With advancing technology and the zeal to do something on your own, the world is seeing marked growth in entrepreneurship ventures and self-employed businesses in the last few years.
As per a report from dealsunny.com, one person in every 18 people had his/her own business in 2016 in the world.
However much a start-up owner believes in his visionary ideas and innovative skills, the truth is that on an average, half of all new businesses fail within the first five years.
Being a successful entrepreneur has no shortcuts and for sure there is no well-defined path to achieve those enviable profits and returns on investments. Having said that, some people start to chart the success graph from the word ‘go’ while for the majority of people the initial success is either short-lived or they never really get to celebrate the triumphs and achievements. Being a self-starter takes lots of courage and positivity, people who venture out to become entrepreneurs and tread the thorny path need to ensure that they plan well and be consistent to reach their goals. Since not many of us have the nerve to embrace the challenges of entrepreneurship, we mention here today 5 smart ways that can convert dreams into practical achievements and a profitable future.
1. Networking smartly
Networking has always worked – be it today in the digital world or before. This is one aspect of entrepreneurship that often gets neglected because socializing and networking needs a person to be extremely confident of his/her social skills and the inclination to move out of one’s comfort zone. An entrepreneur may be a very believable inventor, a technical super-guru, a result-oriented designer and engineer but when it comes to interacting with others and creating relationships with his co-entrepreneurial and the business community, employees and potential customers, building connections with people who matter – most people take the backward step because most of us are comfortable in our own zones and cocoons. Networking is a key aspect of entrepreneurship because it forms a base for future marketing and sales activities.
Solution – The tried and tested ways of networking include attending industry conventions and trade shows and being part of informal get-togethers. But this still proves to be a major issue with many self-starters, especially the ones who have just started. While it is a challenge overcoming the initial hesitation and reaching out to people, many entrepreneurs today take help from social media and other digital platforms to stay connected with human entities who can make a difference to his/her business.
There are many online sites today that help foster networks in the virtual world like LinkedIn and Twitter. Presence on sites like these have a rippling effect that helps open the door to a world full of like-minded people – people who share similar passions and interests and can fuel each other’s professional linkups and ties. One of the smartest things for a businessman to do today is to embrace new-age technology in building professional associations and relationships.
2. Ensure viable investment for the business
All businesses – small or big – need investment and start-up capital. Self-financing is undoubtedly one of the best methods but staking all your money into a single venture can be risky and stretching yourself way too much. However much impressive your business plan is and ideas look good on the paper, the practicality of it comes to the forefront only when you step into the shoes of an entrepreneur. One has to be smart here to arrange for reliable start-up capital and financing your business. There are many avenues and ways to do so and all you need to do is to go about the task in the best possible manner.
Solution – look around to discover newer methods of financing. With every economy today encouraging start-ups, there are many financing methods that were unheard of in the past but now work really well. Incubators and accelerators today are predominantly working in the industry-specific genre and they are more than just financers. They are mentors helping nurture the business during the initial phase when it is the most difficult to survive and sustain.
Look out if there are government programs that not only fund business at lower interest rates, they also come with lots of value add-ons that help a start-up during its teething years. Crowdfunding is a concept that is new and gaining popularity. It uses the digital medium to reach out to consumers and investors where the entrepreneur details his business and product ideas and requests people to either buy the product in advance or donate money. If you are able to impress people with your ideas, you can expect handsome funding direct from end customers.
3. Using Information Technology
Gone are the days when businesses could run productively for years through manual and physical processes. Today automation is a must and no doubt the smartest way to minimize costs. Using computerization techniques, software products and solutions that are custom-made for your industry or niche helps your business start on the right note. In fact, with technological advancements today, the concept of operating out of physical office space has also started to be discarded by new entrepreneurs. Technology makes all processes fast and result-oriented. IT makes things easy to track, with guaranteed accuracy and precision. While the initial cost involved in getting all systems digitized does involve financial resources, the investment is worth every dime for it helps the deliver results and performances that are close to targets and budgets.
4. Take chances more often but only when it is worth-taking
Smart entrepreneurs are trend-setters. They are people who are either leading by example today or will in the near future. Hence, they need to behave responsibly – they are accountable not only to their own self, their internal stakeholders but also their customers and the society, at large. Leonard C. Green had once told his students that,” entrepreneurs are not risk-takers. They are calculated risk-takers.” The statement says a lot. In modern times, there are ample sources of information and various means available with a businessman to take sensible decisions and he/she needs to use these means intelligently. He/she not only needs to take well-informed decisions, but also look at ways and means to mitigate the associated risks.
5. Hire the right team
Successful and smart entrepreneurs are as passionate about their work or business, as he/she is enthusiastic about getting the right people on-board as his team.
If you don’t have the time and the resources to create a new team, there are digital marketing companies that be of help to you.
Today, modern business owners look at their employees not as simply people who are being paid to do a particular job but as equal partners. It is important to realize that human resource is the most important asset in your hands. When employees are treated fairly, equally and respected for their knowledge, the entrepreneur-employee combination is unbeatable. Often self-starters think that they are self-sufficient and can achieve their goals on their own.
This concept is far from the truth though and entrepreneurs need to work proactively to get teams that are ready to engage and connect so that the overall business goals are achieved more fruitfully.
Being a successful entrepreneur takes a lot of grit and determination. What is required is that the businessman just doesn’t stop at having a vision but goes all out, smartly and judiciously to build his dream