There is no denying that the life of an entrepreneur is challenging. People starting and building a business have a lot to manage and even more to think about. How do you find the right team members that will understand what you are trying to accomplish and help take your business where you want it to go? What tools will keep you organized? Who is your target audience and is your marketing and overall business strategy customized toward them?
Luckily, we are here to help you find answers for all of this and more with these 10 tips to keep entrepreneurs moving forward.
1. Develop a business plan. To stay on track and continue moving forward, you need to have a destination. Think of a business plan as a kind of roadmap that will help to get you from point A to point B. The sooner you develop a business plan, the better.
2. Make sure you consistently set goals. “Entrepreneurs who know what they want and have set a course are more likely to accomplish their objectives. Goals act as the homing device for an entrepreneurs' actions,” Jesse Torres explains in Entrepreneur. “At times they may need to take a step back or sideways to continue to move forward. Like the North Star guiding navigators, goals help entrepreneurs create a new course after making adjustments.”
3. Build relationships with investors. To keep pushing your business forward, you need capital, which means you may need investors. One of the best things an entrepreneur can do to keep business moving forward is to build relationships with investors. “More often than not, savvy investors invest in the founder and team, not just an idea, product, or service. Fostering strong relationships with your investors is key and can prove to be invaluable when it comes time for fundraising or when you are facing tough times and need support,” Charles Michael Yim, Founder and CEO of Breathometer, told the Huffington Post. Ultimately, time spent building relationships with investors is time well spent.
4. Have a vision. The most successful entrepreneurs have a strong vision that drives them to success. For example, Chipotle CEO Steve Ells reportedly had a very strong vision for what Chipotle food would look and taste like. As a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, he reportedly got the idea while working at a small neighborhood taqueria. He decided he would pioneer a concept that would elevate fast food to a new level while still leveraging a lucrative economic model. Chipotle is now one of the most well-known fast food eateries, meaning that Ells literally followed his craving to success. Ultimately, when you can envision what something looks like and how it works, you are much more likely to have the drive and commitment to keep pushing forward.
5. Learn to value feedback. For entrepreneurs trying to get an idea of the ground, getting feedback is absolutely essential. “Take as much feedback from as many people as you can about whatever idea you have,” insists Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, Solar City, and Space X, adding that it is especially crucial for entrepreneurs to seek out critical feedback. “Ask them what's wrong. You often have to draw it out in a nuanced way to figure out what's wrong," advises Musk.
Receiving feedback that is critical of you as an entrepreneur or of your idea can be difficult, but try not to let your emotions get in the way or take feedback too personally, though it might seem hard not to. Remember, just because you receive critical feedback does not mean that you have to act on it or agree with it. Ultimately, the more feedback you have, the better. Feedback is valuable information when it comes to making decisions so the more of it you have, the better position you will be in.
6. Hire people who share your passion. Building a business is no easy feat. To put it simply, you need a great support team when trying to build your business and propel it forward. When hiring people, you want to make sure that you choose those who are just as passionate and committed as you are. Just consider former Apple CEO Steve Job’s approach to hiring. “When I hire somebody really senior, competence is the ante. They have to be really smart. But the real issue for me is are they going to fall in love with Apple,” Jobs said. “Because, if they fall in love with Apple; everything else will take care of itself. They'll want to do what's best for Apple, not what's best for them, what's best for Steve or anybody else."
7. Use tools to stay organized. As an entrepreneur, time is money. In order to be efficient and keep your hustle, you need to make sure that you are using tools to stay organized. Tools like Basecamp, Slack, Box, Dropbox, and Google Voice might seem simple, but when used the right way they can be huge time savers, helping you to keep things moving forward.
8. Invest in understanding your target audience. When it comes to getting a successful business off of the ground, you are probably already aware that your customers are the key to success. That is why it is absolutely imperative to invest in understanding your target audience, and to do so continually. Unless you are advancing your understanding of the target audience, your business will not be able to advance.
9. Do not be afraid to take risks. Sometimes, to keep pushing forward and advance your business, it is necessary to take risks. Being risk adverse can actually threaten your progress. The thing to keep in mind is to take strategic risks that you have thought about.
10. Learn from your mistakes. No one is perfect. All entrepreneurs at one point or another make mistakes. However, do not let those mistakes keep you from progressing. It is important to learn from your mistakes and apply those lessons as you move ahead.
“It’s important for entrepreneurs to be self-aware when it comes to learning from failure. It’s valuable to step back and assess your own shortcomings that may impede your ability to lead a business to the next level,” explains David Steinberg in Fortune. “Everyone has blind spots, and hindsight really is 20/20. Because of this, failure—though never ideal, offers the unique opportunity to learn and grow like no other experience can. Just think, if the inexperienced you of yesterday was able to launch a business, the you of today, wiser through lessons learned, should be able to take it to even greater heights.”
The bottom line is that being an entrepreneur is a challenge. Therefore, you are bound to encounter roadblocks, but the key is to persevere and continue pushing forward. With some persistence, passion, hard work, and dedication, success is in reach.
10twelve was born out of our experience starting, managing, marketing, growing and selling our own businesses. We take our successes and failures and help our clients grow, while hopefully avoiding some of the mistakes we made and using some of our successes as shortcuts on their own journey. We like to become an extension of your team and help develop a strategy makes sense and some clean, result-oriented marketing that will take your business to the next level. Contact us today so we can learn more about your business and how we can help.