How to Become a Successful Entrepreneur
Achieving success does not happen overnight, whatever your business venture. However, there are ways to ensure that you reach your full potential and give your ideas the best chance of making it in the business world.
1. Start young
In recent years, there has been a significant growth in the number of small businesses owned by 18-25 year olds. One of the UK’s most successful young entrepreneurs, Imran Hakim, says there is more support available than ever before for budding young entrepreneurs. Whatever your age, it is important to start experimenting with business opportunities as soon as possible. The younger you are then the more time you have to learn from your mistakes and build on your experience to become successful.
Imran Hakin states, “I can guarantee you’ll have setbacks and people call these mistakes. It’s only a mistake if you repeat it. The first time it’s a lesson. I could sit here and tell you about all the success stories I’ve had but the truth be told I’ve probably had twice as many failures along the way. But I learnt a lot more from the setbacks than from the times when I got it right.”
2. Turn your ideas into a reality
Entrepreneurs often begin with a fantastic idea; a gap in the market that they recognise as a great opportunity and see potential for development. But, however impressive your idea may be, the real achievement is in the execution. Introducing your idea into the business world can take a large amount of time, hard work and persistence. Networking can be priceless in progressing your ideas or product from paper to reality. Try researching and attending local business events to network with like-minded people. Even if you don’t have anything to showcase yet, events such as these are a brilliant method of making contacts and discussing your ideas with people that could help you develop them in the future.
3. Choose your staff wisely
As an entrepreneur you will probably be an ‘ideas person’ or a born leader, but this doesn’t mean that you will naturally excel in every aspect of your business. For example, you may be fantastic at motivating staff, networking and coming up with unique business ideas but may have no idea how to effectively market them. It is important to employ people that fill the gaps; those who have different skills to yourself can be more effective than those who you feel drawn to simply because they have a similar background to you. As a business person, you need to be open to learning from others and should make it your ambition to continue growing and developing in your trade. Surround yourself with talent and you will become a more rounded, successful entrepreneur.
4. Get management guidance
Being an entrepreneur is a steep learning curve and getting the appropriate guidance, support and knowledge is vital to your success. Many people have ideas and passion, but don’t necessarily have the required experience or business knowledge to execute and manage their business. Full time MBA courses can be a fantastic way of learning about business, whilst also getting experience ‘on the job’. This provides you with contacts that you can utilise when you finish the course and confront the business world independently.
Imran Hakim also suggests taking advantage of the various support networks available in the UK for budding entrepreneurs.
“Look at groups like the TIE Network, a group of entrepreneurs who are there just to mentor other emerging entrepreneurs a few rungs on the ladder below them. If you’ve genuinely got a good idea and are willing to put the work in there are so many support structures out there that can help you do that.”
5. Take Risks
Without taking risks you can’t throw yourself fully into your venture. Success will only come from putting yourself (and your business idea) out there and getting noticed. Make your business a priority and don’t be afraid to put the hours and hard work in. You must be prepared to have some setbacks, but if you are persistent it will come to fruition in the end.
“My advice for young entrepreneurs is if you’re going to fail, fail cheap and fail fast. And learn the lesson that you need to learn from having that setback. If someone tells you they’ve never had a setback or failed in their life, they’re either lying or have never been out of their comfort zone. And life only becomes exciting when you’re out of your comfort zone.”