Hey, what does it take to be a Successful Entrepreneur? Often people think they will never succeed without giving it a go when actually as long as you persevere and have some self-belief you will succeed.
Well, to help the first thing I thought to do was to list some of the key characteristics of successful entrepreneurs. This helps give perspective and allow you to see if you display these you can and will succeed.
Passion & Motivation
Your business needs to be based on something you are passionate about or can get passionate about. Something that you are not going to get bored with, as this will mean you will not be motivated to get out of bed and make work. Think about it, if you just pick a niche as it looks like a good deal now, but you don’t really care about the subject – Are you really going to still be interested in down the line if it goes through a rough patch? People will be asking where has your passion gone and with it is any chance of success??
Starting a Business needs to start with a good foundation and be based on something you can keep motivated about. For example, my other website is Photography. I love photography, I love helping people with photography. This helps me stay motivated, as I am learning about it as I go, and it is helping me become a better photographer too.
Willing to Take Risks
You need to be willing to take risks, playing it safe too often and you will normally limit the successes you can achieve.
I’ll give you an example, I wanted to find a legitimate way of earning money a couple of years ago and invested £350 into what I thought was a good deal and ended up losing the lot. Do I regret that action? In some ways, yes as I lost a load of money. But without that action I wouldn’t have found a genuine way of earning money online.
But without taking that risk (and losing that money) would I be in a position where I am earning money online?? NO.
We decided to invest in a wedding stationary business last year, it was a big investment – but my wife is very creative, and we thought about making it work. So, we invested £10k. Was it a good investment, In the long run yes.
It comes down to the fact, if you have a product that you believe in, you may need to take a couple of risks to get yourself out there and reap the benefits.
Self-Belief, Hard Work & Discipline
Let’s just start with the fact that most businesses do not expect to turn a profit in the first 12 months and some do not even go past the 12 month mark. It will take hard work, stupid amounts of time, a need to remain disciplined. But you must believe that you are building something that you will look back on and say “That was totally worth it…”
This goes back to remembering why you started the business, who you are helping with your business and the benefits you will get once it is working.
Adaptable & Flexible
In the entrepreneur world, things change very quickly. Being flexible is key, as your customers will not always do what you expect. We had to get used to the fact that surprisingly Sunday night is a key night for people ordering their wedding stationary. So Gemma spends most of her time answering correspondence on a Sunday evening. eBay messages, Facebook Messages, Emails. You name it, they tend to drop on a Sunday evening. So instead of our usual Sunday evening watching TV – Sunday Evening is a work evening.
You need to remain adaptable to other situations, you have a problem with a supplier or a delivery provider – Have you got a backup plan?
It comes to a point you start thinking about the “what ifs” so that you can try and plan for those eventualities just in case.
Product & Market Knowledge
What are your competitors doing? Do you know who your competitors are? A good all-round knowledge of the products, services, competitors and news channels in your niche are key to being classed as a successful entrepreneur.
If you remain insular, you will not get very far. You need to grab the market by the horns and ensure you hang on.
You need to think about why someone would buy your product, what benefits are there to them buying that product. What are others offering and how your product is different.
How do you ‘future proof’ your product, how do you improve your product to ensure it stays future proof.
Things change so quickly, you want to keep up.
Good Money Management
This may sound fairly obvious, but good money management is key to being a successful entrepreneur – Ever watched the Apprentice with Lord Sugar? You need to understand your costings, your break-even points.
One thing that many do, and it causes problems is never predict a pessimistic cash flow. We naturally go if I sell 100 units, I will make this much money and I am in profit. But, they fall down as they only sold 25 and didn’t plan for it, so you are struggling for a month.
Good money management is planning for contingencies. If the printer breaks down for our wedding stationary business, can we afford to get it repaired? or even replace it.
In the world of affiliate marketing & blogging, Once you start earning, do you reinvest it to build on it and grow your brand and make it a sustainable income or do you just spend it and then realise you havent got the money to grow the channel that is earning you money.
But without reinvestment you will never grow your business to a point where it sustains itself.
Effective Planning Skills
A Successful Entrepreneur will have planned the remainder of the year, with daily task, weekly tasks monthly tasks. But they will also be really flexible to change this plan if it requires it.
Are you an effective planner? It is too easy to just sit down and go ‘I’ll do that tomorrow” but with that mentality you will never grow your business to a point where you can say it is successful. You need to plan for the unknown, keep researching for events coming up in the year based on your niche so you can plan effective marketing campaigns to coincide with it.
A great app I have started using is the Microsoft ‘to do’ app. You can schedule tasks and reminders to be completed with timelines. Once they are done you tick them as completed. It is a great tool to keep organised. Schedule task into your diary, this will help you stay organised.
The Right Connections
A Successful Entrepreneur will have the right connections. When starting out this may seem like an impossible task and it will take time to achieve it. Depending on your product/service or the type of business you have will determine the right strategy to take with this.
It can seem really hard to build up an online business, if you don’t have a product and you are targeting affiliate marketing like this website. I have grown it by having a community of entrepreneurs behind me. Wealthy Affiliate are a community of entrepreneurs where we help each other out, help/advice, social media strategies.
Don’t be afraid to reach out to experts in your niche – someone with a lot of followers on twitter. I followed a couple recently and they have actually followed me back, meaning I get a bigger exposure.
A traditional business would have a different route, we would target both online and offline connections.
Our Wedding Stationary business has recently added Wedding Hire to it. This requires us to build up relationships with local venues, so they start recommending us as a supplier and get some business. Some are receptive, others are not. But you need to try.
See what your competitors are doing and, dependant on the business, be open to a relationship.
A local DJ that we know, we had met at a couple of weddings and got chatting – Both businesses hire out the light up LOVE letters. So technically we are in competition – but he only has one set, so whenever he now needs 2 sets, he gives us a call.
You need to find ways of building up your reach and connections to ensure your product/service or website are seen by a higher audience. No audience, no revenue.
Prepared to Fail (Not Every Strategy Will Work)
Part of running a business needs to be understanding that not everything you try will succeed. A product may not be as popular as you think, or completely dive. A Paid Ad might not work out. A supplier you try may disappoint.
These are things that you need to try to scale your business – but don’t get too downhearted if it doesn’t work. Just work out what was good about it. Was it the product, was it the marketing?
What are you going to do differently?
It can happen, we recently went to a wedding fayre. It was with a new organiser. His first wedding fayre. But it could technically be classed as a failure. Rather than the numbers that were expected, we spoke to 10 couples… We were expected at least a 100.
But there are sometimes silver linings, with the fact we actually got to know some of the other suppliers, shared social media channels and grew our reach by sharing each other’s services. So, whilst it was a failure and a risk as we knew it was a new organiser. We had small successes from it.
We also know the organiser is learning how to improve his marketing going forward too.
Online, it could be a PPC campaign that ends up not giving you a return. What was good about it and how to improve it for next time.
Ability to Question Yourself (But Not Too Much)
Whilst small failures are ok, you do not want to keep being risky. Do you give yourself a second opinion? Do you take a second before you make a decision?
This can be a good technique to ensure the action you want to take is a good thing.
With my business, I tend to think an action through and make a decision on whether it is an action that needs doing now or is better as an action that needs better planning.
You may see a trend in your niche that you need to jump on now and take advantage of it.
But then there may be something that you write down as something to plan and do at a particular point.
I don’t mean put it on the back burner and forget about it. I mean plan for it. I will launch this (subject) in 4 weeks, for example. As planning is critical to your success. The reason I say plan for it, is if it is a subject that you don’t know a lot about, then it will look rushed and not be good enough for your customers. So, it is worthwhile to plan.
It needs to be for the right decisions and not an impulse thing. These can be good every now and then but ensure you have thoroughly thought through your ideas.
There are many characteristics of Successful Entrepreneurs and these factors tend to showcase entrepreneurs and their businesses that succeed.
A high number of businesses don’t get past their first year… Have you got what it takes to become a Successful Entrepreneur and break past the barriers…
My biggest piece of advice is never stop Learning, try New Ideas and keep yourself Motivated.
There will be times when you think about packing it in. Believe me, with this wedding stationary business – there were times when it didn’t seem worth the work being put in for a relatively low mark-up on the invitations.
But it allowed us to extend our reach for the wedding hire and that is where the money lies.
So, one side of the business is quite a hardship, whereas the other side of the business is fun, and you get to meet clients and brings the money in. But 6 months ago, it seemed a different story.
If you have any questions or comments, please leave them in the comments below.
Have faith in yourself and you will succeed!!
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