Posts Tagged ‘entrepreneur’
As a smaller business owner, you have a clear understanding of how difficult it is to find effective employees. As cautious as you try to be, you always end up with at least one employee that isn’t motivated, doesn’t work to full capacity, or simply doesn’t get it.
In addition, it costs you personally to commit to an employee’s salary and benefits. It’s frankly a waste of money to invest in an employee that doesn’t work to full capacity and it sends a poor message to your customers. The first problems to address are who to hire, when and where to find suitable candidates.
Hiring the right person
The most important aspect of hiring the right person depends on your product. You need a staff that can get the product or service to the market. Generally, high-level executives (like a vice president of marketing or sales) aren’t hired until the company has seen growth.
Also, only hire someone if you absolutely need the help. If you can outsource that position to a free-lancer for example, it would be extremely beneficial to you. If you can intelligently delegate work to the right people, you’re already on your way to having an efficient staff.
Focus on hiring flexible candidates that can function and thrive in a small environment. The best candidate only needs a few instructions and can apply their skills to various areas. Small businesses need these kinds of candidates because there aren’t necessarily set positions and everyone needs to take on a certain amount of work in different areas.
According to an article in the Wall Street Journal guide to small business:
“An entrepreneur’s best bet for finding employees usually is networking. Ask for referrals from your friends, industry colleagues and advisers, such as your accountant, attorney, board members and organization members. If one of your advisers or colleagues recommends somebody, they’ve done some of your employee screening work already. Start-ups typically find their first 10 or 15 employees this way.”
Use any resources you can to find the right candidates. Having employees and staff members that add value to your business is crucial for you success as a business owner
Although there are plenty of stories out there that describe the overnight success stories of several entrepreneurs and small businesses, the likelihood of that is just minute. You need to be able to make the correct choices a long the way – and the way is long.
David Bakke, wrote a great post for Money Crashers about small business mistakes and the reasons why entrepreneurs fail. Listen to the mistakes that I found most helpful from his posts. Read them, study them, and avoid them. If you feel you are weak in any of these areas, fix it immediately because it could cost you your dream of being a successful small business owner.
1. Lack of Focus
I’ve seen a lot of aspiring entrepreneurs fail simply because they were “all over the place” with what they actually wanted to do. They tried so many different businesses in their first few years that they never got anything off the ground. A lot of this needs to be weeded out in your “pre-launch” process. That goes for both internet businesses and brick and mortar businesses. If you know you want to sell things on the Internet, do your research first as to exactly what you want to sell and how you want to sell it. Launching a website and then constantly changing the focus from selling cupcakes to selling screwdrivers to selling women’s lingerie is a sure way to be “finished” before you’ve even started.
2. Veering Away From Your Passion or Talent
You should really stick with what you are good at or what you love to do. Can you be successful being involved in something that you are not great at or feel strongly about? Absolutely, 100%. But, how dedicated are you going to be to that concept in the beginning? How likely are you going to still feel motivated after doing it for six months? How much easier would it be if you had chosen something you are great at or passionate about?
You’ve got to make sure you do your due diligence and do the proper amount of research before starting. This goes back to my first point on focus. I’ve seen people dive in head first to areas that they knew little to nothing about, and the huge mistakes they made in the beginning were just too costly to overcome. Any successful entrepreneur will tell you that mistakes are going to be made along the way, especially in the beginning. Take these mistakes and learn from them. But, you need to be prepared enough so that you can avoid the huge, expensive mistakes that sometimes can sink your idea before it even has a chance to take off.
4. Too Hesitant
As mentioned in the prior section, before you start a new business, even if it is a passion of yours, there needs to be a certain amount of research that goes into it before taking the plunge. You won’t just wake up one day and boom, decide to start a business. This just wouldn’t be smart. There is always going to be a certain amount of risk and uncertainty in any new business that you forge. If you are not willing to assume that risk or simply don’t have the stomach for it, you’ll never succeed.
Those of you interested in venturing out into the business world on your own will be faced with many challenges. You may be wondering if you’ll even make it. It’s a huge risk but truth be told, it’s absolutely worth it. Owning your own small business can be one of the most rewarding things you’ll ever do.
So what does it take to be a successful entrepreneur? Passion is great, but there are several other qualities you need as a person, before you can succeed in business.
A Knack For Solving Problems
Most entrepreneurs start their businesses by finding a need or a problem in the market, and satisfying it. By solving consumer problems, you contribute the community – which is the most profitable venture out there.
You have to be able to do things on your own. Entrepreneurs thrive when faced with intense responsibility and workload. They can manage their own time, and love being their own boss.
Hunger for Hard Work
The beginning stages for entrepreneurs include long hours, little pay, stress, and frustration. They focus on accomplishing tasks and getting work done before anything else.
All entrepreneurs exude a level of self-confidence that earn them respect and recognition. Having confidence in yourself and your abilities will take you farther in life than any other quality. You will never out-perform your self-belief.
This is a no brainer. Distractions are not an option. Successful entrepreneurs know to resist temptation when it comes to unimportant things. You need to be able to focus on the most essential tasks, and save the less important things for later when you have time.
Openness to Change
The economy is changing, the market is changing, consumers are changing, and companies are changing right along with them. Any successful entrepreneur understands the critical need to “go with the flow,” and have the ability to change as their business grows.
There really is no secret formula to follow to achieve business success. Success can come from a combination of many things like hard work, good networking, and even luck. However, the more we study small businesses that do succeed, the more we realize that the successful ones have a lot in common.
Small Business Trends published a blog post based on the new study released by the Kauffman Foundation called The Making of a Successful Entrepreneur. It has great insights into what successful entrepreneurs and small business owners have in common. It can show you what most affects the success or failure of a startup business.
Here are a few key points from the survey as according to Small Business Trends:
The survey polled 549 founders of successful businesses in high-growth industries, including aerospace, defense, computing, electronics and health care. Here’s what they said:
Their most important success factors: previous work experience, learning from their successes and failures, a strong management team and good fortune;
- 98 percent said prior work experience was an “important” success factor; 58 percent said it was “extremely important;”
- 40 percent said learning from failure was extremely important;
- 82 percent said the management team was important; 35 percent said it was extremely important;
- 73 percent said luck was an important factor;
- Professional networks were key to success for 73 percent of entrepreneurs surveyed, while 62 percent said personal networks were important;
- 68 percent said availability of financing/capital was important, but only 11 percent had received venture capital, and just 9 percent had obtained private/angel financing.
What about the most common barriers to entrepreneurial success? The one most respondents cited (a whopping 98 percent of them) was the failure to take risk. Others included:
- Not putting in the time and effort required (93 percent)
- Difficulty raising capital (91 percent)
- Lack of business management skills (89 percent)
- Lack of knowledge about how to start a business (84 percent)
- Lack of industry and market knowledge (83 percent)
- Family or financial pressures to hold a traditional job (73 percent)
As a small business advocate always on the lookout for new advice for how to start and run a successful small business, I have found several “formulas” and “checklists” that promise the budding entrepreneur success and financial rewards.
However, there is no set path to financial freedom. Small business owners need to be creative, put pressure on the guidelines, and strive to be different from competitors.
I found an article on PowerHomeBiz that describes some survival tips for entrepreneurship, here are a few of the ones from the article I found to be the most helpful:
1. Follow Opportunity Instead of Savoring Security.
This is the hardest one of all. Most of us were brought up to seek out and cling to the security of the 9-5 job. What happens when you mention to your family that you want to leave the security of your pension and go out on your own. They will probably advise you to be sure, to step carefully, to take your time. Some may even advise you against it completely. Are they financially independent? Did they have what it takes to go out on their own?
Are they living the life that they want? One way to avoid getting caught up in this security trap is to set a confirmed time that you will leave your job. Real worth and wealth is generated from within you. It comes from being prepared, knowing how to spot, act upon and capitalize from opportunities.
2. Making a Profit, Not a Living.
If you are still an employee, you probably know how much you will be bringing home next week. But with your own business, you have to remember to focus on making a profit and that means high sales and low overhead. No one signs your check now. To survive you must be focused on how you will make a profit today, tomorrow and next week. You must find ways to keep costs down to the exception of affecting your profit making capabilities.
3. Look For Opportunity, Not Mistakes.
Success is the result of making good decisions. Good decisions are made from good judgment. Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from bad decisions. This doesn’t mean you should try to make mistakes for experience. The key is to gain experience from the mistakes and success of others. Seek out others in your field. Study and understand why they are succeeding or failing. Don’t expect to make all the right decisions and don’t let the fear of making mistakes inhibit you from pursuing new opportunities. Those who never make mistakes are probably working for those who weren’t afraid of making them.
4. Know What People Want, Instead of Wanting What You Know.
What it all comes down to. Knowing the who, what, where and why of your target customers. The success of your business is not the sum total of the knowledge you have gained, it still is and always will be, the “sale”. Success is determined by what products sell and how well they sell. It isn’t what you know that counts, it’s what your customers want. If you lose sight of this fact, you are doomed to failure. Never lose sight of the fact that marketing your customers’ wants is your number one priority.