Starting your own company or business is something many of us dream of. There is just something about it that makes it challenging and worthwhile. Of course, every entrepreneur wants to be successful. But how do you do that? How do you go about building your own enterprise? Start-ups go bankrupt daily. The competition is fierce and raising capital can be difficult and hard. Low profit margins and trend-sensitivity are the most important reasons start-ups don’t make it past the initial stages of building a business.
In this article we listed 10 tips to build your start-up and to make your business more successful. Both in the Netherlands and abroad. If you’re looking to increase your chances of success, read through these tips and start applying them today!
Tip 1: Forge a strong mindset
Most of the time we unconsciously stop ourselves from doing what we really want to do. Forging a strong and positive mindset enables us to battle those subconscious beliefs. Our brain’s memory stores all our positive and negative beliefs. Trauma, childhood experiences, external influences and peer groups all play a huge role in the development of limiting beliefs. Taking notice of these beliefs and addressing them is an important first step in the process of becoming a more successful entrepreneur.
For example, the believe that “the customer is not waiting for my call” does not help if you want to recruit new customers over the phone. Start from the positive conviction that many companies are looking for your product or service and act accordingly.
Tip 2: Think Success
Building success starts with successful thinking. Start thinking in the direction of your goals, with success as your guide and measure, and act accordingly. Gauge your progress on a regular basis and keep adjusting your thoughts so they are in line with your goals at any point in time. By doing this repeatedly, you carve out a new ‘success’ habit that gets engrained in your subconscious behaviors. The more enthusiastic and passionate we are about something, the more emotional impact this has and the more likely we are to follow through. Thinking about your success with enthusiasm and conviction will drastically increase the likelihood of you reaching your goals.
Tip 3: Be specific
Many beginning entrepreneurs start off with a vague idea of what they want to accomplish. It’s very important you take the time to sit down and really think about what exactly it is you want to achieve. Write down specific goals using the SMART* principle and think about where you want to take your company in the next five years. Then design a clear vision and step by step plan to reach those goals.
*SMART is an acronym for effective goal setting method that can be used for many purposes and stands for:
Specific: Goals must be clear and unambiguous
Measurable: Results must be measurable. Think: number of sales, amount of yearly revenue, etc
Attainable: Goals must be realistic and attainable by yourself and/or your employees
Relevant: Goals must relate to your desired outcome, vision and mission
Timely: Goals must have definite starting and ending points, and a fixed duration
Tip 4: Focus on providing value
One of the most important things to keep in mind when starting a business is to focus on creating real value for people. Ripping people off or designing a bad service or product can be a way to make quick money initially (conartists do this for instance), but this is almost always guaranteed to fail, next to being just plain unethical. Be sure to put enough time and effort into your design to make sure it reflects your highest standards. Real value can be hard to create in the beginning, but this approach definitely pays off in the long run. Focusing on giving back to your customers and showing involvement and engagement can speed up the process of becoming a successful entrepreneur.
Tip 5: Create a mastermind group
You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. That is why you want to focus on surrounding yourself with hardworking, likeminded people, who share the same passion and want to build something in their life. Creating your own mastermind group with a select group of people whom you can consult, ask for feedback or discuss important topics with. It is a great way to benefit from the power of social influence and other people’s points of view and experience.
Tip 6: 80% do, 20% learn
The Pareto principle is originally an economic principle. It states that 80% of the wealth in the world is owned by 20% of the people. However, this principle applies to a wide range of topics, ranging from performance, to diet, to health and personal finances. In the case of building a business the principle states that, in order to reach your goals you have to focus 80% of the time you spend working actually DOING stuff, and reserve 20% for learning. Results get achieved by doing. Learning can be a great way to expand your knowledge on a particular topic. But the real progress is in the doing. For every hour you spend reading or watching new content, spend 4 hours actually doing things. Contacting people, sending emails, writing content (if you own a website for instance), and taking practical steps to move your company forward, are all ways to spend your time in a way that will push your entrepreneurial endeavors in the right direction.
Tip 7: Play to your strengths, outsource your weaknesses
Focusing on what you are good at and doubling down on those skills (instead of trying to fix the things you’re not good at) is a very powerful way to start and build your business. This will ensure you have a solid foundation that allows for higher quality products and/or services (since you’re already good at it) and provides you with an edge over the competition. Honing your already strong skills will be easier than spending hours on fixing your weaknesses. Besides, the world is filled with people who are good at all sorts of things. If there is something you’re not good at, chances are there is someone else who is. Find these people and add them to your team, or outsource the work you’re unable to perform yourself.
Tip 8: Develop a clear vision
Without a clear destination, the journey can never succeed. The vision you develop is based on the beliefs and mindsets you have. By thinking about your vision and goal as often as possible, you prime your subconscious mind and it will start working for you. Visualizing your vision regularly accelerates this process. By doing this you will start seeing opportunities where you’ve never seen any before. You will be more likely to take action accordingly.
Tip 9: Choose the right source of capital
Raising capital can be quite difficult when you’re just starting out. Banks are very cautious to give out large amounts of money. Most of the time you will need to come up with a clear and attainable plan, strong arguments, hard numbers and a clear vision if you want to lend some money from them.
Luckily there are many different ways to raise capital for your startup:
– Angel Investors
– Family and friends
– Crowdfunding platforms
Deciding which platform you will use to raise money depends on factors like risk, amount needed, volatility, etc. Be sure to look up the pros and cons of each platform and choose the best possible option for your particular startup.
Tip 10: Be diligent and have patience
Building a business takes time. Everyone is focused on quick fixes these days. Unfortunately, there is no shortcut to success. Everyone that tries to convince you otherwise is either lying or naive. You will need to put in enough work on a consistent basis in order to build your brand. Your company and your product/service. Remind yourself of this, and be aware that you will have to commit 100% if you want to make sure your project doesn’t fall flat on its face. This is the harsh reality. The sooner you accept this, the sooner you’ll reach the success you’re looking for.
Starting your journey as an entrepreneur can sometimes be overwhelming and paralyzing. But building a successful business is something you need to take very seriously. Success doesn’t come overnight and it will require a lot of effort. However, if you take these 10 tips to build your startup into consideration, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a successful entrepreneur.
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