The first thing that should be stated about entrepreneurship is that it is a process. It is a process involving many decisions and actions that shape your entrepreneurial journey. You would like to know as much as possible when taking the leap into entrepreneurship, but you will learn your best lessons through first-hand experience.
First-hand experiences are required in order to fully understand entrepreneurship, but receiving valuable insight from other entrepreneurs helps to avoid common frustrations that entrepreneurs tend to deal with.
Nobody ventures into entrepreneurship with the intentions to fail. When pursuing the role of entrepreneur, your goal is to become successful. Success validates that you made the right decision to become an entrepreneur.
What does it take to become a successful entrepreneur?
There are a number of factors that contribute to creating success as an entrepreneur. But there are 5 critical components that are required in order to become a successful entrepreneur.
What are the 5 components that you must have?
Know Your Target Market
It is amazing how many people jump into entrepreneurship, hoping to develop a business, without even knowing the type of people who make up their customer base. If this very important piece of information is not known, you will end up wasting a lot of time and money.
Everybody is not your customer. This means that you cannot attempt to create a customer with any and everybody you come into contact with. When you attempt to do this, you end up spending a ton of money, barely making any money in return. A business cannot operate if it constantly produces a negative ROI (return on investment) with its marketing efforts.
Successful entrepreneurs understand the importance of identifying the exact people who fit their target client profile. This information helps an entrepreneur become effective with their marketing – properly spending their marketing dollars on those who need and want the products/ services that their business offers.
The basics of identifying your target market consist of knowing: the exact age range, where your customers are located, their income range and their lifestyle.
When you strictly define this information, you are better able to communicate with those individuals who will likely purchase from your business.
Questions to answer that will help identify your target market:
- What do they view as value?
- When and why do they make purchasing decisions?
- Where do they spend their money?
- What is their profession?
- Do they have disposable income?
- Do they prefer quick convenience (low cost) or an experience (exclusiveness)?
Marketing is all about communicating the value and differentiation of your products/ services compared to your competitors. When people see your marketing, they should be able to know exactly what your business offers and why they should become a customer of your business.
Unfortunately, a lot of entrepreneurs don’t understand how to be effective with their marketing. Either their marketing message is too bland and it doesn’t make people interested, or their marketing message is too complicated – confusing people.
The best marketing campaigns create engagement and develop a connection with their audience.
There are two ways your businesses can do this. One way is by identifying a problem and showing how your business provides the perfect solution. Another way is by identifying a desire and showing how your business produces the best products/ services pertaining to that desire.
This is why identifying your target market is so important. Your method of communication and the marketing message portrayed have to be precise. If not, you are creating a losing effort with your market activities.
The purpose of marketing is to create leads. Leads are people who inquire about your business after coming into contact with your marketing. You want to have strong leads contacting you. Therefore, your marketing has to be crafted to speak specifically to people you can easily convert into customers.
How to create effective marketing?
- Frame the problem or desire within an engaging form of communication.
- Inform and educate. Display your business’s value.
- Create a call to action. Give people a very good reason to make contact with your business.
- Market through various platforms of communication. Double down on the platforms that perform the best, and cut those that provide minimal leads.
Learn How to Sell
It is very frustrating to hear entrepreneurs say that they hate to sell. How can you become successful if you hate to sell? Even if you hate feeling like you are forcing people to buy your products/ services, you have no choice but to actively participate in selling.
The reason that you hate selling is because you do not understand the value provided by your business. If you knew your business’s value, then you would know that you are not forcing anyone to buy anything. You are simply providing a solution that is needed, or you are providing an experience that is desired.
Another key aspect to selling is listening and understanding. Ask probing questions when vetting a lead. Here are a few examples of what this involves:
- What is their exact reason for contacting you?
- What are they currently experiencing and what is the reason for this experience?
- Have they had experience with any other businesses who provide similar products/ services?
- How would they envision your business ideally helping them with their needs or wants?
Selling is all about understanding people – knowing how you can be a great asset to them. Once you have this knowledge, you are more prepared to sell, and actually eager to sell.
Successful entrepreneurs have great delegation and organizational skills. This helps them to be more effective with their time – developing processes that help them get more done.
You may be freshly starting out as an entrepreneur, so you don’t have the budget to delegate tasks to other people. You have to do everything on your own. Developing your systems of productivity will be critical towards you progressing as an entrepreneur.
There are 4 systems that you must develop in order to become a successful entrepreneur.
Your time is valuable, therefore you must be great at scheduling how your time flows. Even though it may not be completely possible, try to stick to your schedule as much as possible. Eliminate distractions and get your task done. This allows for you to stay productive and remain focused on your goals.
Marketing can be done through many different platforms. You must test these various platforms in order to learn which are the most effective for your business. Once you are sure of the best 2-3 platforms, have them performing simultaneously so that your marketing reach is spread out. Now you are reaching many people, being seen in many places and people begin to view you as a legitimate entrepreneur. This happens because you invest in yourself.
As an entrepreneur, you are usually solo – you can only be in one place at a time. Your sales piggyback off of your marketing. When people click on your marketing links or call your business based off of a marketing advertisement, making the sell is very important. Therefore you must develop your sales funnel. Completely explaining the sales funnel will take another article, but you can click on the highlighted link for further explanation.
The key to gaining and keeping customers is through great communication. Clients tend to believe you should be available for them whenever they feel a need to talk to you. Unfortunately this cannot be the case. Let clients know when you are available to talk with them – schedule this time in advance. Provide as much information as possible through faq sheets. This will help answer questions that are easily available, not taking up your time.
Become a Business Owner
There is a difference between an entrepreneur and a business owner. An entrepreneur provides products and services by themselves – at most with backend support. A business owner does the same but with actual employees, therefore their focus is solely on expanding the business.
How you move from entrepreneur to business owner is by developing your systems. Developing your systems help to spur growth – you become too busy to do everything yourself and need in house help.
Now hiring decisions have to seriously be made. Hiring people who specialize in specific areas of your business now gives you the ability increase your revenue and expand into different locations. When this occurs, you have created a functioning business model that can be imitated.
If you want to become a successful entrepreneur, you must develop an effective strategy that produces great results. Without having a great strategy to utilize, your entrepreneurial pursuits will fail.
It is important to take knowledge and put it into action. The information provided is useless if you do not apply it yourself. Success requires you to take action and learn from what happens. Everything that you do may not always go as planned and some actions may fail. These will be the lessons that help you grow and learn how to become a better entrepreneur.