Becoming an entrepreneur is one of the most challenging and rewarding routes a person can take. While many resources exist on how to start a business, hire a team and complete technical tasks, keeping your business functional relies on other small intricacies and instincts that most entrepreneurs learn from years of experience. I’m talking about those abstract concepts that take years to learn from trial and error.
I want to share six guideposts for new entrepreneurs to help inspire you to cut down on years of learning and understand some of the specifics of running a business that are rarely talked about. If you have a business idea or you’ve recently launched, consider these tips to benefit your business long term.
Always consider an outcome.
I always teach people to think in terms of solutions. In other words, I wholeheartedly believe business owners and their teams can excel when they always have an outcome in mind when they begin a new project, hire a new vendor or even plan a small company event.
I’m going to make a bold statement: Success is far more likely to happen when you can articulate a vision. That means that no matter what you’re working on, always have an end result in mind. Pivots can happen along the way as your project changes, and that’s OK. The power comes from always working toward a goal, so before you start anything, make sure you have a destination in mind, even if you don’t quite know what route you’ll take to get there.
Put authenticity first.
When you first launch your business, your brand is going to revolve heavily around how you present yourself to potential customers and clients. For the most part, you’ll be the face of your own company, which means you get to decide how you show up each day.
The way I see it, being authentic is the best route to take. Your potential clients and customers will automatically feel more connected to you, which will make them want to work with you more. This will also build a level of trust in your customer and client base.
The best part is, when you’re being authentic, you’ll feel empowered to take accountability for any mistakes you make along the way, which will affirm the trust customers and clients put into your company.
I’m all for positive thinking. The problem lies in only seeing your business through rose-colored lenses. When you’re only looking for the good, you can miss any flaws in your business structure, projects or plans until it’s too late.
The solution is to find a healthy mix of celebrating your business’s successes and noticing its failures. This means you’ll troubleshoot without catastrophizing when necessary, and you’ll feel proud of any milestones you achieve. When you go into a new business with this mindset, you’ll already be ahead of the game.
Think of the big picture.
As humans, thinking of instant gratification is always easier than considering the long-term effects of hard work. It might feel rewarding at the moment to take extra days off at the beginning of your business venture, and sometimes that time off might be needed. When possible, though, I encourage you to choose discipline.
Create a routine, and stick to it to keep building your business from the ground up. Your future self will thank you.
Invest in your professional development.
One big thing many new business owners overlook is an investment in their own professional development, especially when their business starts taking off.
Sure, owning your own business is its own form of professional development. Beyond that, though, there are many resources that can up-level your entrepreneurship and keep your business strategies modern and fresh. It’s also a great way to network with other entrepreneurs, which can be an excellent source of learning.
You can invest in professional development in a variety of ways. A super simple method is by finding local business development organizations to join and attend their workshops. You can also join organizations in your industry that offer conferences and courses to sharpen your skills. And, of course, many online courses exist, so you don’t even have to leave your office to keep developing.
Ultimately, professional development will empower you to stay motivated and consistent in your business, so make sure to find a few sources of professional development to get started.
Being a business owner is almost always a bumpy ride. That’s why flexibility is a must-have quality in entrepreneurs.
As your business grows, you’ll have to make difficult decisions and pivot along the way. Things will not go according to plan a lot of the time, and to be successful, that’s something you’ll learn to accept. Sooner or later, you’ll be a master at rerouting your goals and going back to the drawing board.
But since you’re an entrepreneur, I’m sure you love the challenge.