7 Top Tips For First Time Entrepreneurs
This is a guest post by the Entrepreneurs Collective.
Since the launch of the Entrepreneurs Collective in 2019, we’ve seen thousands of start-up Founders come through our doors: some of them with years of experience, and others who are brand new to the game.
We pride ourselves on providing the perfect community that enables our members to network, collaborate and share resources that in turn, – helps each other to succeed. From our monthly pitch competitions to our partner led workshops, we’ve built a platform that genuinely encourages and promotes the concept of founders helping founders.
Becoming an entrepreneur and starting a new business for the first time can be a daunting, yet exciting task. Starting a business is much harder than most people realise. 20% of businesses fail in their first year, and 60% will fail within the first three years. But don’t let this put you off.
With good advice, strong mentorship, passion and determination, you can break the mould. Being a successful entrepreneur stems from the groundwork you put in at the start, which will filter through and help you progress further into your entrepreneurial journey. Here are our top tips for first-time entrepreneurs to help you succeed:
If you’re not passionate about the business you’re building, or the industry you’re operating in, achieving success will be difficult. It could be the catalyst for failure: when things get tough (and they will), you may feel like giving up. If you want people to trust you, your product and your vision, showcasing your aptitude, knowledge and passion is essential.
Without that, it will be much harder to convince people (especially investors) why they should support you. If you can inject your passion and knowledge into the business you’re building, you’ll gain the initial trust of consumers and investors to try your product or service out. And it’ll get easier from there.
Speak To Your Customer.
There are two strands to market research, the first of which we’ll cover is consumer research: primarily, you need to know who is going to be using your product or service inside out. Running focus groups, deciding who your target audience is, and creating the ideal consumer persona can help you to streamline and focus your product, so that it matches up with your consumer’s needs and values.
Getting this spot on at the start of your journey is crucial, because it will help you to create a strong MVP (“Minimum Viable Product”). Listening and reacting to the early adopters of your product or service will be the key to creating a successful business, moving forward, and this is where iteration and pivots can help.
Research Your Competitors.
Having some competitors is a good thing. What? Yes! Let me repeat: having some competitors is a good thing. If you do your research and discover that no one else is doing what you’re proposing, ask yourself why. In an ideal world, you may have stumbled across a gap in the market, but chances are, there’s a reason as to why no one has attempted what you’re doing. Investors may in some cases, – see this as a major red flag.
However, if you truly have found a gap in the market, congratulations. Having competitors is a somewhat double-edged sword though: if you’re entering an over-saturated market, it may be difficult to stand out from the crowd. But understanding where and how your company can perform better can be a great selling point, too.
If you’ve made the decision to start your own business, you must get comfortable with taking risks. You might have to quit your job to focus on building your start-up, or use some of your life savings to fund it. Whatever you’ve sacrificed to start your entrepreneurial journey, there will be some risk involved, and there’s no getting away from that.
Having a strong community of other entrepreneurs around you is crucial. This is one of the best tips for first-time entrepreneurs, as you can get real advice from people who have lived similar experiences to you. Their guidance will be invaluable for a first-time entrepreneur, and this will help you to navigate the tricky situations that goes hand-in-hand with starting a business.
Being a good networker will open doors for you, and it’ll enable you to build a strong group of like-minded entrepreneurs who can support you on your journey. Community platforms such as the Entrepreneurs Collective have proven to be a one-stop-shop for all manners of networking, with entrepreneurs all coming together to help each succeed.
Without well-defined goals, you’ll just wander aimlessly into the unknown. Identifying steps towards success is just as (and in some cases, even more) important than what you hope to achieve at the end. Whether these are weekly, monthly or yearly, having tangible goals will keep you on track, and keep you accountable as you reach the ultimate goal of building a successful business.
More so, as you tick off certain achievements, you’ll have a record of your progress, which should (hopefully) instil even more motivation to keep going. Utilising a visual aid such as a Gantt chart is a great way to see where you’re at, and what goals you’ll be achieving next!
Look After Yourself!
With the hours it takes to get a business off the ground, your self-care can often take an unfortunate back seat. In the long run, this can lead to a lack of motivation, enthusiasm, and a much quicker burnout. People often wrongly equate entrepreneurship with not having any time for yourself. And that may be true on some days, but you must find time to recuperate.
Don’t get me wrong: you’ll be working longer hours than most, but this doesn’t mean that you can’t look after your physical and mental wellbeing.
Everyone’s journey into entrepreneurship is different, so tips and tricks like these will only go so far. Speaking to other entrepreneurs and learning to network are two of the most important things you can do at the start, as you will often run into people who have been through similar situations to you. Their advice will be far more valuable than anything else, and they can help you to push through the rollercoaster that is entrepreneurship.
If you can stay passionate and focused, whatever comes your way, – you’ll be on track to grow professionally, and to see your new and exciting business become a success. And who knows: maybe one day you’ll be able to provide some wisdom and tips to future entrepreneurs, too!
Find out more about the Entrepreneurs Collective here.