Month: January 2020

Qualities Of A Successful Entrepreneur

Unwavering passion

In my opinion, being an entrepreneur demands commitment and dedication. If you are mildly passionate about your products or services, you will not succeed. When you start a business, there will be many challenges. You will face a lot of highs and lows. You will have to find something that keeps you motivated to work in order to build true wealth for yourself.

Open-mindedness

Successful entrepreneurs are open-minded people. They are constantly trying to learn new things from new people. They are not afraid to ask for help and they are flexible. Successful entrepreneurs are also able to soak up the best practices used from other people like a sponge. The fear of failure can make it easy to hold onto your vision with tight grip.

The desire to become an expert

Successful entrepreneurs like challenges. If they did not, they would probably choose another line of work. When you spend many years in the same industry, you will eventually know everything about it. Knowing what has been done before can help you recognize how to move forward. In the mean time, I suggest that you build relationships with people, so you can gain some support when you decide to launch your business. The relationships you build with people along your journey to success is invaluable.

A forward-thinking approach

In my opinion, successful entrepreneurs are always thinking ahead. Sometimes they may step away from the road map, but they always come back and continue to push forward. If you have a clear set of goals that are established, the chance of you getting stuck in the process is very slim.

Ideas that constantly flow

Successful entrepreneurs do not rest on one project. They constantly ask themselves, “what’s next?”. They understand that being a businessman or woman is a lifestyle choice and not a destination.

Persistence

Persistence is the gold quality of character. Do not allow failure to steer you off your path. Make it a habit to push forward no matter what the outcome is. Every time you encounter a bad situation, correct it and move on.

Integrity

This quality is the most respected quality, in my opinion. You must do right by the people around you and the people you sell to. You must keep your word and deliver quality product to your market.


Entrepreneurial Leadership

After emptying the contents, he straps on a rocket, puts wheels on his feet, and lays down railroad tracks along the road the Road Runner is going to come down. He dons his helmet and waits eagerly. Without hesitation, the Road Runner appears in a flash and stops and gives his customary greeting – “Beep Beep.” And, off he goes. The coyote, ready to pounce, lights his rocket and bends into position and the fuse goes out. It is a dud! As he stands up in complete frustration and takes off his helmet, WHAM! He is hit by a train coming down his tracks. Who is the conductor? Beep Beep! That’s right, his nemesis, the Road Runner.

I always laugh to myself. But, it also reminds me what Will Rogers said, “It’s not enough to be on the right track. You’ll get run over if you just sit there.” Many entrepreneurs feel this reality when they are beginning their businesses. The question is often asked, “How do I get my business off the ground?” The truth is, after finally quitting your job, and launching out after your dream, it is not enough to just get started. If you can’t get that business humming and get the cash flowing, then you are just sitting there; and failure is your destiny.

How do you get it going? I have discovered that succeeding in business is like getting a plane in the air. The secret to getting a plane off the ground is overcoming the law of gravity by replacing it with the law of aerodynamics and lift. Therefore, if you want to improve cash flow in your business, then you have to improve productivity by getting the results that produce lift. Lift is that force that moves your idea from a hobby to a hustle.

There are four things that you must do to break the gravity that is holding your idea to the ground:

  • Lean on the gas.
  • Inspect the gauges.
  • Focus on tracking straight.
  • Transition by changing the trajectory.

Simply put, there must be massive action employed in the business that is immediately evaluated with corrective actions taken according to the critical feedback. You must also focus your attention and not veer to the left or right by the distractions of life. And finally, you must change your trajectory by aiming all this energy towards a goal that is massive enough to stretch you into a new dimension. Those are the key fundamentals to getting your business flying!


Avoid Failures Of Startup Companies

Well the top one among the contenders in the list is the lack of planning at the core. This reason is further characteristic of smaller companies, which tend to move with the flow and are not clear about their own vision. As for the larger ones, lack of planning often implies over or under assumptions. They plan but are usually misguided or misled by the new situations, over optimism and lack of experience. The difference is that of between theory and practical. What seems right on paper falters in practical. The goals are either too deviated or have little in common with the resources.

The second in the list and indeed fallout of improper planning is the drained cash flow. Lack of substantial cash to manage dealings gives a chance to creditors to impose bankruptcy or insolvency. To avoid such adverse situations, it is best advised to have a reserve and make sure that the required funds for maintaining a comfortable cash flow are in place, even if that requires an extensive budgeting or thinning the entire structure.

Among others that follow, an important determinant is the company’s logistic and inventory planner vis-à-vis the marketing strategy. A hasty marketing strategy accompanied by over production can easily lead to a situation when your gods are lying idle in the ware houses and you of course have no idea of how to deal with them.

Over delegation or extremely centralized operations also fall in the lead among other reasons for failure. Many aspiring owners, have little clue as to when should they leave a particular decision for their managers to decide. It is important to sleep over few things and let the experts decide rather than being over involved at every step.

The absence of a devil’s advocate among the management team i.e. someone who has the sense and power to negate the wrong also acts as an important contributor of the failure. Many bosses are too weak to accept the fall-outs and therefore do not leave a spot for devil’s statement in the board which leaves little scope for success.


Ways to Enjoy Your Work

WORK FOR YOURSELF

The second factor that plays an important role in your enjoyment of work is to Work for Yourself or become your own boss.

If I would have to give you the number one reason to work for yourself, it would be that you would have more freedom and flexibility in your life, as you could create your own working hours and have more time to enjoy other things outside of work.

DIFFERENCE

The third factor of enjoying your work is to truly make a Difference to people’s lives with your work. How many businesses out there truly make a positive difference to people?

Maybe McDonald’s is one of them? (Just Kidding)

Whether or not you work for yourself for someone else, try to find something that you can actually see that you are making a positive difference to people’s lives.

For example helping people grow their businesses, become happier, live healthier lives and so on.

BALANCE

The fourth factor to enjoy your work is to find Balance between your work and your free time. Learn to find your optimal working times and conditions.

If you’re working too hard and for long hours, you’re probably too stressed to enjoy your work, but not only that, it’s affecting the time outside of your work too.

In this scenario try to cut down your working time (provided you work for yourself) while maintaining the quality of your work and accomplishing what needs to be done within allocated time periods.


Find Funding For Startup

Consider Your Niche

If your idea has something special, you may find it easier to get funding. As a matter of fact, there are grants that are given to specific business ideas only. So, if you have a solid idea, you may find it easier to apply for a grant.

You can also gain another benefit if you define your niche. As you apply for funding, make sure you summarize your niche in a few words. This will help you set your business apart from your competition.

Look For a Grant

As far as looking for funding goes, the best thing is a grant. You can get money free of charge and this money can lift your business. The fact of the matter is that locating and getting the grant is a hard nut to crack. But if you don’t try, you won’t be able to get the required money.

Actually, grants are based on the demographics and the business theme. For instance, grants are given for women, minority business owners and so on. So, if you want to apply, all you have to do is clean your keyboard and begin typing.

Go For a Contest

Entering a contest is another way of getting funds for your business. For instance, the Amazon Web Services Start-up Challenges offers rewards on an annual basis. In the same way, MIT also offers a considerable amount of rewards.

If you want to increase your chances of getting success in these contests, we suggest that you look for ways to make yourself more prominent.

Crowdfund Your Idea

If you want to get funds for your startup, we suggest that you check out sites, such as Indiegogo and Kickstarter. Over the past few years, Crowdfunding has increased in popularity and has got immense attention from businesses as well as investors. And this popularity has resulted in an increase in competition. So, if you can make your business stand out from the crowd, you can achieve success and beat the competition.

Take a Loan

If you have a small business to run, you can apply for a loan. You can choose from different specialized options, such as loans and microloans. If you don’t want to get a bank loan, this option is an ideal one.

But if you have made your mind to get a bank loan, you may want to have the maximum amount of details about your business. In other words, you have to let the provider know how you will pay the loan back. Ideally, it’s a good idea to try a community-based bank first.


Mistakes Entrepreneurs Make At The Outset

Crafting the strategy needs time and thought, so the owner must be patient and learn to filter the many unsolicited voices telling her how she can make money quickly. I cannot state enough how crucial it is to develop a simple strategy for the startup. This simple strategy will be the guide to carrying out the owner’s mission or purpose for doing business.

Harvard professor and author Michael Porter, says strategy must be unique. He goes on to mention that strategy:

  • by consensus is bad strategy
  • is not compromise; it’s clarity
  • is about choices
  • needs a set of uniqueness to help to differentiate you from the competition

Porter then adds that less than 25% of companies have a clear strategy.

Strategy doesn’t have to be embedded in many pages, it can and should be plain and simple.

In his 1985 book, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, the late management guru Peter Drucker (1909-2005) said entrepreneurs create something new, something different and have unique characteristics. He said McDonald’s exemplified entrepreneurship; “they didn’t invent anything any decent American restaurant hadn’t produced hamburgers for years.” Drucker continued, McDonald’s asked:

What is value to the customer?” Then they standardized the product, designed processes, and tools, drastically upgraded yields, and created a new market and a new customer.

Drucker said McDonald’s carried out entrepreneurship. Whether the entrepreneur is an existing large institution, or an individual starting her business single-handedly, the same entrepreneurship’s principles apply. “The rules are pretty much the same, the things that work and those that don’t are pretty much the same, and so are the kinds of innovation and where to look for them.”

The start-up owner often does not spend enough time finding out the value to the customer of her product or service. Neither does she spend adequate time developing and testing her strategy. Instead, she focuses on making a fast buck. That’s why it’s crucial the owner does the following:

  1. Spends time understanding who are the customers
  2. Identifies needs and wants, real and perceived, and target markets
  3. Decides how to fulfill those needs consistently and at a high standard
  4. Be patient and focus on the long-term. Research shows that family owned businesses are more successful than non family owned businesses because the former take a long view when making decisions.

Other things owners are doing wrong include:

  • Listening to too many people with divergent views about the business
  • Trying to “save” money by not getting needed resources to produce consistently high-quality goods and services
  • Not taking enough time to raise adequate funds in the “proper” form. Often, they take loans from family and friends without stating clearly risks involved and repayment terms.


Business Skills

Patience

In entrepreneurship, it cannot be doubted that patience is key. You need to have patience and understand that entrepreneurship is a journey that can’t be completed in a single day.

Tenacity

Tenacity, or as referred to in other terms, persistence is a skill that is necessary for entrepreneurship success. Sometimes things don’t go your way and you’ll need to keep on pushing.

Empathy

Entrepreneurs are problem solvers. The only way you can ever be motivated to keep on fighting in order to help solve a person’s problem is if you see it as your own, which is why empathy is so important.

Leadership

At one point or the other, as an entrepreneur, you are going to be required to lead which makes having this skill a must. You will have to be able to influence and help people move towards a certain direction.

Management

Management is key to being a successful entrepreneur. Every business has objectives and for people to meet those objectives, they have to be managed which makes it a key skill to have.

Innovation

An important skill. Great companies innovate and if your aim is to build a company that will someday be ranked among the world’s best, it is a vital skill to have.

Focus

Entrepreneurs live in the moment, which means they are focused. Focus is a key skill because by being focus as an entrepreneur, You will get more done.


Business Process Consulting

Have Clear Lines of Responsibility

In the high performance business culture, everyone knows what his or her role and function are. They are defined within the constraints of the strategic agenda and the direction of the business.

Having control mechanisms in place, such as documented position descriptions and standard operating procedures, for instance, ensures consistency in communication and feedback.

These mechanisms also provide a means of coordinating multiple initiatives and tasks, in terms of objectives and measures, consistent with resources and capabilities of the strategic agenda.

Razor Sharp Focus

Everyone knows what the goals and objectives are, in keeping with the strategic vision that must be aspired to. This is because they are clearly defined and spelled out. This can be done very simply and elegantly – in fact, the simpler the better.

Having a Small Business Plan that is aligned and cascades into the company’s functional areas and into its individual work plans will ensure that the vision of the business is communicated in concrete, achievable and measurable terms.

Highly Motivated People

Successful businesses are full of committed and dedicated people. All of the people in such businesses exhibit a high drive for self-improvement and achievement, both at the personal and the corporate level.

Such business environments create a high-trust and winning culture. Activities are focused on the “cause of the business”. Creating such a developmental culture is essential in the high performance business.

Decision Making Happens Where the Action Is

In highly successful businesses, everyone leaves “ego” at the door. Work is about getting the job done and getting results.

This means having a common approach to understanding what is going on. It means people are able to make decisions where they are within the business. This type of on the ground decision making occurs within the boundary conditions of the Mission, Vision and Values of the business, and within the company’s Strategic Agenda.

Conversely, highly centralized decision making environments slow down the flow of information. This results in ineffective decision making and an inability to act quickly in response to opportunities or threats to the business. Information, particularly new information, is the life blood of a successful small business.

Get Rid of the Politics

Company politics slows you down. The successful, adaptive business minimizes political interference, by having undertaken business policy development. It also adopts common approaches to decision making and conflict resolution, through having clearly articulated processes, procedures and measures.

The political factor is minimized by having these elements in place and through paying careful attention to the other six factors outlined in this article.

Of course, you will never completely eliminate this element from corporate life, but you can manage it and sideline it to a large extent.


Protect Your eBusiness

For example, SSL would be of no use, if the organization is in a habit of sending mails from different departments. The virus scan technology can only prove to be effective, if you regularly update the virus scanner. This is because, time and again, new viruses are found to threaten the computers. Hence, you should ensure that the PROCESS involved in the security system is carried out effectively to meet the security needs of your organization.

There should be a distinct classification of responsibility for different security areas of your business. These areas include:

  • Firewall policies
  • Backup procedures
  • Virus control procedures
  • Disaster recovery procedures
  • Password procedures
  • System access levels and authorization procedures
  • Other traditional security areas

Unavoidable Security Measures For e-Businesses

  • When the sever consoles are idle, lock them with passwords. This will make the systems inaccessible to others.
  • Passwords should be such that they cannot be guessed easily. Moreover, change your passwords at regular intervals.
  • All your network systems as well as web servers should be located at places that are safe.
  • Redundancy systems should be present not only for network systems, but also for air conditioning and other power systems.
  • Source code procedure, process for detecting defects, and other such testing procedures should be in proper working condition.
  • Get a “professional hacker” to try out your web application to spot any loophole in your web program.

Other Security Measures

There are other security measures such as hidden urls, cryptography, identity based controls, authentication single sign on, and others that may be installed to limit access to information.

However, security is a dynamic thing. Hackers develop new ways to attack. Each time this is done, a new security measure has to be devised. As far as internet is concerned, it is difficult to provide 100 per cent security here, as the very idea of internet was to offer an unrestricted way of interaction.


Training Employees Within Budget

Businesses can conduct a needs analysis to correctly ascertain which areas their employees need training as well as try to shop for the most economical training available in that area. They have to have a clear perception of how they will benefit from the training, how to make sure that the employees implement the new techniques they have learnt and to make sure that with constant monitoring the employees significantly improve the businesses growth and sales.

Opt for individual training if only one employee needs brushing up on certain aspects such as leadership qualities etc.

Try web-based training, browsing sites that deal with the relevant topic, using CDs that can be economical as well as used to teach many employees. Several sites help teach people free of cost too, providing relevant information as well as guidelines regarding your area of work.

Try tele-classes, where in employees need not go physically to attend the classes and need not hinder the daily activities of the business as these classes are usually of just an hour’s duration. Groups can be taught using this method and the employees need to invest just a few hours a day to learn.

Conducting mini workshops can be also economical, where instructors teach them for a few hours a day for a short duration of time.

Try organizing a weekly session where teams can discuss topics relating their work such as latest books and new techniques and workout a plan to implement the new ideas effectively.

Try to make it fun as well as informal by getting to appoint those who have been trained to teach others where by they will both benefit as well as the company.

When an effort is made, small businesses will indeed find ways to ensure that training employees on a budget can be done effectively and economically. Shop round and get the best courses available at the lowest prices.