Entrepreneurship is not everyone’s cup of tea. It is daunting, exhilarating, and torturous in the best possible manner. First time entrepreneurs often admit that they barely manage to hang to their sanity in the initial months. The best entrepreneurs do not come up with saleable products rather they try to solve a persistent problem. Entrepreneurs can pick up skills from books, videos, online courses, and mentorship programs.
In the words of Sean Rad, Co-founder of Tinder, Inc, “When you are building a startup, it’s difficult. Particularly, a startup that is expanding at the rate of Tinder. You have to give 100%, and you have to be committed. Solving the problem has to be personal or else you’re going to disintegrate.”
The entrepreneurial process is made up of trial-and-error. But to help you avoid the pitfalls that most first time entrepreneurs make, we have compiled a list of the top five things that are non-negotiable in entrepreneurship.
Many companies launch a variety of products that might be the best in class but fail to achieve success. What these companies failed to zero in is to identify whether there is a need for their product or service in the market. One such example is of the Segway. Some investors considered it the future of transport but failed to take into account how many people would like to use such a vehicle to travel locally or to work. In the end, it looked like a glorified skateboard and failed to drum up customer interest. When it was launched, after months of secrecy, it was panned for being dorky rather than cool. No to mention the numerous accidents that took place.
Entrepreneurship involves empathizing with a customer’s needs and helping them overcome their problems. Successful entrepreneurs consistently seek feedback to improve their product.
A mission statement communicates the purpose of the organization while values work as your North Star. Your company’s values reflect its core principles and ethics, and motivate people to push forward even in times of trouble. A written mission statement also makes it easy to reject anything that does not align with your values.
Good brands combine physical, emotional, and logical elements into their mission statements. For Patagonia, its mission statement is – We’re in the business to save our home planet. It is this principle that has influenced how the organization functioned and the billionaire owner’s decision to entrust company to a trust.
Entrepreneurship calls us to connect with our customers in a way that resonates with their values system and identity. Successful entrepreneurs recognize people’s inherent need to belong and ensure that their business is inclusive.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg once said, “The biggest risk is not taking any risk.” It goes with saying that one of the top things entrepreneurs must do is take calculated risks to let their businesses grow. Entrepreneurship calls for a risk-analysis and action plan.
A big wave surfer often rides seemingly dangerous waves. But what is scary to the average person provides unparalleled thrill to the surfer as she goes into it well-prepared and relies on her skills to make it out to the other side.
Although it is risky to enter turbulent waters, just like professional surfers, young entrepreneurs must make it a habit to take calculated risks for the sake of their business.
Perhaps, the best example of taking calculated risks can be found in the baby formula market in the US. A $4 billion enterprise that was dominated by three established giants was disrupted by two startups that did their research and boldly ventured into this highly FDA-regulated market. Both ByHeart and Bobbie understood what their new-age consumers were looking for and meticulously planned their business before deciding to take on the Goliaths of the baby formula industry. As luck would have it, the pandemic helped propel the businesses into the limelight where new parents were looking for healthier alternatives to available baby food.
Any business that is not a money-making machine, is bleeding money. Financial planning is necessary for making key business decisions that will decide the future of your company. Analyzing data to understand where you stand and where you want to go is imperative towards avoiding costly mistakes.
Successful entrepreneurs know their numbers and are familiar with the balance sheet. One of the must dos for entrepreneurs is to understand business financials so that you can make a solid case when you seek out investors. Taking the time to understand the data helps you detect blind spots before they become problem areas and make informed decisions.
For any business to thrive, the key is to not let failure deter you. Learning from your mistakes helps you refine your service or product to the customer’s taste. Successful entrepreneurs recognize that we learn more from our failures than our successes. Failures are life’s way of telling us that we have veered off course and to evaluate the situation to get back on track.
One person who understands this is intimate apparel Spanx’s founder Sara Blakely. After starting out small, she continually sought feedback to figure out what worked and didn’t work for her clients. Blakely looked at mistakes as opportunities to learn and improve her product line. What started with a $5,000 investment in 1998 eventually turned into a billion-dollar empire.
One of the most popular female entrepreneurs in the world, Sara Blakely, says that entrepreneurship is about being “willing to make mistakes. The worst thing that can happen is you become memorable.”
Another example is gaming company Rovio. Even after 51 of their games failed to become hits, they did not give up and continued working to give people what they would like. The 52nd game they launched was Angry Birds. As of 2021, the company had revenues of $326.6 billion and has spawned an empire of angry birdies.
Although the list of top things entrepreneurs must do can run long, these five points will help you get your business off the ground. For any entrepreneur, learning can come from books, real-life experiences, and mentorship. As the year comes to a close, entrepreneurs can set new year resolutions to find success. The most important thing is to keep an open mind and to never let the curveballs of life force you to make a U-turn.
An entrepreneur must be a good planner, have time management and communication skills, budget, and be willing to learn from mistakes.
Entrepreneurship motivation refers to the process an entrepreneur employs to be able to work harder and puts in more effort to scale up the business.
Entrepreneurship is considered a life skill as it calls for multiple skill sets that forces you to make the best of the limited resources at your disposal.
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