“I do not think that there is any other quality so essential to the success of any kind as the quality of perseverance. It overcomes almost everything, even nature.” – John D. Rockefeller, CEO of Standard Oil
Indeed, perseverance is essential to overcome all hurdles that life may toss on you. For entrepreneurs who dream big, it becomes even more significant as running a start-up is a daunting task. If you are an entrepreneur, you can relate yourself to the nervousness; you have experienced while taking baby steps in the business world.
It is not uncommon that the term “success” means different to different people, but one thing is common that all of them have an extreme appetite for success.
So, instead of now toying with the idea of what success is or can be, let’s move ahead. Let’s have a look at the top 25 tips for start-ups and entrepreneurs to ensure success. Here, we go.
Tip 1: Do something you love
Start a business in which you can soak yourself. As starting a business demands a tremendous amount of commitment, do something that you love. Some will suggest that this is far from the truth as your passion can be whimsical. However, passion often becomes a driving force that encourages an entrepreneur to reach the pinnacle of success.
Jennifer Hyman and Jennifer Fleiss have done that with their passion for fashion, and so can you! Started in 2009, their fashion company “Rent the Runway” has now multiple brick and mortar stores in the US.
Tip 2: Believe yourself
Self–doubt can cripple any entrepreneur with a brazen ruthlessness. So, self-belief is extremely important. Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, and many others have believed in their dreams and capacity to make them real.
Self-belief boost confidence and confidence has a paramount role to play in the achievement of success.
Tip 3: Anticipate the future
Nobody knows what the future holds. So, anticipate the future by keeping yourself informed about the latest industry trends.
No wonder, Travis Kalanick sniffed a ready market for cabs at the tap of a button. He found Uber, a cab company that thrives on a mobile app.
Tip 4: Learn to adapt quickly
Make enough room for flexibility. For a start-up, surprises can be many. Those who mastered the art of adapting quickly to their changing environment tasted success in the long run.
For example, it was the failure to adapt as per the evolving digital devices (smartphone) that eventually led to the demise of brand KODAK.
Tip 5: Negotiate hard
For newbie entrepreneurs, negotiation skills prove handy. So, negotiate with suppliers, employees, and investors to grab the best deal. Unless you ask for a discount or a lesser price quote, you will not get it. Every price quote comes with a profit margin. A smart entrepreneur skillfully reduces that margin for his or her benefit.
Tip 6: Be consistent
When Millard Drexler, a former CEO of Gap Inc stated that “People like consistency. Whether it’s a store or a restaurant, they want to come in and see what you are famous for.”, he was quite true. It is the lack of consistency that gradually causes the untimely demise of several business ventures in spite of experiencing a positive response from the market.
Tip7: Offer a memorable customer experience
Several start-ups manage to find a reliable finance partner and the right staff but fail within one or two years. The reason is a failure in offering a memorable customer experience.
According to a Harvard Business Review magazine, an approximate 23% of customers share their positive experience with more than ten other people. In a business world, where it is tough to retain existing customers and expensive to have new ones, offering a memorable customer experience unlocks the door to success.
Tip 8: Gulp your ego
In most scenarios, it is the ego that stands between you and your success. So, gulp your ego to ask help from friends, relatives, partners or anyone you can trust for your business. Entrepreneurs should have a magnetic personality to have a long-lasting success.
Tip 9: Workforce diversity
Have a workforce of people from diverse cultural backgrounds. Yes, this is mandatory to ensure success as it makes a positive difference by bringing fresh ideas and perspectives to the table.
As per the latest report entitled “Diversity Matters” by McKinsey, Companies that have their place in the top quartile for having racial and ethnic diversity at their workplace are 35 % more likely to gain higher financial returns in comparison to their specific national industry medians.
Tip 10: Keep your eyes on the big picture
When things turn worse, eyes on the big picture help to remain on the right track. A leader has his eyes on the big picture as well as the capacity to share the same with others.
Tip 11. Stay healthy at work
When a person starts a business, several people put their trust in his or her dream. So, if the founder is not in a healthy state of mind and body, he or she will not be able to sustain the cut-throat competition. It is wise to stay healthy at work as for the success of your business, your own health is paramount.
Tip 12. Trust your instincts
Different entrepreneurs may have different leadership styles. While some believe their gut feeling before taking any major business decision, there are others who rely solely on metrics. Although, many would agree that a balanced approach is the best one, ignoring that faint voice coming straight from your heart may spell a disaster. Steve jobs ignored the advice of all critics and launched iPad based on his knowledge and gut feeling. No wonder, it was a phenomenal success.
Tip 13: Pay attention to execution
You may have a great business plan or a breakthrough product, but others may have too! So, instead of focusing on just rewriting and fine-tuning your plans, pay attention to its careful execution. In a business, time is money and wasting time means an invitation to failure.
Tip 14: Identify your target market
Unless a start-up business has identified its target market, the marketing strategies will prove ineffective. For example, if you have a restaurant in the town, there will be many such restaurants serving delicious food. In such a case, an early identification of the target market helps in customizing the products or services as per their needs. Investors are always at an arm’s length from entrepreneurs who have not identified their target market in a precise manner.
Tip 15: Pay attention to detail
Little things can have an enormous impact on a business. So, pay attention to detail to ensure success in the long run. Keep a tab on your cash flow and prepare checklists for everything concerning your day-to-day business operations.
Tip 16: Challenge yourself more
For building a successful business from scratch, it is vital to stay competitive. Entrepreneurs who continuously challenge their boundaries rather than walking on a conventional path often become victorious.
Ritesh Agarwal, the recipient of TiE-Lumis Entrepreneurial Excellence award in 2014 challenges himself even after starting a successful business venture OYO rooms. He recently shifted his business from hotel aggregation model to franchise model in 2017.
Tip 17: Be a daredevil
Recognize the risks that can benefit your business. The next step is to take those risks with utmost care and caution. Many start-ups who are now a big name have taken tough decisions to rise high.
Who could have imagined that Dropbox CEO Drew Houston could say NO to Steve Jobs? Yes, he did it way back in 2011 and the rest is history. The company has now more than 500 million users worldwide as per the recent statistics.
Tip 18: Have a robust financial planning
To run a business, one needs money to pay the salary, office rent, purchase of equipment, and much more. Many businessmen start a business with their savings and sometimes they even taste success! However, it is wise to have a sound financial planning before starting a business. Try to find friends who can help you to raise the start-up capital, approach a bank or angel investors to get the fund for your business venture.
Tip 19: Listen to feedback
Disgruntled customers can soon move away from your business for another one. So, listen to their feedback, and take necessary action. Conduct surveys via email, telephone or online platforms to get their feedback. Some of the popular online platforms to get quick feedback are as follows:
Tip 20: Network as much as you can
There is no substitute for networking with the right people to build a successful business. You may never know which person can give you that important business lead or an innovative idea or even a much-required partnership that can change your fortune.
Tip 21: Draw inspiration
Draw inspiration by reading motivational books, watching TED talks, or even by visiting new places that can trigger your mind with new ideas or help you to stay inspired to pursue your goals.
Tip 22: Excel in time management
It is not that you need more hours at work than others. The road to success is learning how to make most of your available time. Budding entrepreneurs should learn time management tactics to ensure success.
Tip 23: Do not compromise with brand reputation
In an era of digital revolution, every tweet and every share counts. So, never make any compromise with your brand’s reputation at any cost. Be ready to respond to customer complaints on social media platforms. If ever there is a mistake, acknowledge it. This move can lessen the damage to your brand to a great extent.
Tip 24: Payback the community
As per a 2015 Nielsen Global Corporate Sustainability Report, 66 percent of global consumers have desired a willingness to spend more for brands that are sustainable. Many have today a corporate social responsibility (CSR) program. Well, the idea is to pay back the community while reaping some benefits.
Tip 25: Embrace technology
Never shy away from adopting a new technology. No matter, how disruptive it may appear, if it saves time and money, it is worthy indeed!
There can be many more tips that you may feel should have a place in the above-coveted list. However, one of the essential tips is to not become arrogant after experiencing sweet success. It can sooner or later ruin your accomplishments as an entrepreneur.