6 Essential Strategies to Thrive as a Brand-New Entrepreneur
There's a certain appeal to being your own boss that draws people into entrepreneurship, but starting out on your first entrepreneurial endeavor can be a daunting prospect. It's easy to plague yourself with doubts and thoughts of failure. Fortunately, there are some strategies you can utilize as a new entrepreneur that can help you succeed, even thrive.
Chances are that if you're just starting out, you have fairly limited financial resources. It's always wise to make smart decisions about how you spend your money, but it's even more critical if your funds are limited. Some things are important for you to prioritize and spend money on. Organizing your business can have some fees associated with it.
Making sure you have the tools and supplies you need for your operations is also necessary. It's important to invest in good digital marketing if you want your business to grow. On the other hand, there are business-related expenses that are less important. You probably don't need to be paying for a traditional office space. Coworking spaces can be a much more affordable option. Branded swag may be fun, but it doesn't produce measurable marketing results, so marketing dollars are better spent elsewhere.
Establish Your Online Presence
An online presence is critical for an entrepreneur. No other avenue allows you to connect as quickly with so many people. Establishing an online presence can be done in multiple ways. Start by creating a business website. Your website should be user-friendly and informative. Make it clean, pleasant to look at, and professional. It may be the first impression people have of your business, so make it a good one.
Claiming online business listings helps build your online presence and makes it easier for consumers to find you. If you have a brick and mortar location, claiming local business listings can help you build a local customer base. Of course, it would be foolish to discount social media. Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter are all great platforms for businesses, each with their own things you should share and ways to boost your presence.
Have a Plan for Growth
Having a plan for growth is important to your success as an entrepreneur. A good business plan will guide your business's growth and development. Your business plan should start with outlining what your expectations are for your company. It should describe your business and what it offers consumers. It should also include a market analysis that outlines where the market is likely to go and how your business will fit into the market. Including your competition into your analysis is also wise. Your plan should outline your financial needs, sales plans and projections, and how you plan to market your business. This can help guide your business's growth, and help you identify opportunities to advance.
Network, Network, Network
Networking is a great strategy for entrepreneurs. Networking helps build connections and partnerships. It can help a business gain more customers as well, and help you establish yourself better in your industry. Grow your professional network to build relationships and gain access to a more diverse set of resources. When building your network, it can be tempting to focus on what your network can do for you, but that may be a mistake. People can usually pick up on when someone is only interested in what others can do for them, and that usually makes them less interested in connecting with you. Instead, see what you can offer others. People are more interested in helping you if you express an interest in helping them first. Once you've established your network and built up those relationships, you can start to leverage them for the benefit of you and your business.
Being an entrepreneur is hard. It's easy to get discouraged, and at times giving up may be an appealing option. Giving up won't lead to success, of course, so you need to develop a resilient mind. The mindset you have as an entrepreneur makes a difference in whether or not you succeed. There are a few mindsets you would do well to develop. Learn to take ownership of and responsibility for your actions and your ability to live with intention. Be success-oriented, but not so focused on success that you become blind to obstacles and pitfalls. Along with that, however, it's also important to learn to value failures. Failures offer an excellent opportunity to learn and grow. In fact, it's arguably the fastest way to learn, if you take advantage of the opportunities it presents. Develop a genuinely selfless, giving mindset. There's a reason people believe in karma and that there are multiple sayings about how what goes around comes around. Examine yourself and what you have to offer and come to a real understanding of your value. Develop a strong focus on your reason for what you're doing. Remembering and focusing on your "why" will be a critical factor in keeping you going during difficult times.
Find a Mentor
Trailblazing can be exciting. It's a huge challenge, but finding success can be that much sweeter for it. Of course, there is something to be said for working smarter, not harder. If you don't have to forge your own path, if someone else has already done similar things, it's smarter to at least learn from what your predecessors have done, rather than to just go it on your own. An even better move would be to find a mentor to guide you. Mentors can be invaluable to entrepreneurs. They've already done what you're trying to do. They can see potential pitfalls that you will likely miss simply because you don't have the experience to identify them yet. They can identify opportunities for success that you are likely to miss for the same reason. Not just anyone can be your mentor though. It's important to find a good mentor for you. Taking the time to find a good mentor will be well worth the effort.
Starting out as an entrepreneur can be an uphill journey. There are strategies you can use to improve your chances of success. That isn't to say that it will be easy going. You will still face setbacks and even failures. By utilizing strategies that can help you succeed, however, you will be in a better position to use those setbacks and failures as a learning experience and become even better.
Need some help in your entrepreneurial journey? Meet up with one of our mentors!