Entrepreneurship is, without a doubt, one of the most important paths a person can take in life. It’s about making an idea or a dream your path to the future. It´s true, that much has been told, especially in the last years, about entrepreneurship.
Part of it because of the need of finding a way through a complicated situation, this last couple of years. On the other hand, the digital era and the new technologies have open new ways and possibilities for those who know how to detect them and take advantage of them.
But entrepreneurship is not an easy subject and not all ideas or dreams have the capability of becoming a profitable business. Therefore, before jumping into the pool, it´s better to find out that there is enough water. Better than jumping and discovering it in the fall. Or what would be the same, before starting a business, take time to make a previous analysis to see if there is a real need for your product or service in the market and if you can count on enough resources to satisfy it.
If this analysis has a positive outcome, it’s time to become an entrepreneur. Start to develop your business plan and I would recommend you to consider the 8 fundamental keys for successful entrepreneurs:
- Dominate your expertise.
This is very important because in order to make a project work, the leader must know its specialty and if possible, should be an expert in the matter. Just by the accurate observation of the industry, good ideas can come up, so being prepared is essential.
So focus on your industry or specialty. Analyze the existing offer and develop your unique buying advantage, which is also called “order winner”.
Your business or project is going to require many hours so it better be a business you like and excites you, in an industry that you love. Passion is the oxygen that allows us to keep going forward when things are getting tough.
- Develop your business model
It´s very important to previously define what is going to be your economic business model (income, clients, price, payday, variable and fixed costs), and also the model financer (current assets: stock, clients, investment and financing), this last many times is not done well, but if it is developed properly, it is great to structure to your business.
A common mistake made by many entrepreneurs is to forget about their current assets. Enterprises normally enter trouble when they are out of cash and they cannot pay their workers, suppliers, social security, etc.
One of the most important aspects is to define the total financial revenue, including the required cash. In order to do so, it´s good to try Bootstrapping. The term Bootstrapping is used to start something without any resources or with only a very few. In terms of business, it means to start the activity with a few capital or none, and using only what you have already (a location or a garage, a phone, a computer, etc.). The less funding we need, the better.
- Don´t extend processes excessively.
Waiting for a product or a service to be absolutely perfect is not a good idea. When it is viable, launch it. Getting into the market will allow you to know if what you are offering is interesting, if something can be done better, changes, etc.
- Create strategic alliances.
Entrepreneurship is not going to be an easy path, so some company would be nice. Look for partners that have abilities or resources that may help you and can cover your needs, etc.
You shouldn´t ally with everybody, analyze what they are offering, where would you like to get and how, what are your needs. Only if you detect your own strengths and weaknesses, you will be able to know if you need a technological partner, an investor, a distributor, etc.
- Successful entrepreneurship means looking for clients.
Having a business requires from every entrepreneur a large amount of energy focused on the search for clients. Getting obsessed in getting investment funds or any kind of funding is not a good idea. To take advantage of the entrepreneur environment (support and opportunities of big companies, investors and public administration), may be a great help and give you some boost to your business. If it comes and it’s possible, great. But if not, your idea must remain viable and profitable and this is only possible if you have clients.
- Open Innovation.
As good as your idea may be, don´t hold to it or hide it. Just the opposite, we are living in the era of Open Innovation. Show your project to as many people as you can, show it to the world. The more people that know about your idea the better. If you know how take advantage of others opinions, it’s going to be a powerful source of help and improvement.
- An image is worth a thousand words.
If your product or service is very good but your image is not capable of showing it, then you have a big problem. The image of your brand, online and offline, is fundamental for your business success.
Finally, I would recommend you to be brave. Be brave, to face every challenge and obstacle that comes to you, and even face failure. An entrepreneur, has to know that failure could be the starting point of success, an opportunity to start over with more knowledge and intelligence.