If you own a business or are just starting a new one, chances are you’ve heard lots of stories from fellow entrepreneurs.
There are some who seem like they have it all figured out. They have a product that consumers absolutely adore and they hired employees every entrepreneur would die to have. So consequently, their sales are growing.
On the other side of the coin, there are those who are struggling. It might have been their third try on a business venture. But slowly, they are learning the ropes and starting to get profit from their business.
Every entrepreneur has their own success story but as arbitrary as these all may seem, it all boils down to a few pointers you need to know before pursuing your business venture.
We’ve gathered 10 tips on how you can learn from and grow with your business.
In Australia alone, a new small business is started every one and a half minutes – that’s how much clutter there is in the business industry. You’re competing with hundreds of thousands of businesses in your consumer’s mind. Having an incredible brand identity will help you rise above the rest. Furthermore, your business’s identity will determine your relationship with your potential customers. If you build an identity that the consumers can relate to, they’ll form a connection with your brand. Your brand identity should be reflected in anything related to your business – from your product, to brand colours, to web design, even the tone of your message.
At the core of every successful business is an entrepreneur who has a deep understanding of what the customer wants and needs. This is one of the most important key pointers to a successful business. If you know the problems your customers are facing, you should be able to deliver the solution better than anyone else.
One of the many pitfalls new entrepreneurs fall into is assuming what the customer needs. That would be catastrophic. In order to truly know your customer, you must ask them directly. Carefully listen, then go from there. You can do this by interviewing or asking for client feedback. Go right to the source and you’ll learn a lot.
This is not to say you should disregard the best practices in the industry. They are best practices for a reason – businesses have tried them and they have worked countless times. You have to know them but you don’t have to abide by them all the time. Especially when you’re running a start-up business, it’s easy to get caught in this trap. Your every step may depend on what others say is the “best way” to do your business. At the end of the day, it’s about gaining knowledge from these best practices and using them as a jumping point. From there, use your customer insights to guide your business decisions.
Connections are as valuable as money in the business world. Go to industry conferences and approach entrepreneurs – both young and seasoned. You’ll be amazed at how much insight you’ll gain from them. In these conferences, you might meet someone in shipping, potential suppliers, or your next business partner - there’s a plethora of opportunities in these types of events. Another way to go about this is by going digital. LinkedIn is an amazing tool you can use to meet other entrepreneurs and professionals in your field.
A business cannot be run by one person. You may be tempted to do everything yourself, but in the end, you’ll be burnt out without accomplishing anything. It’s good that you want to stay on top of everything that’s going on with your business but that doesn’t mean you have to take on everything yourself. If you want a successful business, you have to hire people that are not only good at what they do but also passionate about it. If you have an amazing team that you can trust, you’ll slowly learn how to properly delegate the tasks at hand without having to micromanage them.
Your employees will look to you for direction, ideas, and inspiration in the business. If you know where you want your business to be, lead them there. Be a mentor and a role model instead of just giving commands. Leadership plays an important role in any business. You are at the centre of your business and you hold everything together. Your employees depend on you to give them guidance and motivation. Know their strengths and weaknesses and learn how these can help your business grow. Most importantly, know your employees so you can help them develop as individuals.
Brand awareness is a critical component of a successful business. One of the best ways to get brand awareness is by making yourself visible in the digital world. It’s fast and easy, and it’s relatively cheap compared to traditional marketing and advertising via TV, newspaper, or radio. Build a website and establish a presence in social media, an amazing platform especially for SMEs. By going digital, it will be easier to reach your customer thus making it easier to build a relationship with them.
Often, business owners think that spending money on marketing and advertising will be a waste but it should be viewed as an investment. The more you get your brand out there, the more people will recognize you. And if you have an amazing product paired with an awesome brand identity, that’s a sale right there. Furthermore, if you allot money on the right marketing campaign, your brand will appear as an authority in the field.
Even the most successful entrepreneurs (or anyone in any field, really) know they still have a lot to learn. If you’ve already reached your business goals, it doesn’t end there. You have to continue growing as an entrepreneur to maintain your status in the industry. New technology and innovations are being produced at lightning-speed in today’s day and age. To keep up, you have to know how to adjust to trends in the market. Every challenge should be viewed as a chance to learn more about your product, industry, and most importantly, your customer.
You can know every single 'secret' there is to know about entrepreneurship but if you never start a business of your own, you’ll never actually learn. Get right on it. If you feel like you have a product or service that’s going to sell, do it. No one will ever be perfectly ready to start a business, but if you start now, you’ll be one step closer to success.
Entrepreneurship is risky but that’s part of life. If you are bold enough to pursue your dreams, you’ll be learning, gaining knowledge and insight along the way. You won’t always get wins, but your mistakes often hold the most valuable lessons anyway. As you work on your business, you’ll learn how to improve on your past errors so you can do better the second time around.
Success doesn’t happen overnight. It is the culmination of sleepless nights writing business plans and developing products. April9 understands this journey and we are here to help you reach your business goals by integrating the latest technology into your business. For your all software, app and development needs, be sure to contact us today.