An estimated 50 to 70 percent of new small businesses fail within the first 18 months. There’s a silver lining to this sobering statistic, however—a way to look at the glass half full instead of half empty. Between half and one-third of new businesses succeed! So, what do they do differently? How do they set themselves apart from the competition? What are the secrets of successful entrepreneurs?
They follow their passion
Successful entrepreneurs follow their life-long passions.
To choose the right market, you’ve got to think about what has moved you to action your whole life. Don’t decide to invest in the flavor of the week. Hopefully, your business will be open for a long time. You wouldn’t want to be running a business that you’re not really interested in and passionate about.
Minimize personal and professional expenses
This one seems like a no-brainer, but it’s one of the thing entrepreneurs struggles with the most. There’s a difference between being cognizant about your spending and really having it make a difference.
Successful entrepreneurs think of their personal and professional finances as one and the same. The money they save at home is money reinvested in their business.
Before launching their ventures, successful entrepreneurs first pay off any debt they may have and then build up an emergency fund. Part of being prepared is being ready to bounce back from an early financial setback.
Use social media for all it’s worth
The power of social media is wasted on some investors and entrepreneurs. If you want your business to succeed, you need to invest as much time and energy as possible on your social media presence.
Social media offers entrepreneurs advantages that business owners of the past could only dream of: free advertising, direct customer contact, and analytics—all free of charge!
Don’t underestimate the power of the web. If you’re way behind in the technological game, consider bringing someone proficient in digital marketing into the fold. Or you could use a third-party company to take care of your social media accounts.
Successful entrepreneurs aren’t shy. It’s a quality they literally can’t afford to have. If you’re naturally a shy person, you’ll need to get over it post-haste. This is where choosing the right partner is key. Select someone who is good at things you’re shaky on and vice versa.
Small businesses are more likely to fail than succeed. You’ve got to tap every possible market and leave no stone unturned.
Grassroots campaigns and social media campaigns will help spread awareness about your new business and give it an air of respectability. Engage the community and become an integral part of its fabric—that’s the key to long-term success.
Know their motivations
What motivates you to succeed? Sometimes it’s a spouse. Sometimes it’s a child. Perhaps you’re raising money for a cause. Maybe you want money for law school.
Another way to say this is “having goals.” Because businesses never end in and of themselves. They’re vehicles with which to satisfy other, deeper-held goals.
Do some self-reflection and figure out exactly why you’re trying to start a business.
Know their niche
You can’t please everybody. Don’t spread your focus too broadly in the attempt to make your business appealing to everyone. Finding and filling a niche will make you worth traveling across town to visit. If you look and feel like everyone else, there’s no motivation (besides convenience) for people to visit your shop.
Ignore the competition
This goes along with “knowing your niche.” You won’t ever figure out your niche is you pay too much attention to the competition. If you’re obsessed with what the other guys are doing, trying to stay one step ahead, you’ll be perpetually one step behind!
To develop a truly different product or service, you’ll need to turn a blind eye to the competition.
Choose the right partner
This is a huge decision. Your partner should complement you well. If you’re more technically-oriented, pick a partner that’s more people-oriented and vice versa.
It should be someone you can get along with, but not necessarily your best friend. The ideal relationship between partners can best be described as close, but professional.