It is my firm belief that there have to be some common prescription for winning at the game of business. Of course, we have been coming across recommended traits like “hard work”, “passion,” “persistence” and “initiative” to become successful entrepreneurs or business owners. However, it was my earnest desire to come up with something extra and different which could be a special list of “Top Secrets of success in entrepreneurial ventures”.
What makes an Entrepreneur Successful?
A good entrepreneur is not necessarily the brightest or most industrious or the one who invests maximum capital into his venture. On the contrary the entrepreneur needs to be smart who moves in at the right time with the right product or service which feeds to the particular need or habit of many people and the consumer is willing to buy regularly and pay the price. You may also like to refer to these very useful articles:
Secrets of becoming a Successful Entrepreneur
1. Give something to people to make them more comfortable
Consider the following rather harsh statements:
- People are lazy
- Customers are over demanding
- People are impatient
Without being disrespectful to anyone, please analyse the Pizza Home Delivery business with the offer “delivered piping hot in 45 minutes or it is free”. Do you think that this particular company or such companies are in food business only? I am sure that the answer is “No”. The company is equally strong in Supply Chain Management. They have smart delivery boys on motorbikes who know their territory like the back of their hand and sure enough, they mostly deliver in time – if not always.
This classic example shows that the pizza company not only caters to all the above three statements of the people but pampers them too. So a person can order pizza over phone or through internet, is assured that it will be delivered fast and in case of delay, there will be no charge.
There are innumerable examples to confirm this point such as Uber, Amazon, Serviceathome, Paypal etc.
This may sound unkind but this how we really are. Whenever possible, people will seek to accomplish whatever needs to be done with as little effort as possible. Well it may be given a name of outsourcing or reason of efficiency but it still poins to the same thing.
Think of the most successful innovations in the last 3 to 4 decades. You will definitely name TV remote control, wi fi, blue tooth, mobile phones as the examples of the reducing effort (or increasing efficiency) and it has paid dividends to manufacturers.
Also the interesting human nature is that people are willing to pay unreasonably extra for the convenience or shall we say instant gratification.
2. Provide customers with amazing experience
Okay now you have got the real good idea that what sells. Perhaps you have shortlisted some products or services too. But before you finalize the business strategy it must be clear to each and everyone associated with you in the business that the customers have to be given unique experience – first time, second time and every time. Accordingly make provisions in your business finance too.
Many companies fail to achieve their full potential because they are focused either on the sale or the product or the branding and they just forget to provide an extraordinary customer service experience.
A happy customer is likely to comeback with more potential customers. A referral is far more valuable than any other method of marketing.
In my personal experience, I once decided to buy a bigger and more expensive car model of the same manufacturer just because the sales advisor convinced me very logically that it made sense to buy that particular model. Yet he was very patient and he never pushed me for an immediate decision. Second time, when buying a particular car, I decided to shift to another dealer of the company as he was more willing to listen to my specific request for a Test Drive.
3. Respond positively to change
The most predictable thing about running your own business is that almost everything is unpredictable. The surprises can spring up anytime and about anything. Maybe you have gone through your business finance plan hundred times before but you are suddenly short of cash for your working capital needs.
May be your competitor has come up with similar looking product ( but not as good) at a substantially lower price and now your buyers want you to match that!
Your partner or key employee wants to leave you in the middle of the things with no alternate arrangement.
Whatever the case may be, mentally be always prepared for such contingencies and if it happens then get up to respond positively to the change as quickly as possible, regardless of the challenges you’re already facing.
4. Have more money than your Business Finance Plan demands
A young entrepreneur is full of passion and energy what he usually lacks is experience and sometimes foresight. Both these can make the entrepreneur provide for less money to run the business while doing their Financial Planning. As emphasised in the previous point, there can be unexpected demands on the monitory requirements on account of delays, unreasonable demand for extra payment by vendor/ property owner, need for long distance travel adding to the cash outflows.
Hence some venture capitalists have gone to the extent of suggesting that entrepreneur should raise twice the money they think they need.
The basic lesson here is that time spent in raising money is time you aren’t spending growing your business. Agreed that there is a tremendous temptation to ask for less finances from lenders so that you aren’t disappointed, but think of the opportunity loss when you fall short of finances. So it is better to get it done all in the beginning itself.
5. Don’t expect immediate rewards
Success is a long journey and you should be ready to travel on the path wish total belief in yourself, the feasibility of your idea. You need abundance of patience and energy to work hard and execute. There will be times when nothing seems to be working, the night seems to be darkest with not even a single star shining in the sky. This is the test of your patience, perseverance and faith. Usually this happens when success is about to knock at your door.
You have developed a product and on the demands of the potential buyer you have made innumerable changes and modification. Yet he refuses to confirm even the much needed trial order. You feel let down. But hang on for some more time. May be the buyer is trying to convince his bosses or he is finding it difficult to come out of the comfort zone and try a new vendor.
6. Continuous Action
Most of the successful entrepreneurs and business owners I personally know never sit idle. Even if they are doing well, they already have plan for next 2 to 5 years. They may be happy yet they are hardly contended.
The same is their approach in case they are facing challenges in their current business. The entrepreneur in him or her is always trying new things and, if they don’t work, trying something else.
They are continually working whether planning for future or networking or responding to new challenges or just taking the stock of current state of affairs. If nothing else, they are trying to a acquire new skills.
7. Motivate yourself and others
An entrepreneur is the engine of the entire organisation. Everyone looks up to him for guidance, motivation, problem solving, crisis management and perhaps much more. Above all he or she is the one who leads by example. He is being watched and observed every moment by the people around him. Hence he has got to be high spirits, high energy and high morale – always. This is not to suggest that he is a superman and not a human. He too has to go through ups and downs in life. But he has to have access to right tools to quickly correct himself and pull himself back into his dynamic role of a leader.
Some of the tools available to leaders are:
To sum up
I hope you have understood and internalized the secrets of becoming a successful entrepreneur. Last but not the least, the meaning and measure of success and achievement is very personal. As long as you are happy with your achievements, you have a good bank balance, loyal customers, a good team, I think you have every reason to celebrate your success.
Links to other useful articles on this website: