, but never talking down to them. What it also means is that you should always return emails, instant messages and even calls to your customers, even call/write to them first – it doesn’t matter how big and quality your company and product(s) are, your customers are your bread and butter, and they will always appreciate a personal touch over word-of-mouth quality with a lack of customer care.
As a bonus, this will give you something irreplaceable – honest feedback!
You can never be sure whether a business will be an instant success, a slow-build thrive, or a gradual and painful failure. The only thing you can do is make the most out of your attempt; remember, everything starts with an idea, but success takes dirty hands, investment and top-notch customer support!