10 Pieces of Actionable Entrepreneur Advice For Aspiring Business Owners
Starting out as an entrepreneur is really, really hard. Even seasoned entrepreneurs were newbies at one point, though, and here are a few pieces of entrepreneurship advice I see floating around often that can make a world of difference for people gearing up to own their own business.
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Follow Your Skills
Have you ever heard the phrase, “follow the money?” It means that an entrepreneur should identify the most profitable area they can find and apply themselves to it to make the most money possible. Well, that phrase is terrible entrepreneur advice.
Instead, identify what you’re really good at. What skills were you born with that others weren’t? Now, apply that unique skill or set of skills you have to your business, and then do what it takes to make it profitable.
So, in essence, let your skills and passions, rather than fat stacks of cash, dictate where your business will go.
There’s only one thing you can count on for sure when starting a business: that things will not go the way you had anticipated. There are tons of variables that can (and some of which definitely will) go wrong, and those unplanned events will drastically change the way the business looks.
To keep those unexpected changes from destroying the business, make sure you allow space for on-the-fly alterations in your business plan.
Use Your Experience
Let your past professional experience launch your entrepreneurial career. Utilize your existing business contacts and apply the things you learned when you were an employee.
Some new business owners feel that their business is a fresh new start and should not be tainted with remnants from their past careers. This couldn’t be further from the truth, as their past career experiences are usually what allows entrepreneurship to bloom.
Get A Mentor
The path of new entrepreneurship is a rocky one. Find someone who has navigated it before, preferably in your industry, and ask them if they will become your mentor.
As a mentee, you can consult them with questions and ask for general entrepreneur advice. Some people are happy mentoring for free, and others ask their mentees to do a little bit of free work in exchange for the tutelage.Read up on where and how to find a good business mentor.
Think Like Your Target Audience
Entrepreneurs cannot always think like sellers; sometimes, they have to flip their situation and put themselves in their target audience’s shoes to gain valuable entrepreneur advice. It helps them figure out what services and other features would help the business attract the right customers and succeed.
This requires a degree of empathy, a quality not often associated with businesses, but that is very important for an entrepreneur. Learn a bit more about how to build empathy as an entrepreneur.
Keep Employees in the Loop
When you’re a small company, you need every one of your employees to be working together to achieve maximum productivity. The best way to ensure that’s happening is to fill the employees in on the company’s broader plan and how their jobs directly affect each other. Think of them as “team members” rather than “employees.”
As a bonus, team members will be motivated to work harder if they see the greater value of their own work in the grand scheme of the company’s mission.
Hire Creative People
A new business requires a lot of creativity. You and the rest of your team will have to think out of the box to come up with solutions that are out of the box, scrappy, and innovative. That’s why it’s crucial to hire people who are not just adept at their jobs, but creative as well.
This goes back to the point of hiring people you can think of as “team members” instead of just “employees.” Everyone needs to work together as peers.
Keep Your Equity
It’s tempting to sell off all your equity when you’re starting a business. It can often feel like the only way to get off the ground. As you may have guessed, that’s not true. Take your time and avoid selling off too much of your company right off the bat, even if it means taking a longer time to get going.
Don’t rely on investors to help your business idea become a reality. There are plenty of business fundraising ideas that will help you kickstart your business without losing out on your future profits.
Don’t Skimp on Branding
I would argue that building a strong brand is the single most important step to thriving as a new business. What with people’s impossibly short attention spans nowadays (even in business matters), you need to stick out to be noticed and form a strong impression once you are.
Because of this fact, you should not skimp on branding. Spend just as much time and money building your brand as you do on other facets of your business.
RELATED: How to Develop a Branding Strategy for Your Business
Plan Everything Beforehand
As an entrepreneur, you will have more than a few projects or campaigns where you get burned out and can’t decide what to do next. It’s not the best part of the job, but I guarantee it will happen at times. The best way to keep those situations from hurting the business is to plan all of your projects out down to the letter beforehand. Doing so will take a lot of the pressure off and let you focus on the next task you have planned out.
If you’re an aspiring business owner, keep this entrepreneur advice in mind — I can personally endorse every one of the tips. Just remember that no matter what you do, hard work is key.
Do you have any entrepreneur advice not mentioned here that you feel all fledgling entrepreneurs should know? If so, let me know on the Bookkeepers’ Facebook!