from Inc.com Zine 30 March 16 enhanced by Peter/CXO Wiz4biz
The reasons are many, whether the business offers products or services that nobody wants or has poor leadership. To succeed, one must have an optimal mix of strength, persistence & patience . I know the struggles well. I feel it’s always best to pay it forward and share what has made my business a success today. Here are eight (8) essential tips that were vital to me, and to which I directly attribute my recognition by CNBC as the 2015 Entrepreneur of the Year for West Africa.
1. Get Started Now. As my business Wakanow grew, more & more young entrepreneurs began asking me for advice. But only about 10 % of them had actually started their respective businesses. Before you go any further, “Get started now”. The philosophy is simple. The ones who stall either don’t believe in their ideas 100 %, are afraid of rejection or don’t have enough passion. I had the idea for my business in my head for a while, but wasn’t able to fully pursue it until I had retired from the NBA. From there, I wasted no time. I immediately got things in motion. If I had waited, other distractions would have surely surfaced that would have pulled me away from my idea.
2. Study the Industry / Competition. Research is a must for any entrepreneur in any industry. But for true success, this education must be on-going. Learn by studying everything about your industry, including top competitors, publications & current trends. When I began my business, I read everything about the travel industry and studied online travel giants like Travelocity & Expedia. Besides following the PR of these companies, I set up Google “alerts” to know when either was mentioned in the news. Most of these articles were from a business perspective, which can help with strategic planning.
3. Sharply Focus on your Purpose. Clarity is key to success in just about anything, and an absolute must during the startup phase of any business. Keep a precise focus on the task at hand, which is hopefully prioritized from a well-thought-out business strategy. During the beginning stages of my business, I successfully employed this tactic. When creating my Website, I was so focused that I was able to assist in polishing the user experience for smoother transitions throughout the site.
4. Build a Strong Team. You are truly only as strong as your team. Keep this in mind when you began building out your team. Search for people who have showed progress and achieved (or super-seded) goals + quickly ascended through the ranks at past jobs. A resume is only a starting point. The next measurable vitals will arrive during the interview. How’s the candidate’s attitude? Does their knowledge match their resume credentials? Would you want the interviewee talking with your top client? You need to trust these people with your business, which is basically your brand, your reputation. I used this guidance when hiring, and 95 % of those employees are still there.
5. Prioritize Daily Tasks and schedule the toughest tasks for the mornings, when your brain is freshest. When I wake up early every day & plan my day. I sit down without any distractions and prioritize tasks based on challenge levels. From there, I start doing tasks – one by one. Though distractions are always inevitable in life, try to keep the schedule of daily tasks on track.
6. Embrace Change. One of the unexpected challenges of a startup is the willingness to accept change. Young entrepreneurs spend serious amounts of energy creating strategies, and are usually so focused, that un-expected changes can quickly throw them for a loop. But to be successful, learn to embrace these changes, even if that means re-structuring your entire business model. Keep up with all trends, and adapt to make things easier for the customer–even if you’re rock solid on something you’ve been using for years and can work with your eyes closed.
7. Always make Room for your Life. As entrepreneurs, our schedules are packed with everything business. Make sure to also include time for exercise, family, friends & fun. Maybe you can go for a jog or a long walk. It will help with your overall health + you might get some great ideas from a relaxed brain. Besides increasing your body’s health, exercise also improves your mental state. Make sure to get a generous amount of personal time & exercise every week. It’ll not only help strengthen you both mentally and physically, it’ll also help your business with the extra energy you have.
8. Hang in there thru Trials & Tribulations. This tip is easy: “Never give up !!! If you believe in your idea or product, push on regardless of obstacles. Some people may tell you your crazy or say you’re wasting your time, but don’t take this criticism to heart. Turn it around and use it as energy to prove them wrong. Always remember–the best time is now. So get moving with that great idea and see where leads.
Comments: Do you have any Advise for 1st time Entrepreneurs?