How to Make it As an Entrepreneur

Setting up your own business is not easy, far from it in fact. If you don’t have the right characteristics and natural killer instinct for business, then no matter how many guidelines you follow, it is unlikely you will succeed. You see, entrepreneurship is 60% character, 30% solid business idea, and 10% sheer luck! You may have a great idea in theory and have luck on your side, but if you do not have the willingness, determination, perseverance and right attitude to make it work, then it won’t go as planned.

Let’s say you do have the right personality and attitude to go into entrepreneurialism, how do you then ensure your business venture will succeed? After all, perseverance can only take you so far...

To answer this question, I have compiled a list of the10 golden rules of entrepreneurship. These rules will keep you on the right track to business success. Treat this as your “business bible” and watch your status go from emerging entrepreneur, to multimillionaire!

Rule 1: Have a vision and commit to it

While the safety net of the traditional employer-employee relationship is appealing to many, if you are to truly make it as an entrepreneur, you need to commit to starting up your business full time. Your vision to become a successful business owner will become a reality if you put 100% of your energy into it.

Rule 2: Think BIG

Ok, so you are set for a rough ride going solo in the entrepreneurial playground, you are ready for the challenge and are keen to get stuck in. Your business idea may be difficult to progress at first, but providing it is marketable and fills a niche, it can be done! Think big – you need to find a problem and solve it, locate a niche in a market you can access, or invent a revolutionary product that can change the way we live!

Rule 3: Learn to sell

Selling accounts for a large proportion of your business activity. You need to be confident enough to sell your idea or product to a room full of investors, interested 3rd parties, bankers, customers and potential partners. Without the ability to “sell” your idea, or to convince the customer that they need your product, you cannot grow your business. Avoid hiring sales people from the off, you need to be skilled in this area yourself before you can move ahead.

Rule 4: You can’t fly solo for long

Undoubtedly, you will spend much of the first few months in solitude, trying to build up your business idea and capital whilst promoting your services to as many people as possible to generate PR. However, this won’t last forever, and in order to expand your business, you will need to consider taking on investors, business partners and employees. By partnering or gaining investors from a similar industry background, you can benefit from their experience and inside knowledge of the market. But in order to do this, you need to network like you’ve never networked before! Keep your business card on you at all times, attend industry events and trade fairs, and approach people as ‘potential customers or partners’.

Rule 5: Manage risk

Ever heard of “DROOM” (Don’t Run Out Of Money)? Well, get his motto printed, framed and hang it up in your office so you can see it every day. Capital is key to the growth and overall success of your company. Time and time again, good business ventures fail within their first 3 years because they run out of capital. Be sure to calculate your outgoings, expenses, and income, and always keep money aside for emergencies!

Rule 6: Keep planning

That feeling of relief you have once you’ve completed your business plan shouldn’t last long because as an entrepreneur, your planning ought to be ongoing. You need to keep planning on a monthly (even weekly) basis to ensure you are prepared for all eventualities. Continuous planning will also help you to keep track of your progress and new opportunities to take advantage of.

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Rule 7: Be results orientated

True business leaders get results, and don’t stop until their goals are met. This however is only achievable if you are a results driven person. The greater your results are, the better your business will do. Your results effectively determine whether you will become a true business magnate or a struggling entrepreneur.

Rule 8: Timing is everything

With all business ventures, timing is everything. You need to know when to introduce a new product, which markets to target and when, the changing trends in the marketplace, and the best time to launch your PR campaign. By getting the timing right, you can effectively optimise your business activity.

Rule 9: Take on the competition

Don’t shy away from your competitors; use them to push your business forward. Competition gives us a natural ‘killer instinct’ and the desire to beat them at their own game! We push ourselves harder when we know someone else is just around the corner trying to catch up with us. So use the competition as a way to get ahead. Conduct a SWOT analysis on your immediate competition, find out their weaknesses and make them your strengths.

Rule 10: Pricing and Promotion go hand in hand

If your product is priced on the steep side, you need to make PR your best friend because with the right PR, you can change the way your customers feel about the price. Rather than have your customers worry about splashing out on your product, their first thoughts will be that they need your product. Get your name out there (particularly with the use of social media).

Bonus Rules

#1 Always persevere

#2 If you fail – start over and keep going

#3 Rely on your intuition

#4 Learn to lead your business and employees

#5 Always keep your business and personal capital separate

With these simple tips you should be one step closer to becoming a seuccesful entrepreneur.