It’s a great time to be an entrepreneur—in the last decade, technology has levelled the playing field and propelled an entrepreneurial revolution. As an entrepreneur, you now have more access to information that enables you to make intelligent choices quickly. You have an advantage over big businesses because you’re lighter, more flexible, and faster on your feet. You can target new markets more rapidly and turn on a dime.
But being a successful entrepreneur requires looking at the big picture and following a plan from beginning to end. Here are some practical guidelines that can help you when starting your own enterprise:
Don’t Quit Your Day Job Just Yet
Start with what you can manage, financially and time-wise, and scale up as your business grows. Consider starting your business part-time, primarily online, while working and having a steady income. It usually takes six months to a year to get a business going, and you don’t want your ability to make your house payment to hinge upon your company being an overnight success.
Find Your Niche
The days of general stores are over. Particularly online, consumers are looking for stores that specialize. It would be best to find a need—something a specific group of people wants but can’t get at the big chain stores—and fill it. You can’t compete with the big guys, so you have to find where the big guys aren’t and go into your niches.
Have an Online Presence
Even if you’re not planning to start an online retail business, consider that the internet can still play a valuable role in your company. Having an online presence eliminates the limitations of physical location and broadens your customer base by millions. It’s also an excellent tool for promoting yourself and letting people, even in your own area, know that you’re there and what you’re doing.
Refuse to Quit
Successful entrepreneurship requires creativity, energy, and a drive to keep going when you fail. Few people realize that before Bill Gates created the highly successful Microsoft 3.0, he made Microsoft 1.0 and 2.0, both of which flopped—but he kept at it. And that determination and refusal to give up will separate successful entrepreneurs from unsuccessful ones. Arm yourself optimistically to get beyond the ‘No’ or the trouble. There’s nothing wrong with failure—don’t repeat the same mistake!