When the careers of successful entrepreneurs are examined in the public eye, we are always fascinated by how they got started. After all, nothing engages the public imagination like a rags-to-riches story, or an unlikely tale of triumphing despite adversity. Put simply, we like an underdog tale, and many of the best and brightest entrepreneurs of our time started from humble beginnings.
What’s often not talked about, however, is what exactly they did start with. Whether it’s knowhow, physical assets or the right contacts, every entrepreneur needs at least a few strings to their bow before they begin their business venture; it’s not possible to literally create a business from nothing, after all. Here are 5 things all successful entrepreneurs need to start a business.
First and foremost, if you’re looking to start a business, you’ll need enough money to do so. Businesses don’t simply materialise overnight – they need to be carefully assembled, and doing so requires money. Dipping into your savings is always an excellent idea, especially if you have faith in your idea (and hey, if you don’t, why are you starting a business?). Alternately, you could petition friends and family to help you collect money; that’s always a popular option when it comes to creating a start-up business. Finally, there’s personal loans. If you’re looking to start a business, you could do a lot worse than personal loans, especially if you’re not after a huge amount of money. Sites like Step One Finance are great places to grab yourself a loan from, since this company is reputable, friendly and offers great rates. Make sure you’ve got enough money before you start.
A positive attitude
If you’re convinced that your business is doomed to fail, then you’re not going to get very far. Maintaining a positive mental attitude is absolutely crucial at all stages of business planning and execution. If your business is a solo venture, then people aren’t going to feel confident when they become clients if they can sense that you’re just not optimistic about your future prospects. If you’re hiring staff for your business, they’ll instantly be able to tell that you’re not feeling it. If you don’t feel positive about your business, then who will? Don’t get us wrong – it’s not always easy to maintain positivity, especially during times of adversity. Some tips for staying up include keeping an open mind to new ideas, thinking ambitiously, and going along with interesting avenues of business.
There aren’t many business owners who don’t eventually want to see their business grow and expand. Businesses of all shapes and sizes can benefit from healthy ambition. It fosters creativity, since you’ll always be looking for that new opportunity to help your business grow. It encourages friendly competition because you’re examining your competitors and figuring out what they’re doing that you’re not. Most importantly, ambition can help you maintain that positive attitude we talked about just now. During the times when your business is struggling – and there will be difficult times – your ambition is what will keep your head above the water and focus you on what really matters. Keep your eyes on the prize at all times, and don’t ever be satisfied with second best when it comes to your business.
We know this might sound contrarian compared with the previous point, but you do still need to maintain realistic expectations when it comes to starting your business. Let’s say you’re a video games developer. You can’t reasonably expect to compete with companies who have significantly more money, larger staff, and a bigger marketing budget than you, especially early on. With that in mind, think about your core demographic and who they are. How can you most effectively bring across what your business is and why your chosen demographic should choose you? Don’t think about trying to be all things to all people, as failing to adequately define your demographic and be realistic about your performance are two of the main reasons for business failure.
If you don’t have passion for your business, then two things will happen. First, your clients, your customers and your staff will all realise that you don’t love what you’re doing and abandon you in droves. Secondly, someone else will step in to fill the gap and have that passion instead of you, and they’ll be taking all your business. You need to have a genuine love for what you’re doing, and that involves a number of things. Keeping up with your market is crucial; understanding what’s happening in your given area moment-to-moment will help you do business. Understanding what your customers want is also paramount, since this will allow you to pitch your business effectively to them. Finally, passion for your business will strengthen your resolve when you’re not doing so great. If you believe in your business, then with a lot of hard work and a little luck you can find success.