Entrepreneurs are the backbone of the South African economy.
Here are 15 tips to help you succeed as an entrepreneur:
- Research and understand your market. Truly understand the industry in which you operate. This will allow you to position your product or service with a competitive edge. Remember, without customers, you don’t have a business.
- Have a solid business plan. A good business plan is crucial to define your unique offering. Planning reduces risk and will keep you on track even if there are unexpected challenges on the way.
- Visualise your goals. Be very clear about what you want to achieve. If you can clearly articulate your goal, it becomes more achievable. Don’t let peripheral issues lead you astray.
- Take the risk and be willing to fail. You will never know if a business idea works unless you try. Failure can teach you how to do things differently in future. Be sure you know which risks to take and which should be avoided.
- Don’t be afraid to as questions. You don’t know everything. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and advice when you need it. The more information you have, the more informed your decisions will be.
- Challenge yourself. No one else is going to push you so you have to do it yourself. Challenges keep you on your toes and prepares you for what’s in store.
- Be passionate, motivated and positive. Love what you do. “If you do what you love, you'll never work a day in your life” - Marc Anthony.
- Don’t be afraid to work hard. Invest time and energy in your business. No one succeeds immediately and there are no shortcuts. Grit is the ability to keep working when everyone tells you that you should give up.
- Listen to client feedback. Make sure you listen to your clients’ feedback to improve your offering. Your customers’ complaints are how you identify your business’s weaknesses. Make sure you know your client’s needs best and deliver more than expected.
- Be careful with your money. Resist the urge to splurge and manage your cash-flow efficiently. Be careful of debt, it can kill your business.
- Learn with your team. You cannot do it alone. Make sure you build a team to help you on the road to success.
- Never stop networking. You never know when you’ll meet a potential investor, a new employee, clients or partners at industry events. Make use of opportunities to showcase yourself and your brand.
- Research your competition. Make sure you know what other products and services are on the market. Stay abreast of developments in your market to make sure you have the competitive edge.
- Use social media. Using social media is no longer optional. It will help you build an online community around your business. Advertising and marketing on social media can attract potential customers.
- Just do it. There is never a perfect time to start a business. Take the first step, even if it’s daunting. It’s too easy to get caught up in planning and discussions. Stop talking and make it happen.