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Key Steps on Becoming a Successful Entrepreneur that Reaps the Reward

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Key Steps on Becoming a Successful Entrepreneur that Reaps the Reward

As a budding entrepreneur, you might have heard more motivational quotes than you can remember. For example, consider adages like ‘a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step’ and the ever popular, ‘every step you take brings you a step closer to your goals.’ Each of these quotes has one thing in common – they talk about your journey, but they don’t actually tell you what you have to do to be successful in it.

This is exactly why so many startup ventures fail before they even get off the ground.

To put this in perspective, consider these stats:

  • Around 50% of small businesses fail during the first five years – Source
  • 30% of businesses fail due to a lack of managerial experience and 46% due to incompetence – Source
  • 29% of small businesses fail because of inconsistent, or lack of, cash flow – Source

That’s a lot of reasons for a business to fail. To prevent yourself from becoming a statistic, follow these steps:

Step One – Failure is Inevitable, So Make it A Learning Process

Everyone fails from time to time, it’s a part of growing up. All you have to do is to get right back up, dust yourself off, and keep going.

Unfortunately, for an entrepreneur like yourself, this is probably easier said than done. You have limited funds, and though investors are willing to ignore ROI during the first few months, they might become impatient and pull the funding if your business fails to bring in returns after that short period of time.

Keep in mind: failure is a part of the process. Even the greatest businesses had their fair share of failures, and all of them started off as smaller ventures at one point.

For example, consider Apple, which lost focus after Steve Jobs resigned a few decades ago. They realized their mistake, brought him back, and made the company better than it ever was. Billionaire Richard Branson had several failed ventures before his company Virgin Records became a household name.

Step Two – Take the Road Less Traveled

This step is perfectly summarized in a line from the famous poet, Robert Frost:

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I –

I took the one less traveled by

And that has made all the difference”

There are around 22 million small businesses in the United States alone. You will probably find hundreds that offer the same products and services you do. There will always be another venture that has more resources, more clients, and investors than yours does.

However, the good news is that the solution to coming up on top is pretty simple. The trick is to do everything better, to offer something that no one else is offering, or in ways that no one does at the moment.

To illustrate, consider the Uber app. At the time of its launch, the only other app of its kind was Flywheel, which allowed customers to hail actual cabs. Uber took a different approach. Its drivers didn’t drive cabs, they drove their own vehicles and that made all the difference. Uber had more cars to work with and no shortage of riders.

Step Three – Make Your Goals Specific and Reach for More Later

This brings us to the next step. As much as you would like, your venture might not be big enough to offer everything at the moment. To overcome this problem, start off small. Smaller goals are more concise and attainable. Here is a start:

  • Be specific: A goal that is specific is an achievable goal. For example, gaining clients isn’t a specific goal but gaining twelve clients by December 1st, is.
  • Be realistic: Don’t expect to do more than you can. Be realistic. For example, expecting your business to earn a million dollars in a few months, when you haven’t been able to do so in a year, is an unrealistic goal. Only reach for larger goals when your initial goals have been met.

Step Four – Build an Early Client Base

Happy clients are the best clients. They are also the most loyal and recommend your business to other people. You just have to find them first.

To create a client pool, do your research. Studies show that 42% of small businesses fail because there is no market for their service or product. Ask yourself, “Do people really want to buy what I am selling?” You can find the answer for this from your competitors. Read reviews of similar products they are offering. Find out what their customers usually complain about and come up with solutions that can fill those gaps.

Wrapping Up

Nothing worth doing is easy. Being an entrepreneur is no different. It comes with failures. The best entrepreneurs start off small, learn from their mistakes, and work towards building a strong foundation.

 

Post by Steven McMeechan

Steven McMeechan is a strategic marketing and communications specialist with over twenty years’ experience in senior marketing management roles across a range of industries includig Information Technology and Financial Services. He works for Capstone Financial Planning and lives in Melbourne Australia.

I am the founder of Startup Today. I am the main writer and have put in many hours of work into creating this blog. If you want to find out more about me then lets get in contact.

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