Entrepreneurship is a funny thing. Some people SEEM to have it so figured out while others are merely getting by. If you feel like you are the one that is merely getting by, we’ll let you in on a little (or not so little) secret – no one really knows what they are doing. Entrepreneurship is about trial and error. Even the most successful people in the world with businesses worth millions or even billions, don’t have it all figured out.
There are a lot of things that entrepreneurs do and a lot of things that they also do not do, but here is your reminder that each person and each business is different. What one person does and what works for them and their business might work for you and yours. There are however certain things that we can guarantee will make the road to success just that bit easier. We have put together a list of dos and don’ts that you as an entrepreneur should, and should not, do.
Experiment, experiment and experiment some more
As an entrepreneur you cannot stay stagnant. You need to keep doing and trying new things in your business. Now, we don’t mean that you need to start creating and selling candles when your business does website design – we mean that you should be trying new things within your business. Try using a new site to design websites, try a different layout or colour scheme – just try things out of your comfort zone, but stay within your limits.
Do not be afraid to fail
Like we said, entrepreneurship is about trial and error. You might experiment and fail, and that’s okay. We hate to break it to you, but on this journey you will fail, but you will also learn extremely valuable lessons that lead you to success. So just pick yourself back up and keep going.
Trust your team
If you have a team, a co-founder or just a person helping you along the way, trust them. If someone is assigned a certain role in the business trust that they have the expertise, the knowledge and the ability to execute what needs to be done. You need to learn how to rely on other people, you cannot do it alone.
Ask for help and advice
Sometimes asking for help is the best thing that you can do. We already know that there are countless people in your circle, or even outside your circle that will lend a hand, or even an ear. Join a network of entrepreneurs that can support you regularly. It doesn’t have to be a lonely journey.
Who is your target market? What are their needs and wants? What capital do you have? Are you delivering a service or creating a product? What time do you have available? What equipment do you need? We cannot emphasise enough how important it is to do research before starting a business, and even when you’re in business.
It’s not always smooth sailing and there will be bumps in the road, but you need to remind yourself why you started in the first place. The good times will always outweigh the bad.
Be in a hurry
Don’t rush. We know you have an end goal of where you want to be, but enjoy the journey – you will get there. In the beginning you don’t need it all. You don’t need an office space, you don’t need a website, you don’t need the most expensive equipment. Start small with what you have and scale when you can.
Ignore your market
Do not ignore what your customers are asking for. Know what your target market wants and what their needs are, and make sure that you are delivering on that.
Undervalue yourself or your business
Know your worth! Imposter syndrome is a horrible thing. You don’t have to be afraid to charge what you want to charge. When saying this, also be reasonable. If you own a bakery, you can’t charge R200 for one cupcake, but you also cannot charge R5. Consider your costs, your time and profits.
Don’t be alarmed now when we say that you mustn’t work all the time. Yes, you need to put time into your business and you need to work hard, but you also need time for yourself. This is one thing that so many people struggle with because how do you not spend time on your business? It is so important. You need to take time off to recoup and think, and remember that often when you take a step back that’s when your best ideas shine through.
With all this being said – it is a personal journey that you are on. We can only offer advice that we know will work, but you need to find what works for you and for your business. Finding a balance is tough, but it can be done!