A startling fact – over 90% of businesses fail miserably and close shop in less than 3 years! From the balance 10% barely 1 or 2% make it really big, the rest of the 8 to 9% just survive or are moderately successful. Do you know the difference between them? More specifically, do you know what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur? While there are many points to be considered, only a select few are really very important. These are the ones that will actually make or break your future. Having said that, let’s jump right in!
First and foremost, you need to understand what entrepreneurship is. It is about taking your idea to the next level by structuring a system about it that continues to grow, expand and develop without you. This also naturally means that you need to be a great leader. Your leadership and greatness will set the tone for your entire company. And to be a great leader, you need to have utmost clarity on your goal. You need to know very precisely what your short term, medium term and long term goals are. Begin with the end in mind. This means that you need to plan everything and leave nothing to chance. This includes your marketing strategies, your communication strategies, etc, right up to your exit strategies.
Traits: Foremost, you need to be action oriented. If there’s something that has a chance to work, you need to try it out using the least resources possible. Measure results, analyze it and then decide what is to be done. Do not fear embarrassment. Do not be concerned for what others might think. Lose your inhibitions and be willing to risk it all, within reason. These are the most common traits of entrepreneurs.
Some more things to remember – you need to be committed yet flexible to change; focus on providing value; see things in “realistic sense”; keep your eyes and ears open to talent, market dynamics and trends; and finally, treat your business in a practical realistic manner. This means that you should always stop doing things that don’t work and be willing to discontinue people who are no longer performing their best. Sadly, this one missing trait is the largest cause of failure in most businesses.
Note – It’s not how fast or smart you are, but your ability to adapt to change, that determines your survival and success. As General Eric Shinseld one said – If you do not like change, you are going to like irrelevance even less. I just remembered reading a prediction by Peter Drucker a few years ago – The Corporation as we know it is unlikely to survive the next 25 years. And the fact is, we are seeing it right now!
Another thing entrepreneurs need to focus upon is – momentum. Once you’ve got your business rolling, a constant push from at least one source should always be present. The moment your business loses momentum, it will require massive resources to get it off the ground again. A good tip is to ensure that a) your marketing message should be present in all your communication. b) Each and every person in your organization should be aware of your sales processes. For example, if there’s a phone call, everyone should be trained to register the contact details before transferring the call to the concerned person. Next, the marketing for the lead should follow a tried and tested script which must be fine tuned regularly more maximum effectiveness. Once this is done, there should be a system that keeps track of follow ups, the intervals between them, upsells, downsells, cross sells, etc. You also need to have a system to classify all leads into prospects, customers, regular customers, etc, based on their buying patterns. Remember, marketing is the only profitable aspect of your business. Everything else including yourself is an expense! So take good care of this baby like a good mother, don’t ever let it out of your sight!
This concludes the most important stuff you need to know, for entrepreneurship. There is one more very important rule I have missed out, and that is – don’t stick to any particular rule or strategy, not even the ones I’ve mentioned! Be flexible and define your own rules! Good luck in your endeavor.