1. Do your research
You are not going to know everything at first, so be prepared to do A LOT of research. Good news is… that there is an abundance of information everywhere nowadays, use it and leverage it.
When I first started my online marketing business, it was completely new to me. The first couple of months were spent teaching myself all the ins and outs of online marketing. I taught myself using various resources like the FourPercent, Group Adwords, Google, Youtube, Blogs, Books, and through trial and errors.
Teaching myself new skills took a lot of patience and time. Many times, the whole process became stressful and overwhelming. However, with practice, consistency, and dedication, it all begun to make sense. I have proved to myself over and over again that success is just around the corner. That even when you fall along the way, you just have to keep going to achieve it.
2. Self Development
“Whether you THINK YOU CAN,
or you THINK YOU CAN’T,
When starting a business, you are constantly learning and developing your personal and business skills. It is key to stay curious, read a lot of books, follow influential people in niche markets, listen to podcasts, attend webinars, join groups on Facebook, the options are endless.
Here are some skills that new entrepreneurs will end up learning:
- Market research skills– to understand the market you are entering and stay abreast of market developments, customer preferences, and the actions of your competitors.
- Money management skills– to forecast when you expect your business to breakeven, understand your financial position at any point, and asses the financial implications of any business decision you make
- Marketing and sales skills– to promote your products or services effectively and reach your break-even target sales as soon as possible
- Social skills– to help you manage and motivate your staff and deal with customers
- Negotiating skills– to ensure you’re able to strike the best deal when dealing with suppliers or other contracts
3. You are probably going to fail through the process
I say this not to be discouraging, but to be realistic. There is a risk in everything, including building a business. It is important to recognize that failure is part of the journey. The crucial part is how you choose to deal with it.
Learn from your mistakes, and keep pushing forward.
”It’s fine to celebrate success, but it’s more
important to heed the lessons of failure”
4. Now, don’t give up!!!
You are going to want to give up. You’re going to want to give up many times. You’ll probably want to quit so much, that you… probably will. Most people do.
The question is will you?
If you can make it past the point of wanting to quit and not doing it, you have better chances of having success in your business. That is what separates a true entrepreneur from those who just want to become one.
Don’t let failures bring you down. Think of it as having found one more way that doesn’t work.
5. Mentors Empower!
I would strongly advise you to find a mentor. Mentors share there failures and success stories to help others others on their journey.
Here are some reasons why having a mentor is very important:
- Mentors can challenge you to think and ask questions you haven’t even thought of
- They have already invested so much time, money, experience, sweat and tears in what it takes to run a successful business
- Mentors are connectors that have networks beyond your experience
- They provide you with information that is not shared in books
- Having a mentor there from the start, gives you access to a wealth of knowledge that gets you up to speed faster while shortening the learning curve
6. “You need to spend money, to make money”
Let’s be real.
Investing in a business is going to take money. You should be prepared to spend money, and also to protect it as the valuable resource it is. There is a lot of impact that you can make by investing in marketing by buying advertisements. If you want to grow your company, you are going to need to spend money on advertising to get faster results.
“Price is what you pay,
value is what you’ll have”
– Warren Buffet
7. Business plan
A business plan is like a road map, taking your business where it needs to go. Many start-ups fail for many reasons (inadequate product, high costs, lack of customer service), but one main reason is because of a weak business plan.
The following should be considered when writing a business plan:
- Executive Summary– This is your mission, your vision, your purpose
- Target Market- Who are your product/service intended for? Send surveys, gather demographic, interests + budgets.
- Market Analysis- Defines your competitors, and their
strengths +weaknesses? Competitive advantage- why are they different?
- Human Resources– Will you need additional staff to run your business?
What would you pay them? How much experience? What skills do they
need to have?
- Vendor/Suppliers- What supplies will you use on a regular basis? Will you
require outside sources or project to operate?
- Operations- How are you going to start/run your business? What is the
most efficient and effective way to get the job done?
- Financial Projections- How much money do you need to start/run the
business? Determine the profitability of your company
While you can’t guarantee the outcome of any new venture, you can stack the odds in your favor. These are seven lessons I’ve learned over time and countless others are out there. If you’re open, you can gain wisdom from everything you try and gather insight from fellow entrepreneurs.
What do you wish you knew when you started your first business?