How To Become a successful Entrepreneur: The responsibility of an entrepreneur transcends setting up a business for actualizing profit. It involves keeping the business you have set up viable and consistently profitable even when you are no longer in the position to manage it.
This success mentality must be imbibed in the minds of entrepreneurs whether for those who have the intention to start up a business or for those who already made a name for themselves in the business world.
Therefore a successful entrepreneur should not be limited to one who has a stable net profit, adequate man power or proliferation of business centers across the world. What makes a successful entrepreneur is the unsatisfied desire to improve in one’s business whether in dealing with products/goods or delivery of services. This encompasses the entrepreneurs who are at the first year of business and those who have attained the majority’s definition of “successful entrepreneurs“.
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How to become a successful Entrepreneur
Below are some tips for becoming a successful business entrepreneur:
1. Be unique: According to Elon Musk in one of his interview, the fastest way to grow a business is to bring in something that no other company is doing. This is a secret that many entrepreneurs fail to put in mind when starting a new business and it is one of the reasons why many businesses are collapsing till today.
In the business world, customers aren’t attracted by what is already in the market. It takes uniqueness to attract huge customers in today’s world. The truth is that, nobody would like to try a new company if that new company or business is just like what has been in existence before. People want to see new offers, creativity, business idea etc.
Being unique does not mean you cannot start a similar business or company that has already been in existence. The point is that, if you must start a business and be successful in it, you need a new plan that will attract customers to your business at reduce their attention to what they already know.
Now the question is, “How can a business be unique?“. Well, it is simple. To make your business unique and outstanding you can reduce price of the service or goods you sell, provide additional benefits to those who purchase from you, offer good customer service or even take care of free delivery to your customers doorstep.
2. Be Vision Driven: As Peter Drucker (1909-2005), a famous and influential management thinker once said “The best way to predict the future is to create it“. Every entrepreneur must set his/her goal on the biggest possible and feasible future of the business already set up in the present.
There are many businesses that have folded up not because of poor start up capital or inadequate man power but mainly because the man with the mandate did not invest into the future. The failed business was as a result of the lack of proper self orientation that one must have a long term goal to ensure longetivity in business.
An entrepreneur must be a soothsayer of his own business future. Similarly, if there is no material plan at the present that shows commitment to the future, the business will fail regardless of how majestic the plans are. Let the vision guide you as an entrepreneur.
As Donald Trump, former US President once said: “As long as you’re going to be thinking anyway, think big“. Additionally, when you are finished thinking big, then begin with the little that you have which will become the big that you want.
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3. The Failure Factor: Many entrepreneurs start up businesses with one thought in mind: To become successful and rich. They do not give place for failure and that attitude in itself is the beginning of the real failure. No successful entrepreneur will tell anyone that as an entrepreneur, just as in life, you will not experience falling short in multiple instances.
What makes a business person successful is not the tale of success series but the number of times the person failed and overcame. According to Bill Gates, the owner and founder of Microsoft, it is fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.
Thomas Edison is a classic example. Before he generated the first ever light bulb electricity, he tried so many times to make it work all to no avail. But in the face of the deterring circumstances, he summoned the courage, strength and extra work to get the desired result.
Indeed, one becomes stronger when the person faces the most heated challenges in life. The idea of Microsoft was rejected by many top technical firms at the time but Bill Gates did not allow the negatives to influence his mindset. Now there is no organization in any part of the world that does not use Gate’s software.
Failure is always a factor to consider in all affairs of life and Business is not an exception. It is what one does with the failure factor that makes such person groomed for success or otherwise. Winston Churchill once said that: “Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm“.
What will happen if the project you were working on for years falls flat after you have spent all your resources in advertising it to the world? Or what will be your response to a financial stagnation in your business? An entrepreneur who wants his/her business to be worldwide must be willing to face a world of difficulties and challenges.
It is through repeated trials and fails that your inner core is developed. You must show that you are willing to fail a thousand times and succeed a thousand times more. For those growing in business understanding, it is simply failure but for others, it is success waiting to be revealed.
Thomas Eddison once made this remark: “I have not failed. I have just found 10,000 ways that won’t work”. When an entrepreneur faces business challenge, he or she must see the challenges as fuel for the fire to be successful.
The entrepreneur must not be afraid to take risks, make business mistakes and fail. He/she must see the event of failure as an opportunity to retrace steps and find out what is not being done right. That way if a similar or different problem resurfaces, the person is fully equipped and experienced enough to understand the process in knowing how to deal with the issues.
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4. Know Your Market: It is amazing how many entrepreneurs jump into the circle of business without properly strategizing how to prepare themselves for the dynamic nature of business in general. A good entrepreneur is one who understands that it is not possible to enjoy ceaseless cash in flow just because the type of business you operate is a popular one.
You must prepare for competition, government policies, economic recession and other factors that will affect your business rise. Having a big restaurant in the middle of the road will not stop circumstances from happening that will affect the business in terms of production of food, buy rates e.tc.
There are few that understand the importance of building a strong connection with the customers in order to keep their market working. A Market comprises all the forms of the business and no entrepreneur can enter into all. Similarly no entrepreneur should think that no business can fail merely because there are people who have been established in the same business.
The problem with most business people is that they do not fully comprehend the negative possibilities so they rather assure themselves that everyone will patronise them no matter what the market looks like at that present time. You must look at the business from futuristic perspective. Will the demand be as high as the supply in a long term standpoint? Are there threats to my establishment? Business is about buying and selling. And sometimes people may be interested in a product but not your product.
There are reasons for that as aforementioned. If you want to be a successful entrepreneur, you must learn how to act smartly with convenient situations and expect inconvenient situations. For instance, if A is the only person who produces hand sanitizers in a locality, he should expect that in the next couple of months there will be another person interested in starting up that business in the same locality.
He must be prepared for the competition by ensuring that he sets his product apart from his rival to the point that his customer base will still be growing. There is hardly any monopoly of business in the world today. Businesses keep on growing everyday with new and updated strategies on how to increase demand for goods or services.
No entrepreneur has an island of business hence it is imperative for such person to know the structure and nature of the market system as far as the business is concerned.
5. Service is Everything: An entrepreneur with a success mindset will always strive for one ultimate goal and that is to satisfy his/her customers. This seems easy to say but extremely difficult for some business persons to do in reality.
It is very simple to advertise your business and get people to support your cause by patronising you but if the delivery is not as good as advertised, they lose interest. It is so common to see great businesses lose a large following and interested customers because the owners shifted their focus from satisfying the customers to just making money at the expense of anyone.
This is not an encouraging attitude for those who are interested in starting up a business or for those who want to invest into the business. Sometimes an entrepreneur must go all out to provide better than a customer has paid. Let them see the sincere desire you have to see them satisfied. Ask anyone who has ever entered or continued business with this mentality, they do not get disappointed.
It is a sacrifice to actually go much more than it is professionally required of a teacher who tutors a student into late hours of the night when the pay is less than the effort. In the long run the teacher will command respect from students and parents which will be the window of opportunity to greater responsibilities and better pay. That is how most successful entrepreneurs get to the top so quickly while others who began with them are still struggling.
The point here is that the satisfaction of the customer is more important than the money they will pay. If a food vendor does not serve the best meal she can possibly do, she will not keep buyers as many as she could. The people are to be seen as more valuable than the cash received. That is the right mentality to have to avoid mediocrity and sour reputation as an entrepreneur.
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6. Accountability: Accountability is very significant to the growth of any person or business. It takes personal effort to own responsibility for anything that was done which ought not to have been done. Entrepreneurs must always remain transparent in their dealings with stakeholders and their employees. The business is not a one man’s affair.
It involves more than one person and the inclusion of the extra person commands accountability. Take companies for instance; the directors of a company are legally bound to stand in a fiduciary relationship with the company itself avoiding all acts contrary to the interests of the company. This also applies to all business owners whether small, medium or large scale.
Accountability involves financial responsibility. That means that the financial records of the business should not be tampered with by any staff including the manager for the purpose of external auditing if it is required. It also means that the entrepreneur should be sincere to his employees on the financial situation which may influence their decision to remain working under him/her. It also means not underpaying or refusing to pay your staff when there is no justification and/or consensual agreement for doing so.
Accountability also involves standing in the gap for any failed product or improper delivery of services as an entrepreneur. There are cases of some experienced entrepreneurs who have willingly refunded the money of a dissatisfied customer regardless that a staff member was meant to be blamed.
If you want to be a successful entrepreneur, you must avoid pointing fingers at everyone. You must show the attitude of leadership by attributing shortcomings to your oversight of certain issues while you discipline the catalyst of the problem.
This is one quality that most entrepreneurs lack and that is the reason why the staff do not have good relationship with them. It does not make you easily manipulated but it reveals a high level of intelligence when as an entrepreneur, you place the satisfaction of every customer above your own ego. It is worth learning.
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Qualities of An Entrepreneur You Should Exhibit
Below are the essential characteristics/qualities every entrepreneur should have:
1. Creativity: Creativity is a key quality of entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs have the ability create new businesses out of the creative ideas which they have. The creative idea may be about how to provide a workable solution to a an emerging problem or need. Based on the creative ideas generated, the entrepreneur builds his or her business or product. The product or business will be targeted at the need or problem concerned. Through this process, the entrepreneur creates his or her own business and is able to attract patronage.
Creativity, in addition to enabling the entrepreneur to create his or her business, also helps the entrepreneur to run the business efficiently and profitably. Entrepreneurs face fierce competition in the business world. Through creativity, they are able to create innovative products and services which will beat those of the competitors. Creativity is a fundamental characteristic of entrepreneurs.
2. Risk-taking: A major hallmark of entrepreneurs is risk-taking. Entrepreneurs risk the loss of their funds and profit. In establishing a business venture, entrepreneurs are not guaranteed profits or rewards. In most cases, they are faced with the risk of losing their money and other resources.
Despite the existence of risk factors, entrepreneurs go ahead to start their businesses and to invest their time, energy and fiscal resources in the business. They are motivated by the expectation of profits or rewards to take the risks associated with their business ventures or ideas.
Even though entrepreneurs are risk-takers, they do not invest their time and material resources in every idea, service or product. They evaluate the risks associated with the idea, service or product. After the evaluation, they are able to determine whether the idea, product or service has a prospect of success. Having determined that it has a possibility of success, the entrepreneur then goes ahead to take the risk and invest in it.
3. Passion: Passion is the driving force in every entrepreneur. An entrepreneur is always passionate about his or her business ideas and ventures. Passion infuses the entrepreneur with the motivation to be actively engaged in the execution of his or her business ideas and to build the business.
Even when the business has been created, passion pushes the entrepreneur to work hard and efficiently in the development and sustenance of the business. Passion is an essential quality which every entrepreneur must possess.
4. Vision: Vision is an essential characteristic of an entrepreneur. An entrepreneur is able to create a mental picture of the future of his or her business and also that of the industry in which his or her business.
The vision helps the entrepreneur to formulate the long-term goals and strategies for the business. In addition, the vision helps the entrepreneur to stay focused and motivated.
5. Problem Solving: Problem Solving is a key characteristic of entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs have the ability to identify a need or problem. Identification of the need or problem marks the beginning of the entrepreneurial venture.
After identifying the need or problem, the entrepreneur begins to generate ideas to meet the need or solve the problem which has been identified. Afterwards, the entrepreneur builds up the business based on the ideas generated. The ability to identify and solve problems is an indispensable trait of entrepreneurs.
6. Knowledge: Knowledge is an important marker of an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs possess knowledge of several aspects of the business ventures they create and the business world as a whole.
First of all, an entrepreneur possesses knowledge of the business which he creates or manages. An entrepreneur must know the risks associated with the business he or she wishes to engage in. He or she must also know the prospect of profit or success of the business.
Moreover, an entrepreneur knows and understands the business space which he is part of. An entrepreneur knows the rules, practices and ethics of the business space which his or her business exists in. This helps the entrepreneur to carry out his business activities in line with the ethics and practices of the business space and also manage his or her business efficiently.
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What makes a great entrepreneur is unlimited. There are other details this article did not fully address. Those ones are easy read for anyone interested. This article has addressed the common mistakes noticeable in most entrepreneurs which are preventing them from getting to the top of the ladder in the business world. Values and core innate qualities should be developed on a daily basis.
It is equally important for all entrepreneurs to stick to what they love and not just what can settle their bills because in time, one may not find the necessity to continue. That makes all your efforts pointless. As Albert Schweitzer once said “Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you’re doing, you will become successful”.
Edeh Samuel Chukwuemeka ChMC, is a Law Student and a Certified Mediator/Conciliator in Nigeria. He is also a Developer with knowledge in HTML, CSS, JS, PHP and React Native. Samuel is bent on changing the legal profession by building Web and Mobile Apps that will make legal research a lot easier.