How to Start Out as a Successful Entrepreneur

ENTREPRENEUR

Deciding to go it alone in business, shirking the usual employment nine to five routine in favor of your own homespun company that you’re in complete control of and in complete charge of, is as exciting as it is uniquely challenging and stressful. It takes a certain amount of risk to invest time and money in a business project on your own, and a good deal of confidence, know-how, charisma and – sometimes – luck, to get you where you want to be. Here is a list of characteristics that make for excellent, well-prepared and responsible entrepreneurs that’ll ensure you’re well-equipped to start out and start up a business.

Know Your Strengths & Weaknesses

Your starting position when looking to become an entrepreneur is to be brutally honest with yourself about what you’re lacking at the same time as bolstering your confidence with a review of all your strongest suits. This dual evaluation is important in many respects but is chiefly a case of knowing the places in which you’ll excel working alone, and the places in which you may struggle without the assistance found in an established company or a business partnership. If you happen to discover some significant shortcomings, it can do you little harm to bring a complementary partner on board to your project.

When it comes to your strengths, though, these will dictate the strategy you perform to make the most out of your start-up business. In business and especially when conducting your business alone, it’s important to draw confidence from the knowledge that you’re possessing of some well-honed fundamental business skills with which to really crack on with building a business portfolio, so don’t feel it’s an exercise in hubris to focus on what you have to offer. In any case, a strong communicator will get business done this way, whereas a numbers person will work the figures more – recognize your own strengths so you can work with them.

Be Digitally Savvy

We’re well into the twenty-first century now,and it is incredible that many businesses – including start-ups by knowledgeable entrepreneurs – still do not have a functioning website or a well-managed social media presence. It is no exaggeration to say that such steps are fundamental in business success in the modern era, and to not be searchable online can seriously harm your business prospects, whether your idea is destined to sink like a lead balloon or sky-rocket on the jet fuel of market forces.

As soon as you have refined your product, your brand identity and your business name to the extent that you are able to, it’s imperative you make a website, even if it is simply two or three pages that detail your business’ work, some contact details, and some pictures or descriptions of your product, including reviews and extra useful information. Being ‘findable’ on the web insinuates trustworthiness, which means big bucks for startups. Moreover, social media is a savvy form of marketing in the digital age; find a young gun to man your social media platforms – students may even do it unpaid – so that you have a presence there, too, exposing you to huge and wealthy markets.

Have Support Available

Going it alone is thrilling and rewarding when everything’s going well for you and your project, but is downright demoralizing, isolating and lonely when things go wrong. This isn’t to say you should take on a partner or some staff as an insurance policy against failure, but it does mean you should have some friends, family, acquaintances,and contacts to fall back on in the many eventualities that could lead to your needing some support – be it financial, legal, emotional or simply the delivery of useful advice.

Contact the likes of legal experts and your local bank branch to get them up to speed with your venture and to have them as solid contacts to turn to if you need them for advice or services. Talk with friends who are knowledgeable in business about your own ideas, and talk with family when the psychological stress begins to get the better of you so that you don’t have to cope with the stress of starting up a business totally on your own. The stats regarding start-up failure and entrepreneur depression and mental health can’t be ignored, so bolster yourself against these with the right support at the right times.

Plan Financial Back-ups

The most important part of growing a business is managing the money correctly, and for this, you’ll need experience, assistance, and a little bit of guile to get you through the more difficult times. You should have an array of backups for your business finances, including the type of loans offered by Bonsai Finance which will keep you from bottoming out with no cash at all when you’ve invested a lot in your company. Short-term loans can, if played right, keep your finances smooth despite the inevitable fluctuation in the performance of a new business, so ensure you have routes to delve down if need be.

In another sense, sometimes in business – and especially with start-ups that can tend to grow at an exponential rate – having the capital to push on and invest in enlarging your company is a primary concern in order for you to upscale in such a way as to take advantage of all you additional traffic running through your company. You’ll not only waste business if you don’t have this cash available, but you’ll also drive business away when they see you’re an amateur outfit. Have large-scale loans or investment options at your fingertips when your business takes off so that you’re never caught out in such a way as to avoid an upturn in sales.

Everything is a Learning Curve

As you’re just starting out, you ought not to be too hard on yourself as every single action you perform as your own boss will be on a steep learning curve that will provide potentially crucial experience for your later entrepreneurial endeavors. While so many businesses can end up on the scrapheap within one or two years of their inception, your own business mind will not, and it will learn lessons the hard way if necessary. Don’t chastise yourself for every mistake you make or every error of judgment that on reflection cost your business – simply learn from it.

Another inevitability when starting out on this learning curve is that you will have to over-sell yourself and your project in order to seem like the real deal to clients and customers. This might involve some fairly expert lagging on your part, or simply confidence and bravado that’ll carry you the distance where genuine experience cannot. Although averting from the truth is not advised, having serious self-confidence in what you can achieve can help you establish a network quickly so that your lack of business experience will not put punters off whatever it is you’re selling.

Have Fun; Be Creative

All entrepreneurs are motivated in part by the fact that they have total creative and administrative control over the direction of their project or projects. This can lead to perfectionism in both productive and counterproductive ways; it’s up to you to know where to draw the line on this one. However, overall it would have to be said that having a high level of control over the future of your company means you are free to try out whatever creative business strategy or solution that comes to mind – it won’t be lost in the fog of a business meeting, it’ll be actionable from the moment you run it through your mind.

It’s in this sense that being a starting-out entrepreneur can be so exciting and rewarding for those willing to think outside of the box on the future of their business. If you’ve quit a well-paid job to put your skills to the use of you and you only, then this is a particularly important point to remember, as you’ll never want to lose sight of the fact that you’re no longer forced to operate  to the status quo. Be experimental and creative, and have fun with your ideas and motivations – you’ll find it a terrifically exhilarating experience and one that gets you out of bed in the morning with an optimistic bound.

Know When to Call it a Day

The last small point, and hopefully one that needn’t be overstated, is to have in the back of your mind a kill switch to your project, ensuring that you don’t end up wasting time and money on a doomed endeavor that’s never going to resurrect itself.

Sometimes you will find yourself forced to swallow a little pride, cut your losses, and start again with a fresh idea and all the experience you built up with your old one. Pride comes before a fall as they say; make sure you’re not bankrupted by an inability to see when you should really be calling it a day.

Starting out in business on your own as an entrepreneur is exciting and rewarding; follow this handy guide for those new to the game that’ll hopefully stand you in good stead to achieve great things with your business talents.

About Mohit Tater

Mohit is the co-founder and editor of Entrepreneurship Life, a place where entrepreneurs, start-ups, and business owners can find wide ranging information, advice, resources, and tools for starting, running, and growing their businesses.

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