One of the perks of being an entrepreneur is being the first to blaze uncharted territory – you set your own schedule, you make the vision for your business, and you get to create your own rules. Something that will almost inevitably plague all first-time entrepreneurs, however, is not knowing where to start. Of course you want your business to grow into a bona fide hero in your field, but determining the steps to reach your goal can prove to be quite the daunting task even for the world’s biggest entrepreneur success stories. As a business founded on entrepreneurial spirit ourselves, we’ve compiled our list of 10 tried and true tips to take your business from startup to success story.
1) Stick to Your Vision
How can you expect your customers to understand your business’ goals and unique selling propositions if you’re unsure of them yourself? Know the mission of your business and stand by it. Having a clear sense of sureness about who you are and what you do will attract the right customers, along with employees who understand what you set out to achieve.
2) Start Doing
Motivational speaker Denis Waitley famously once said “The real risk is doing nothing.” Scary as it is to put your vision into motion, it’s impossible to get your entrepreneur success story started until you transition from planning to doing. Having great ideas is one thing, but having the drive to make these ideas a reality is what will drive your business forward.
3) Embrace a Challenge
The only thing scarier than getting started? Hitting your first roadblock. Challenges are an inevitable aspect of any business venture, but sometimes the toughest tasks yield the biggest victories. Taking on a complex project or working under a tight time constraint might be the push you and your team needs to start producing your best work yet.
4) Manage Your Energy
Nearly every new entrepreneur is familiar with burnout, especially when you’re working the kind of long, hard hours you’ll need to put in to get your business off the ground. Don’t forget to take care of yourself – both your mind and your body need time to decompress after being put into overdrive during the work week. Make it a priority to get fresh air, try new hobbies and get a good night’s sleep so you don’t fry yourself out too quickly.
5) Set Goals
How do you determine whether your business is on the way to success if you don’t first establish the benchmarks you aim to achieve along the way? Create short-term and long-term goals for both yourself and your business in order to measure your progress against where you expect your business to be within a given timeline. Make sure every goal you set is SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-Based. This will help keep you and your team motivated, focused and on track.
6) Build the Right Team
Entrepreneur success truly is a team effort – question is, how do you ensure you’re making the right hires? A lengthy resume, stellar references and years of experience can only get a job candidate so far if their personality does not mesh with your company culture. Skills can be taught as long as a new hire is willing to learn. An understanding of your vision and passion for their craft, however, are invaluable traits to look for when building a team who can fully realize the mission of your business.
7) Know Your Audience
Understanding exactly who you’re marketing to is a critical component of any campaign, no matter your business’ size or industry. Tedious as it may seem, it’s worth it to take the time to think about who it is that would benefit from your products or services and build out their buyer personas. Establish your target audience, determine where they are active online and in the community, and start making the right connections.
8) Take the Bad Days in Stride
Take it from one entrepreneur to another: bad days will happen, especially in your company’s early days. Setbacks are an inevitable part of growing a business, but the way you respond to these challenges will determine whether you get back on track or derail completely. Look for the silver lining in each rough day you face, and consider how your failures can be reframed as learning experiences moving forward.
9) Ask for Reviews
Who better to advocate for your business than happy previous customers? It may take some time to build a collection of glowing testimonials in the early days of your entrepreneurial journey, but even one 5-star review is a better vote of confidence than no reviews at all. Generating a favorable reputation online through positive reviews left by real people could be the factor that seals the deal for your business – not your competition.
10) Go Above & Beyond
Sometimes all it takes is a little extra effort to make a skeptic into a long-term customer. In fact, a reported 70% of consumers admit they continue doing business with companies that provide great customer service. Checking in regularly, offering special promotions and even setting aside time to pay a visit to their office will show your clients that you are a business that is willing to go above and beyond the call of duty to accommodate their needs.
Ready to Write Your Own Entrepreneur Success Story?
Having a great business idea and the technical skills to match doesn’t necessarily guarantee entrepreneur success. As much as you might want to take the reins on every aspect of your business, sometimes the most effective entrepreneurial strategy is knowing when to work alongside a company that has been there before.
Creative Click Media has grown from a one-man operation to a double-digit team, and we’ve helped dozens of clients make that same jump into full-time entrepreneurship. Ready to write your own entrepreneur success story? Let’s get a call on the calendar to discuss your vision for your business and how our team can help you get there.