10 Best Practices for Entrepreneurs
It goes without saying that starting a business is incredibly hard. It’s a totally normal step in entrepreneurship to feel overwhelmed or uncertain. Here are 10 tips that will point you in the right direction.
Seek Out an Objective Mentor
Get an outside opinion. Find someone experienced that you trust and respect, to be honest, give you feedback and advice.
Build Your Business Around a Customer Need
A frequently-made entrepreneurship mistake is building a business around what you want to sell, not a hole in the market. A successful new business fills a customer’s needs and creates automatic demand.
Generate Immediate Cash Flow from Day One
In your start-up’s early days, don’t be afraid to ask for immediate or advanced payment. You start underwater, and the last thing you need to do is divert attention to receivables and collections any more than necessary.
Always Work to Keep Costs Down
Keeping expenses low is critical to successful entrepreneurship. Even if you don’t feel that you’re a born negotiator, “shop around” between vendors and don’t be afraid to leverage quotes to get a deal from someone you want to work with.
Over-project Expenses and Under-project Revenues
You’d rather have a pleasant surprise than an ugly one, right? Plan for the worst and be happy if it doesn’t happen.
Focus on Sales and Marketing Over Big-Picture Branding
Branding is important, but don’t let it hand-tie you early on in your entrepreneurship. Focus on clear, direct marketing that draws a straight line to sales. As your company grows, your brand will develop.
Multi-Task Sales Drivers to Try to Grow Revenue Exponentially
Get leads. Convert them. Foster repeat business. Increase your margins and price points. These are the key sales drivers in the business. Try to do them all at the same time. This will lead to exponential revenue growth.
Determine Clear Metrics and Set Measurable Goals
Success must be measured somehow. Figure out what metrics indicate a “win” for you and set reasonable measurable goals that you track and evaluate constantly.
Offer Added Value Instead of Discounts
If you want to build customer loyalty, throw in lower cost added value products with sales rather than taking away from your bottom line by discounting.
Never Stop Learning
Finally, recognize that you don’t have all the answers. Read trade journals and business publications. Attend conferences. Seek out personal and professional growth. There is no downside to this.
Owning a start-up can be scary and lonely, but only if you allow yourself to feel that way. Use these best practices to shift to a successful mindset.