- Forget about being an overnight success.
Success takes time. Rome wasn’t built took at least three years to get there, and the majority of companies take up to 10 years to really make it. So if you’re the goal is to be the next billionaire start-up owner then you need to be prepared for a long haul.
2. Focus on your strengths, not your weaknesses.
Your success is going to come from your strengths so make sure the majority of your time is focused in that area. We all have weaknesses, but either outsources those areas or hire someone to take care of it for you. Focusing on your weaknesses takes you away from what you’re best at and is not a good use of your time.
3. Get the right team around you.
We can’t do it all on our own; we need help, but we need to make sure we get the right help. Twenty-nine percent of start-ups that fail do so because they had the wrong team in place. So take the necessary time to evaluate the team that you need and then hire the best people you can.
4. Know your customer.
I am amazed at how many entrepreneurs struggle with defining who their ideal customer is, myself included. If you don’t know the answer to this simple question, it makes marketing practically impossible. The tighter you can define this the more targeted and successful your marketing can be, and it will lead to more sales.
5. Not every customer is right for you.
We’ve all heard the saying the “customer is always right”, and while that’s good to know, it’s more important to know is that “not every customer is the right customer.” We should not be afraid to fire customers where the hassle of dealing with them diminishes the profitability or where the effort involved outweighs the benefits. Just like there are bad products and companies, there are also bad customers and we need to learn that it’s okay to let them go and to focus on finding the right customers.
6. Learn from the mistakes of others.
Mistakes are great learning opportunities, but we don’t necessarily need to make them all in order to learn from them. Eighty percent of start-ups fail, so study what caused them to fail and make sure you take the necessary steps to avoid falling into the same traps, it could save a lot of time, money and stress.
7. No sales, no business.
Sales are like oxygen, and without them, we die it’s that simple. It’s so very easy to get caught up in product design, marketing, planning, recruitment, branding, etc., etc., but we need to remember we are in business to make money and to make money we need sales. Business don’t develop themselves just because we have some great ideas, products or services.
While many of these things seem so obvious now, that wasn’t the case when I started.
Working for 25 years in a corporate environment wasn’t the best preparation for being an entrepreneur and understanding these things would have saved a lot of time and effort and would have helped me progress much quicker.
What do you wish that you had known when you first started out?