1) Focus On Your Strengths
Lets face it, you can’t be all things to all people, if you try you will over stretch yourself and fall into difficulty. We all have areas that we know we excel in and others where we lack knowledge or key skills. The trick is to identify what you do well, marketing for example and exploit this fact as much as possible. You can then find help or assistance in areas where you are weaker like accounting and finance. If in the future you have the time and inclination you can always transform your weaknesses into strengths by doing courses.
2) Work Hard!
I know this is a given, most entrepreneurs will tell you they work all hours that God gives and quite rightly so. Success does not come to those who stare at the wall for 8 hours a day! Increasingly in todays business climate it is those who go the extra mile who succeed so as well as being a 9 to 5er you may need to become a 5 to 9er as well. If you are in the start up phase, you will have to eat, sleep and breath your business until it can stand on its own. Working hard will be easy if you have a vision, clear goals, and are passionate with what you do.
3) Plan Accordingly
Planning is probably one of the most important steps to success in business. Without an air tight plan and thorough research then you may find yourself on scrap heap faster than you can say Gerald Rattner (Google him if you’ve never heard of him!). You need to have concrete goals that will act as stepping stones to your vision of world domination. Put your goals and ambitions down on paper, this makes them real and not just an unachievable fantasy. You need to plan every step along the road in a way that contributes to the attainment of your final goal. Successful entrepreneurs know exactly where they are going and exactly how they are getting there so plan, plan, plan and then plan some more.
4) Look For More Ways To Network
How good are you at networking? Whether it be family and friends or organisations like BNI (http://www.bni.eu/uk/) all businesses need help at some point, especially small businesses and having a good support network around you is vital. Social media is huge these days, so use it!
This kind of goes hand in hand with planning but it is vital to do everything you can to research your target market, products, selling methods and infrastructure. If you blindly enter into business before you know what your potential competitors are doing you are essentially committing business suicide. Now don’t get me wrong, this does not mean to succeed you need to be the cheapest, no, it means you need to be the best. You need the best range of products at the best prices you can find (even if it means you are little more expensive that the others) and then offer the best possible service you can. If you do all these things then you should be ok. Many customers shop around for the best price but many do not and a large number of people will more often that not be happy to pay a little more for goods if they know they are getting a good service.
6) Be Willing To Learn
Leave school at 16? Have a masters degree?…………Irrelevant! You don’t need to be a brain box and have countless qualifications under your belt to succeed, studies have shown that most successful entrepreneurs are of average intelligence. Nonetheless, these people reached their full potential and achieved their personal ambitions because they were willing to learn. To succeed, you must be willing to ask questions, remain curious, interested and open to new knowledge. This willingness to learn becomes more crucial given the rapid changes in technology and ways of doing business. We live in a fast moving world and if you are standing still its as good as going backwards.
7) Discipline Yourself
I live by the rule ‘Do what you need to do, when it needs doing even if you don’t want to’. Seems simple I know but it is amazing how quickly you can progress with a bit of self discipline. The key to success is having the strength of will to do what others are unwilling to do by going the extra mile.
8) Be Passionate
Many people start a business to improve their lot in life which is fine but you have to have the drive and passion to succeed. You need to be able to develop or uncover an intense, personal passion to change the way things are and to live life to the fullest. Success is easy if you love what you do which is why people will always recommend that you start a business around a hobby or passion that you know you wont be bored of 2 years down the line. If you hate what you do then you will never be successful at it, which is probably why you are quitting your job and starting a business in the first place. You don’t want to end up in a viscous circle!
9) Never Consider The Possibility Of Failure
I found this quote online – ‘It is not in the nature of man (Sexist!), nor of any living entity, to start out by giving up’ and it speaks volumes. As an entrepreneur you need to have unshakable faith in yourself and your abilities. You need to know that your actions will improve your life and the lives of those around you. Confidence however should be balanced with calculated risks. Successful business owners analyse and minimise the risk in pursuit of profit. As they say ‘no guts, no glory’.
10) Persevere And Have Faith
No will tell you that success is easy. It takes blood, sweat and tears. Despite all your good intentions and hard work you will sometimes fail but the measure of your success is how quickly you dust yourself down and get back on the horse. Some of the biggest and best entrepreneurs have failed in the past, some even been bankrupt yet managed to quickly stand up to make it big in their fields. Your courage to persist in the face of adversity and ability to bounce back after a temporary disappointment will assure your success. You must learn to pick yourself up and start all over again. Your persistence is the measure of the belief in yourself. Remember, if you persevere, nothing can stop you.
Written by Vicky Walmsley owner of Risus Wholesale
You are welcome to repost this article but please back link it back to me and DO NOT pass it off as your own.