Being an entrepreneur is mighty demanding – anyone who has been down that road will know. Here is a follow-up from us with another 8 tips for all entrepreneurs out there!
A well-rounded business develops both its hardware and software to achieve synergistic progress. Equipped with knowledge and skill sets from the first set of eight rules, let us look at another eight (softer) rules to follow on the road to SMB success.
Great ideas are not as great as simple solutions
Successful businesses sell solutions that solve problems for their customers. Great ideas that don’t sell, cannot match up to simple ideas that bring in sales. As a business, you need profits, make sure an idea is well-demanded for the business to be sustainable. So focus on solving a sizeable market problem or need. And what are the best problems to solve? Here’s a tip, look ahead for the ones that have not yet surfaced. It definitely isn’t the easiest task in the world; so be sure to read up regularly on credible news sources to keep yourself updated and keep looking ahead.
Keep your eye on the market
With the fast moving and ever-changing pace of the market, it pays to keep a constant tab on the market. Be it to capitalize on a new trend or to avoid a pitfall, keep updated by reading the news and monitoring social media networks or subscribe to free alerts that will send you news based on keywords of your business.
Talk to the world
Not just casual chatter, but engage in meaningful and regular conversations with people who make your business; your customers, potential customers, employees, suppliers, partners, advisors and even competitors. Take the opportunity to understand your customers, hear what your employees have to say, find out what your competitors are up to, who are the other potential partners and customers you may attract. Who knows, new and feasible business ideas may arise from the information gathered.
Redefine and Reinvent when necessary
Now that you know your customers, build upon your strengths and reinvent your business, when needed. Redefine your offerings and create a new competitive edge for your business to stand out from the clutter; be it to serve a niche group of people or to provide highly personalized services. Reinvention is a constant process, so learn and fine tune your business offerings as you go along.
Be a business with a heart
Business can operate for profits, while contributing back to the greater good; be a business with a higher purpose. Customers feel good buying from businesses that gives back to the community and in some cases, this could be the deciding factor when a customer chooses you over your competitor. Employees may feel more committed and passionate because they are seen to be making a contribution, through their work. Working out of the same ecosystem, helping the community progress also helps to propel the business forward.
Work vs Life – time management
Running a business is not simply a nine-to-five job, it is a consistent occurrence that works into the very fibres of your daily living. Entrepreneurs are always on their toes, thinking about their businesses all the time; getting inspired over dinner or firefighting while in the gym, therein lies the blurred distinction between work and life. Learning the art of time management might seem like a small thing, but it is often the fine line that differentiates you from working endlessly hard or being undeniably smart.
Develop a learning habit
A little learning goes a long way, it opens new mindsets, makes new connections and enriches the learner’s life in more ways than one. Make learning a lifelong habit; be it reading, taking courses or simply trying out something new. A neuroscientist from the University of Texas at Dallas conducted a research and found that learning a new skill is like exercise, it keeps the brain in good shape. So when you develop yourself as a person, you inherently develop other essential traits of an entrepreneur, like thinking on your feet, thinking out of the box and more. Through constant learning and improving, you open more business opportunities for yourself.
- Keep the Ego out
As head of the tribe, it is easy to let ego get in the way when managing the business, especially when so much passion is involved. Always remember that a business operates in an ecosystem. Putting yourself above others blinds you from what is really happening on the ground and could lead to your potential pitfall. Listen graciously to feedback and suggestions from your staff; form a board of advisors who can advise you, share their experiences and push you to greater heights.
For progress and sustainability of any business, hard facts (knowledge) and soft skills must work hand-in-hand. Remember these 8 + 8 tips and you are on the right path to success.
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