A reasonable number of entrepreneurs often give up in the start-up phase for different reasons. However, if one successfully endures this phase they are guaranteed brighter days ahead. I believe that the start-up struggles are necessary to entrepreneurs. They shape you into a business monster and allows you to experiment. Thus, equipping you with skills that formal education could never offer. Therefore, to budding entrepreneurs, the future is worth all the struggles and sacrifices associated. Let us dive into sharing the nuggets that define the genesis of entrepreneurship.
Develop the right attitude
When embarking on this journey it is imperative to develop the right attitude. One should be ready to learn from everyone they meet. In short, “master the art of chewing meet and throwing away bones”. Key is to keep one’s mind open to grasp new ideas and pay attention to new innovations. On the other hand, an entrepreneur should be social and ready to network. Never hesitate to share ideas with others; the play field is not a place for the solo riders. Cooperation is necessary in entrepreneurship. Lest it slips the tongue, leadership is a golden skill and should continuously be developed together with maintaining humility.
Plan and Start with that small idea, develop and review it as you progress
Once the idea is conceived, intense research should ensue and continuously be developed behind the scenes. Quoting Abraham Lincoln; “If I had six hours to chop down a tree, I would spend the first four hours sharpening the axe.” However, as soon as one feels that he/she has fully developed his/her idea, then it is the right moment for execution and coming up with an infiltration strategy. It is mostly ideal to start small. Start with what you can afford and avoid unnecessary excuses. Test the waters and continuously keep your eye on the market. Be flexible and make necessary amendments as time goes on. Wisdom is cutting unnecessary costs and mastering the art of innovating. An innovative mindset is cultivated by continuously considering and relating to the client.
Be confident and Invest in your idea.
The entrepreneurship path is unfortunately an isolated one. You will obviously have to be the initial investor and will probably struggle to have people subscribe to your idea in the earlier days. Not everyone will be willing to help you in getting started, they have their own worries. So please understand them. Make it a habit of working and saving for your “Big Idea”. We did another article on it, check it out.
Negotiation and Strategic Partnerships
Imagine that there is this one important thing you need for your business, but it is beyond your reach. In our own case, we had to start this blog on a limited budget and we could not compromise on a website. The available option was to negotiate for a credit facility, payable after 3 months, at a certain monthly interest rate. Same applies on the magazine we are looking forward to launching, we are investing in a quality outlook. We had to negotiate another deal of 2 months designing on a credit facility payable after 3 months, at a certain monthly interest rate accompanied by a six month material designing contract. Well, that is what needed to be done to set the ball rolling and now it is.
Reinvest profits for growth
During start-up, think less of the term profit and if possible temporarily withdraw it from your vocabulary. It is wiser to recognize it as cash flow positive. Cash flow positive has to be reinvested into the business for survival and rapid growth. Why are we in business? We are in business to rapidly grow and diversify our portfolio. Focus on that.
Multitask and learn key skills
It was in late 2018 when I decided to start EntreVision. In 2019 I was on attachment, leaving home at 6am and getting back at 6pm from Monday to Friday. It was so demanding and I was required to write a log book on a daily basis and a report every month end. On the other hand, EntreVision had started to gain momentum, we were organizing our first entrepreneurial seminar. At that point I had to adopt the skills of multitasking in order to deliver a perfect event. The journey also required new skills which I had to either pay for or learn somehow. Paying for them was not an open option so I had to learn how to design simple fliers and other marketing materials. YouTube was there to guide me, and up to now I design the majority of EntreVision Marketing material.
Know the market, master what the customer needs
The only way to sustain your business is by offering customers what they really want. Know your customers and always relate to them. Think of the challenges they face in accessing or using your service and product and find ways to relieve them from such pain. Sometimes it requires asking them on how you can improve your product or service so as to stay in business. Spend time on internet to read on how your market is evolving. Go ahead and read industrial journals and any other materials that will deepen your understanding on the market. Never under estimate competition, and sometimes do not be too proud not to copy. Keep an eye on the competition and fight to be the pacesetter
Keep on innovating
The key recipe to innovation is always considering and relating to your customers. You should not be satisfied with your service or product. Continue to develop it and make the customer the King. Innovation keeps your business going on and breaks barriers. Don’t be too proud not to listen as well, ideas come in different ways. Consider everything you are fed with. It will be a good ride if your business is backed up by innovative ideas.