What Entrepreneurs Need to Know to Be Successful
When it comes to entrepreneurship, there is no clear
path to success. The challenge entrepreneurs face is to
find their own means to success given their business,
situation, timing, and style. A wise entrepreneur spends
a good deal of time learning from the mistakes of his
fellow professionals who ended up on the well-trodden
path to failure. No matter what your industry, business
plan, or idea, the following ten tips are basics for building
a successful business.
- Stay focused on the most important tasks that need
to get done. Entrepreneurs multi-task daily. It
is easy to get off track and spend time on tasks that
won't get the business going. Decide each morning what
the most important tasks are for that day. Start with
these tasks and don't switch tasks until they get done.
- Delegate. Entrepreneurs who succeed know what
they do well, and what others do better than them. Decide
what tasks should be outsourced and delegate these tasks
to others. Trying to do everything or do things that
aren't your specialty ruins your efficiency and the
quality of your end product or service.
- Keep a business journal. Write down your business
thoughts and ideas. In planning stages, these ideas
can be both powerful and fleeting. Make a point at the
end of every week or month to review your notes for
ideas and potentials that you forgot to capitalize on.
- Find a support group. Part of being an entrepreneur
is being bold, risky, and independent. But you are far
from being alone in your endeavor. Join up with a group
of entrepreneurs online or in your community for support.
Many starting entrepreneurs need the same type of services
(web designers, printers, etc.), so you can exchange
resources and same time and energy in doing solo research.
- Address your fears and doubts. People often
view entrepreneurs as the bold explorers of the business
world. Don't let your expectations of what it means
to be an entrepreneur override your feelings. Fears
and doubts are normal. Expressing this anxiety can be
cathartic and help prevent it from becoming a roadblock
- Follow the golden rule of the business plan.
Yes, create a business plan, and develop it thoroughly.
Stick to it, but don't treat it like the end-all be-all
plan. Often once you get your business going, you'll
find that unexpected opportunities arise. Doors open
once you get on your feet. Don't pass by them because
your business plan dictates that you continue on a certain
path. Instead, carve out some time to explore and evaluate
these opportunities to determine if they should become
part of (or the new focus of) your business model.
- Decide what your business hours are going to be
and stick to them. It is easy to overwork, especially
as an entrepreneur who's business is in the house. As
an entrepreneur, there is always work to be done. Remember
that there is life after work and if you don't have
a life, get one. On days and weeks where you have to
put in extra work, plan an award for yourself (a massage,
a day-off, a night out, etc.
- Exercise regularly. Make exercise part of your
business routine. It is easy to get overwhelmed by all
the decisions you have to make. Exercise clears your
brain to make decisions and keeps you healthy so you'll
have less sick days.
- Keep abreast of the industry you are in. Read
trade publications, talk to people in the industry,
and learn as much as you can. The most informed entrepreneurs
are the most successful ones. If you are still talking
about the power of CDs in the age of MP3s and DVDs,
you're idea is already dead, and your business will
be too if you don't stay up-to-date.
- Keep a sense of humor. You have made a choice
not to punch a timecard or work for someone else. Times
are tough and humor is the best recipe for getting through
the day. Find the humor in situations and find sources
of humor in your life (comics, sitcoms, and funny friends).
Stay away from people who complain, whine, or give out
By Simma Lieberman and Kate Berardo
Simma Lieberman works with people and organizations
to create environments where people can do their best
work. She specializes in diversity, gender communications,
life-work balance and stress, and acquiring and retaining
Call Simma at 510.527.0700 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Visit her website at www.simmalieberman.com.