10 Lessons every entrepreneur must learn: proven methods for accelerating wealth
When you start a business, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with managing budgets, cash flow problems, and coordinating employees.
In the first two years of owning a startup, similar challenges plague every entrepreneur.
And, because you used your own capital, or worse—the banks, you can’t wait—you need to make money as quickly as possible.
But where do you start?
Your first few years of business ownership will be painful if you don’t do certain things right from the get-go.
You may get bogged down fiddling with your website and spending hours in marketing meetings.
The brutal truth?
Neither will put a dime in your pocket, unless you have a strategy.
Your ultimate goal?
You’re in business to make money—not to answer the office phone all day and type up employee responsibilities.
To be a successful entrepreneur, in the beginning, you must follow your five-year business plan, and your backed processes must run your office.
After being in business for two years, you don’t want to look back in hindsight and say, “Why did I waste all my time doing x when I should’ve been doing y?”
Unfortunately, this is the outcome for most entrepreneurs if they don’t stick to a frugal plan.
When you do things right from day one, you’ll see forward momentum quickly.
But if you do everything in this post…
You’ll brand your business for success immediately and see profits in year one. I guarantee it.
1. Passion & Perseverance
Grimly, risk, reward, and hard work are synonymous with owning a business. Just starting a new business requires bravery (and deserves applause!)
But the truth is that you can’t only depend on your desire to make money as a motivating factor—you must love what you do.
Are you a dentist turned dental software seller? Do you love tech and practice management? Or maybe you’re a grape farmer turned winemaker. Do you savor good wine?
“Working hard for something we don’t care about is called stress; working hard for something we love is called passion.”Simon Sinek
When the real profits haven’t arrived yet, your love for the product or what you do will help you stick with it.
To be a successful business owner, you need patience, perseverance, a no-quit attitude, and, most importantly—passion for your product.
2. Have a plan in place
Do you know what your business goals are for next quarter? Or if your budget allows for a second accounts clerk?
Because a business plan details your next steps as a business, it allows for fewer outcomes to be left to chance.
Making quick decisions can be haphazard and not in line with your business’s strategic direction.
Do you have a business plan? Do you follow it?
3. Learn to love change
Things have never happened faster in the world as they do today, and that includes in business.
Adaptability or an inability to adapt can make or break your business.
Remember Toys R Us?
As a business owner, you can never become complacent; you must always think of new ways to improve your product and keep up with trends. It’s also important to do market research and watch your competitors… because they’re watching you.
Not only should your business show adaptability, but your employees must embrace change, too.
“Leaders need to adapt as they move between roles in their career. They also need to flex constantly within any given role, as they lead their people and organization in a continually changing world.”Mark Wheatley
If you don’t like switching things up regularly, your business will struggle and not survive. Not only should you be able to change your product or service quickly, but your team must also be adaptable to internal company changes, such as unscheduled meetings, new processes, restructuring, etc.
And if your business is the first to jump on a trend—you’ll reap all the rewards.
4. People, process, & product—the 3 Ps in business
And how you manage the 3 key variables will determine the success of your business. You need to learn to manage all 3 synergistically to yield maximum returns.
People include, of course, your workforce, customers, vendors, suppliers, shareholders, etc. You need to hire the right people, at the right time, put them in the right roles, and create an environment that helps employees perform at their best. And you need to do all this while treating everyone equally and with respect.
Without people (can you imagine!) your business will have low innovation, low motivation, and robotic order fulfillment.
And without clients—people—who would buy your products and services?
“People” is undoubtedly the most important P. So manage your people right.
If you’re the owner of the business but also act as the manager, you need to increase efficiency in all areas of the business.
For example, if you manage a car wash, you need to find which fewest steps yield the best results. Without watertight processes (no pun intended), it will be difficult to scale the business.
No processes in a business will result in uncertainty, chaos, and a lack of innovation.
From how your secretary answers the phone to how your product is delivered, make sure your processes are on point and on time.
Your product, along with the products and services you offer, includes your business’ image and branding. Every day you need to ask yourself how you can make your product more unique and useful.
“People reinforce the process. Process reinforces the product. Product reinforces the people. On and on this goes in a spiral that—if managed correctly—moves in an upward direction and leads to sales and success.”bondcollective.com
You need to constantly improve your product and evaluate its characteristics—sizing, pricing, packaging, etc.
Most importantly, consider your customers’ feedback when rolling out an improved or updated version of your product.
Managing your business image will be easy if you manage the 3 Ps correctly.
5. It’s not about your resources; it’s about your resourcefulness
Imagine you’re in a foreign country.
You need to give a presentation in 20 minutes, but your new laptop doesn’t have PowerPoint…
Could you still make it work?
A resourceful person is one that is able to manage with what they have available to them. Resourcefulness is a crucial leadership skill for entrepreneurs.
If you can adapt quickly to different situations, find solutions, think creatively—congratulations, you’re resourceful!
6. The art of persuasion
Want to influence clients and motivate employees?
The psychology behind persuasion is listening and empathy.
But if you struggle with interpersonal skills… You can always cheat:
As an entrepreneur, you’ll need to learn how to get what you want; how to sell, how to encourage employees, and, most importantly—how to convince a client to buy your product and not your competitor’s.
If you can persuade people easily, you’ll always have a job.
7. Know when to hire staff
A big mistake you can’t afford to make is trying to do all the work yourself.
If you do, you’ll become a crazy, irritable person and, eventually, shut down your business. And this is because you’ll suffer burnout if you put every function in the company on your shoulders.
One word: delegate.
Approach a recruitment company to screen and interview potential candidates. This will be at no extra cost to you—the fee for finding a suitable employee is included in the salary package of the employee, so you won’t need to pay extra.
Your main goal is to focus on business profits—not get bogged down with invoicing, answering telephone calls, or writing up pages and pages of standard operating procedures. Nowadays, secretaries wear many hats. And a competent secretary easily functions as a PA, an office administrator, and a debtors and creditors clerk.
The number for Kelly Recruitment is 0755568885.
8. Higher people smarter than you
You don’t want the ceiling of your business’ success to be limited to only what you know.
How clued up are you about accounting and tax-deductible expenses? How about tech and websites?
Your job is to manage a team that specializes in their respective fields, but you shouldn’t be the smartest person in the room. Hire people who are curious, open-minded, witty, creative, and emotionally intelligent.
As an entrepreneur, you need to know about marketing.
From day one, make sure you set up a website and add your business to at least one social media platform.
“Marketing informs your customers about the products or services you’re offering them.”business2community.com
As your business becomes more established, you can hire a full-time marketer to create brand awareness and make your business stand out.
Until then… You’re responsible for getting your customers to know about the value of your products.
10. Time management
Good time management involves conscious planning and thoughtful decision-making.
Managing your time will be easier if you diarize or schedule your tasks. And if you have a business plan in place, your plan highlights what should be achieved and when. To make the plan come to life, tasks filter down to your staff to achieve monthly, weekly, and daily outcomes based on the business plan.
The key to successful time management is planning. Stick to your goals and milestones as set out in your business plan.
The bottom line
As an entrepreneur myself, my #1 recommendation to new business owners is to stick with it—don’t quit.
It’s easy to get consumed with running a company—being busy—but make little profits. A smart business owner knows when to start a business, when to scale a business, and when to close a business.
However, if you do close a business, likely, you didn’t stick to the lessons on this list, because these simple steps are a no-fail plan to success.
You see, your goal isn’t to “run a business”. Your goal is to make a profit, scale a business—and make your first million.
Now listen. Astoundingly, 90 percent of new business owners fail because they quit. Before they ever have the opportunity to reach success… they give up.
So, I’m not going to discuss the “what ifs” with you. Your “what ifs” smell like fear and are based on lies and an evil reality that exists in an alternate world—a world where nothing you do results in a positive outcome or a bright future… a world that’s not real.
25 percent of new businesses make it to 15 years or more. They succeed.
So, let’s only consider one “what if”…
What if you’re one of the 25 percent?