What no one wants to tell you when you start a business?
The Entrepreneurial Mind-set
If you are thinking of earning a full time living through your business, here are a few questions you should ask yourself:
Am I self-motivated? How organised am I? Do I have realistic expectation? Can I afford this venture? What would support from family and friends be like? Am I a positive person?
It goes without saying that making a success of running your own business requires self-motivation. You are investing your time, effort and funds in the opportunity to be independent and free of other people telling you what to do, and no office and workplace politics when you get in late. So potentially you could have a lie in, right? With your own business, you are the boss, so you need to lay down some rules that would help you make sure of success of your business, and stick to them, as only your ambitions, determination, and perseverance will ensure your success.
How organised are you?
Good organisational skills are critical to effective business management, and in the early days you will need to learn to utilise your time effectively, whilst later when you are more established, operating efficiently will be the key to attracting and keeping customers happy and maximising your profitability.
How realistic are your expectations?
Go into business with your eyes wide open. People go into business for many reasons – flexibility, autonomy, freedom and of course make money. As a business owner, you should expect to build the income you aspire to over a realistic period. That means budgeting and planning carefully for the early months of your business.
Can you afford it?
Make sure you can afford to take the leap into business ownership. Your overheads and lifestyle should suggest to you what income you need and how quickly you need to achieve it. Work out what returns you can reasonably expect over a given period if you perform to the prescribed profits.
Family and friend support
Becoming a self-employed is a major life change, and not a decision to be taken lightly, and support of your family and friends for your new enterprise is imperative.
Family members and friends lend their enthusiasm, interest and occasional advice, sharing the ups and downs that inevitably come with running a business. Whatever the situation, such support is invaluable and often makes a significant difference to the success of your business.
How positive are you?
Running your own business is incredibly satisfying and rewarding, but it is challenging too. You need to be a positive person, always seeing the opportunities and potential ahead of you, rather than being discouraged at the first setback. The rewards are there if you are ambitious and have strong determination.
Traits of an Entrepreneur
Risk Taking – At some stage in your business career, you will have to take some risk, the first of which is making a decision to set up your business. If you are not willing to take any risk, then you will not succeed as a business person. In your everyday activities, you will encounter problems and challenges which you will need to decide on.
Being Smart – being smart is another critical characteristic of an effective entrepreneur. Be clever, keen, honest and consistent in your dealings in order to gain the respect and trust of your customers and clients.
Passion for your business – if you are not passionate about what you do, why should others be? When you are passionate, you put in more effort and much more motivated to let it work.
Honesty and Trustworthiness
People like to do business with those they trust and like. If you are not trustworthy, you will develop very little repeat business, meaning you will always be chasing for new clients and customers. Word about you will very quickly spread, which could spell the death knell of your business.
Coping with Stress and uncertainties
In their early years, almost every successful business person had woken up in the middle of the night wondering whether they can pay their mortgage. If it happens to you, you wouldn’t have been the first. It’s all part of the growing pains. It will come to pass. Learn to turn every challenge into an opportunity.
Clarifying your Vision
Clarifying your vision is crucial for the success of your business. Business is about solving people’s problems and enhancing lives so whose lives are you trying to improve or impact on?
Every business serves different types of customers, and these segments require different value propositions (your products and services), different channels of delivery and a variety of customer relationships to fulfil the promise of your business. These will greatly vary in profitability, so you have to make sure that you are firstly aware of those differences, and secondly design your business to cater for the profitable segments properly.
So what is your Value Proposition?
How would you help your potential customers? Your value proposition is your range of products and services that solve people’s problems or satisfies their needs, and to be successful in any marketplace and have any chance of your business being a long term asset, you must offer a unique value proposition to your prospects.
By creating products and services that serve a combination of value propositions will quickly create uniqueness and will allow your business escape competition where you will only be compared on prices.
How would your prospects know you, and how would you deliver?
The third building block of your business is the channels you choose to communicate and deliver your message or your products to your prospects.
These channels create awareness for your products and services, help prospects evaluate your products or services, and get to build trust with your customers to buy your products and services. They deliver value to your customer and they deliver sales satisfaction through calls, emails etc.
How would you interact with your prospects and customers?
Establish and maintain different kinds of relationships with your customers depending on the type of business model you choose. Focus more on retention and lifetime value than on constant lead generation and single transactions.
What would your key activities be?
These are the actual tasks and actions required to create and deliver the promise to your customers. A key question you should ask yourself is “what do I actually do to achieve the transformation for my customers”?
What would your framework be?
Your framework is your unique way of achieving results for your customers. It is your multipart strategy that will lead your customers from point A to point B. We live in an age where everybody is looking for transformation, and your framework should describe how your products and services help people achieve such transformation whether spiritually, emotionally, physically, monetary or mentally.
This framework becomes your intellectual property. It is the basis of your own personal philosophy, experience and success in achieving certain results for your customers, and should be the basis of all your future products and service creation.
For Your Success