In today’s ever changing and dynamic business climate, entrepreneurship have become increasingly difficult and as such entrepreneurs are easily overwhelmed by the pressure to succeed and remain afloat. It’s therefore vital, to stay focused on your goals as a entrepreneur and see to their realization.
Succeeding as an entrepreneur within a stiff and hostile business environment requires a working strategic and their careful execution. Even with a firm strategy in place, every entrepreneur should do one or all of these Five things to clearly set them on the path of success.
Passion: Do What You Know
Passion is one of the essential ingredients that you need to be able to get ahead irrespective of pressure and/or resistance. Simple put, it is passion that will make you persist against all odds and in the face of perceive fails. If you’re considering starting your own business, know that there is 9 out of every 10 chances that you will be successful if your business focus is on something that you are passionate about and already do well in. For example, if you’ve done meeting, conference and event planning for years for a major hotel chain, launching your own meeting and event planning business is a great idea as your chances of success is very high. You’ve got the knowledge, skills and the contacts to leverage on, so you already are one step ahead. That said, the fundamentals also need to be right and in place. Conversely, if that same individual had decided to start a wax manufacturing business, the learning curve would be tremendous, challenging and much longer. They wouldn’t know the “tricks of the trade” of that industry and wouldn’t be needing or using a great deal of the knowledge they had obtained in meeting and events planning because the industries are not the same. Doing what you are knowledgeable in and passion about makes a world of difference on how quickly you will succeed. Creating a business out of your areas of strength, passion and influence is one such way to succeed as an entrepreneur as it lead to less struggle and experimentation given ones competitive edge. Like the good scripture says, “a man gift maketh way for him”. At least, you will have the passion, patience and persistent to see your idea through to the end no matter how long it takes because you love what you do and have enough experience that is required to get things done.
What’s more, if it’s something that you know and something that you’ve already succeeded in, it tends to be easier and “close to your heart.” As an entrepreneur, you’re going to be working your socks off for very long hours. As such, it is best to be doing something that you already value and cherish as this will lead to less struggle and speedy accomplishments.
Build a Niche
Businesses that tend to stand out from the crowd are often those that focus and tailor their product and service offerings to a particular niche niche. A niche market is those that target and service the need of a specific sector or segment of human or social existence. A prime example is a law firm that specializes in property lease, development and real estate. Rather than being engulfed in the wild general law practices and not being a specialist in any area/segment of law practice, this firm stand a better chance of standing out from the crowd and becoming recognized in the real estate and property lease/development market as a leader/expert. This give it a chance to channel its energy, expertise and resources in being the best and dominate force of reckon within the real estate space. In turn, they have a unique market position that attracts the specific clientele of interest. What’s more, they have substantially less competition given that there will be fewer law firms in that sector as against numerous other firms in general practices with stiff competition and few opportunities. A niche marketing concept will give you significant market share, visibility and, over time, build a substantial customer base. You must not necessarily need to limit your dominance and market within one niche. However, it is a good idea to first of all dominate the niche where you have competitive advantage, resources and intellectual capital. Thereafter, you can beginning to identify related niches where you can also extend your dominance with the competitive advantage you have already built in your primary niche. Doing this will help you gain more market share. When you have become fully established, you could consider playing in other unrelated niches to more growth and business expansion if that is the right strategy for you.
Study the competition.
To be successful in the entrepreneurial space, you most first identify businesses or companies that are in direct or indirect competition with you and the products or services directly competing with your product/services. This way, you will know what you are up against and the level of energy and extent of work to put in to be able to get ahead of competition.
This knowledge will help you better market your product or service to stand out, perhaps even using your competition’s weaknesses and inadequacies to your advantage.
Conserve cash no matter how good business is.
Frankly put, live as cheaply as possible. This is called prudence.
Entrepreneurs should be as conservative and prudent with their monies and disposable resource as possible to be able to deal with any rough patch or eventualities that arises. Instituting financial prudence and plugging leakages and wastages in business are proven strategies/practices that will help you to remain afloat and whether the storm during financial difficulties. Do not acquire or take on things that you do not need for your business. This is at the core of the principle of “seed time and harvest”; gathering to the store house during the time of abundance to be utilized in the times of empty or lack. Because every business has its times of abundance and harvest, it is important that they also save and conserve resources for use in the time of volatility and unforeseen situation. Imbibing this important and age long business practice can help any entrepreneur survive through hard times and slowed growth/recession.
Be The Driver
The single best thing about entrepreneurship is that you have control over management and decision making except for factors of production for which is outside of your control! Of course, while you’re accountable to your stakeholders (e.g. customers, employees, Board of Directors, investors and others), you are the ultimate driver of your business. You make the change and create the success you want to see. What a great but challenging place to be! The strides that you make in business will come on the platform of your strategic thinking, timely execution and persistent handwork. You’ll tap into your abilities to be self-reliant and self-confident, able to make tough decisions quicker and more accurately, think independently and move your company toward progressive executions and success. As such, factors of productions, such as cost, can be controlled and better optimized to benefits of the business. Also, appetite for risk are better defined, control and determined through a robust risk management and decision making process informed by business and market driven information and judgment.
Research new products and services.
Understand emerging markets, products or services on the horizon that could improve your company’s operations. Thereby knowing how, where and when to enter to the market and at what point to exit. Understanding the dynamics of the market, products or services to better leverage on same to fully harness and optimize opportunities for business benefit.
Do your homework. Are you taking advantage of all that technology has to offer? Is there an app that could help you manage your time, operations and supply chains more efficiently or a service that lets you delegate ordinary tasks to free up more time for priority projects, innovation and strategic imperatives. This is entrepreneurship at its best.
Charge What You Are Worth
Whatever it is that you offer for sale to customers, it is important that you are paid what that service or product is worth in the market place. Don’t get it twisted, finding the right price for your product or service is important to your success as an entrepreneur and being aware of factors and things that affect or influence the determination of the price or fee for your product or service is what a business owner much pursue. Making your product or service cheap will not guarantee sales or growing client base neither setting a high price will except where such high price is borne out of value of your product or service for which the customers that need them are willing to pay for it. Find a balance between what customers are willing to pay for your product or service, the market value of that product or service and profitability for your business. However, be mindful of overpricing your product/service in a manner that does not deliver the value for the price set as this will make your customer feel cheated and in effect leaving with regrets consequences of which will lead to drop in sales.
Listen to customer feedback and adapt as necessary
Research has proven that Entrepreneurs who pay attention to customers’ feedbacks stand a brighter chance of succeeding in their business ventures than those who doesn’t. This is empirical because your customers are the end users of your product or service and are in the best position to tell you what’s right or wrong about your product/services, which ordinarily you may not have been or have chosen to ignore them. Listening and implementing customer feedbacks where necessary is a good way to keeping your customer-base and getting them to make repeated purchases. A satisfied customer will always make a repeated purchase and an aggrieved one will most likely not return. It may not mean much if one customer doesn’t like your product but if this is true for many of them and they’re requesting another feature, listen and be ready to adapt. Take customer feedback seriously as they may be speaking the minds of other customers who left silently.
No matter what your sales or product strategy is and your offerings to your customers, always pay attention to customer feedback. Be all ears, as that is one sure ways of remaining relevant in the market place because you are in effect building products and services meant for real customers by taking and implementing relevant feedbacks as against making “ideal” products meant for nobody.