As a fledgling entrepreneur, it’s an exciting and opportunistic time to enter the marketplace, but it’s not all fun and games. See Jesse Alex’s story here. You’re passionate and driven, and you’ve got a killer idea, so it’s time to strap yourself in and prepare for the (usually) bumpy road ahead. Take some time out (because you won’t have any in the foreseeable future), and consider some of the following points. Ready? Let’s go.
Say Goodbye To A Work/Life Balance
The above does not mean it’s going to be all doom and gloom for here-on-in. However, once you’re an entrepreneur, it’s 24/7, and the title remains with you at all times (unless you decide to change your career path). It’s a commitment thing; you’ll be the driving force behind whatever it is you’re trying to get out on the market, which means taking on every job role imaginable to make that happen. Regular trips to Starbucks, setting up social media platforms and being the ideas machine will all come down to one person; you. To be successful, you need to be on top of your game, think like LeBron James, and you’re heading towards the NBA Finals; we’re talking that level of commitment. But you’re in this because you love it, you’re convinced that your idea is a game-changer, so embracing the business full-time won’t be difficult.
Fortune Favors The Bold
It’s time to be brave, but don’t be foolish. You need to think about the gap in the market that your idea is going to satiate. You might have an exciting idea or product, but if nobody but you (and maybe your friends) would buy into it, then it’s going to fizzle away into nothing. If you’re confident in your plan, then run with it; explore its potential and make bold decisions. Be sure to check out successful entrepreneurs and get inspiration from the actions they took to get where they are. Never try to copy or imitate, a unique idea and bold approach are what’s going to ignite the market. It’s time to be a trailblazer!
Make Your Ideas Tangible
There’s absolutely no time to waste; somebody else could be out there with a similar idea, making their creation a reality. Less pondering and more action, making sure it’s a one step at a time approach so that each task is completed properly before the next one is taken on. You’ve already got all your ideas together, your brand identity and now it’s time to bring in the professionals to make what you’ve been thinking about since last fall. There are an array of experts to help build your finished product, companies like Mindflow Design can develop and hone your design ideas, before bringing them to fruition. When you’re able to hold what you’ve been working on for so long in your hands, you can finally show it off. This is a great excuse to grab a beer and celebrate (remember that work/life balance?).
Be Proud And Shout About It
Whatever you’ve created, it’s not going to make any impact if it’s sat in your mom’s kitchen on the counter. Stay motivated and focused when it comes to the avenues you take to get your business noticed. Research the best routes for your brand and make a conversation happen. The only way you’re going to be able to see if your product sells is to get it out in stores and trying to sell it. Ensure you have enough stock to meet demands; if a department store wants more than you currently have, then go and get them made; ASAP. It’s important to keep the energy levels up within your brand, so the audience will take notice and share your enthusiasm. Instead of looking into any weaknesses (we’re sure you hardly have any), focus on all your strengths; you’re acutely aware of these and should be able to use them advantageously, with ease. You’re still very much on that bumpy road we were chatting about earlier, so obstacles are almost a certainty; however, if you can change them into an asset, your business will keep growing in strength (like Hulk, but less green). Find some inspirational success stories here. Be loud, be proud and make it available.
Understand It Won’t Always Revolve Around You
So you’ve managed to penetrate the market (congratulations), in order to build upon what you have and push it further, you’ll have to think about relinquishing some of your power. This can be a difficult step for any CEO; as you’ve been there from the very start (remember those trips to Starbucks), tweaking and micromanaging your project. However precious your product is to you, if you’re ready for expansion, you can’t continue to be part of every single task at hand. It’s time to hire people and create your trusted dream team. Trusting that you’ve hired wisely, start trusting your team members immediately and let them have a real say in their area of the company. You don’t need to say goodbye and jet off to Hawaii anytime soon, but allowing the decision making to fall to them will encourage them and bring out their best ideas. You need this to happen in order for your company to expand at any kind of speed and you’ll still be directing the overall route the business takes.
If your business isn’t working; be prepared to try a new approach. Keep listening to your consumer; they are what can guarantee your success. It’s a tough blow when something just isn’t right, but that’s what you hired your team for. It’s important to keep stepping back and taking a look at your company from the outside-in, this will make it easier to implement change where needed, or even scrap a bad idea entirely. As a fresh entrepreneur you must keep learning; learn from your peers, your mistakes, your successes and from those who have done it all before you. Once you’ve got your “entrepreneur” lid on, there’s no taking it off.