When you start out on your entrepreneurial journey, the chances are the only things you will think about are those that are essential to keep your business chugging along. But when you are past those first steps, you might have the luxury of some breathing room to start thinking about other things.
There are steps you can take to improve your business’ chances from the start, and they all revolve around you personally. You are at the helm of the ship, so it’s only fair to assume that self-improvement can help your business too. In this article, I’ll go over four tips here that will get the ball rolling and increase your prospects as an entrepreneur.
One of the most important things that the modern entrepreneur can do is to promote themselves. You might think that this is only for CEOs of huge companies, but it can be imperative in your local community.
If you have a reputation as a respected business-person, then people will want to do business with you. Not only that, but you will gain the trust of local consumers too.
A good reputation is vital to your company’s success, so it’s best to start cultivating that when your business is in its infancy.
Ways to promote yourself
There are numerous methods you can use to get your name out there.
You could donate your time with CSR programmes and demonstrate your business know-how by helping charities teach the enterprise skills that you are so experienced in. This has the added benefit of doing good at the same time.
You could also use an agency that specialises in PR for entrepreneurs, which might be useful if you aren’t used to fielding media enquiries or thinking about what message you are trying to communicate.
Likewise, a social media agency could help you get to grips with mastering certain platforms, especially if you’re new to this side of things.
Research by Transmission Private found that 40% of the public would think more negatively of a successful person if they couldn’t find information about them online, so promoting yourself online is essential to increasing your prospects.
If you feel you have a story to tell, and you use a clear message to tell it, then people will notice.
Identify your niche in the market, demonstrate your expertise, and cultivate a positive presence on social media. While it can be hard to quantify, this will help you more than you think as your business grows.
Once you have got the hang of promoting yourself, it’s time to go out to market.
Attending networking events can be a great way to meet potential business partners, employees, or even customers.
Research from LinkedIn found that 85% of its users had found jobs through networking, so this may be the perfect way to find your next star employee.
Before the pandemic, markers would have suggested going to conferences and joining business organisations. If you feel you have a knack for this kind of thing, then you could start hosting your own events, with tailor-made guest lists of the people you definitely want to shake hands within the room.
In the current climate, however, much of this is done online. Many business organisations and networking events happen online over Zoom. The good news is this is the perfect time to brush up on your social media skills.
If you reach out to potential partners on LinkedIn and Twitter, while it may not be as effective in person, you could end up with some new contacts.
Conquer Your Fear
The biggest lesson an entrepreneur can learn is to stop being afraid of risks. When you start a business, there are countless risks that you have to take into consideration. The most obvious is the financial risk.
Business owners foot up a lot of money, normally their own, to start their companies. If they fail, and 9 out of 10 startups do, then that money is gone.
Owners also risk losing a steady paycheck by becoming their own boss, because who knows how successful their business will be. Then there’s the risk that they have misjudged the market. What this means is that perhaps their idea isn’t as good as they thought it would be, and as such, it leads on to even more financial troubles.
Every entrepreneur must look past these risks if they want to run a business.
However, that doesn’t mean they just throw caution to the wind and ignore them entirely. Entrepreneurs must carefully weigh up each risk and decide on the best course of action to avoid it. Take every risk into account in your business plan, and you will never be unprepared for when something goes awry.
Know Your Limitations
If you know the risks and have factored them in, then you should also know your limitations. This seems easy, but a surprising number of new entrepreneurs get this wrong. Recognising limitations is an essential step in personal growth.
If you identify a problem that you struggle with, then you can work on it. Hire employees who have the skills you lack, or whose best traits are your worst. Similarly, you must always keep learning. Take courses to improve your management or even ask someone more experienced than you in the industry to mentor you.
Becoming an entrepreneur can be hugely rewarding, particularly when your startups grow into mature enterprises. Learning and development is always part of the role and in this article are just a few of the methods you can use to be a better leader and business owner.
If you are always trying to improve, while promoting yourself and networking properly, then the sky is the limit. View yourself like you view your business. Always keep growing and never allow yourself to stagnate.