Five Core Strategies For Entrepreneurs

Sunday Dec. 1st, 2013

2013 has been an incredible year and I hope we all are able to look back and reflect on our businesses’ successes and failures. As entrepreneurs we have our fair share of ups and downs along the journey. Taking time to think about the roller coaster of a ride is important in figuring out how to plan for the New Year.

While reviewing 2013, I realized 5 core strategies that are important for entrepreneurs to practice each and everyday. None of the ideas are rocket science, but seem to be tactics the successful entrepreneurs I’ve interviewed all talked about. As you may know, 2013 marked the launch of the Think Entrepreneurship podcast, which is an audio show on iTunes where I interview successful entrepreneurs from around the world and ask about failures, successes, and advice they have for other entrepreneurs. Asking questions and learning from these businessmen and women has been an amazing experience and positive influence for the podcast listeners and myself. Below I will reveal the strategies of successful entrepreneurs.

Talking about an idea is one thing, but entrepreneurs make things happen because they take action. If you have an idea, ask yourself what it would take to make it a reality. An underlying factor that prevents us from taking action is the fear of failure. Something that’s helped me overcome fear is to ask myself what the worst thing that could happen would be if I failed. Many times, it’s not as bad as you think. Heck if the business fails you can go back to getting a job and working for someone else.
Starting a new endeavor is not for the light hearted. It will require massive amounts of time, energy, and work. These sacrifices give us the ability to be our own boss, have a flexible schedule, and follow what we are truly passionate about. I’ve noticed a number of friends and visitors to my site would love to put out a product or service but keep refining and testing it for years and still have not taken it to market. After interviewing 40 entrepreneurs on my show this year, I’ve found the majority of them put a product out before it was completely ready. The key is to at least put something out there for people to try out. This will tell you what works and what doesn’t. If you are in the software industry you know that BETA testing is exactly what we need to do in order to get the ball rolling. This requires getting your idea on the market, listening to feedback, and pivoting in the correct direction. Ideas don’t have to be perfect. Just GET STUFF DONE and GET IT OUT THERE!

The difference between many successful entrepreneurs and struggling entrepreneurs is persistence. So often we come up with the idea the grass is greener on the other side or that there is always another business opportunity that will make you rich. What we must realize is that sticking with an idea and being persistent is what often allows a business to overcome challenges and ultimately find reward. We need to continue to water and nourish our own grass and quit jumping from one opportunity to another.
A book that’s been helpful for me is called the Compound Effect by Darren Hardy. Darren talks about how doing little things over and over will compound and allow us to accomplish even our biggest goals. Consistently taking action and doing something each day will create a snowball effect that will take your business to the next level.

A common characteristic of entrepreneurs is to want to provide everything a customer asks for. However, failure to focus and niche down is a path that will spread yourself and business too thin. Being a jack of all trades and trying everything is good to some extent, but without a focus or niche it’s hard to be the best at anything.

For example, when I first started my printing business I offered about every product under the moon. It wasn’t until I niched down and focused that I was finally able to take a step ahead. Instead of making every kind of custom sign or shirt, I now only make custom ski and trail signs that are available in 2 sizes. You might think this is too small of a niche to make money, but the internet allows my business to sell to customers all over North America. Because my business specializes in ski signs, I am confident that we produce some of the most authentic and quality ski signs on the market.

Automation and systemization are invaluable when creating a company that can run without you there. In an interview with Brian Scudamore, (founder of 800GotJunk) I learned about the importance of writing down all the procedures and day-to-day tasks so that an employee or new owner can pick up the handbook and run the business without needing the founder around. In addition to documenting procedures think about investing in software or technology that will streamline processes or minimize time.   We all need to strive to build better systems and processes that allow our business to operate in the smartest way possible. Work Smarter, Not Harder.

Being passionate about your idea or business is key to finding success. More businesses fail than succeed because the owner or owners are not passionate or lose their passion for the product or service they offer. This is why it is so important to brainstorm business ideas that don’t just put a dollar sign in your mind. Dollar signs are good, but if you are not passionate about the idea you will eventually get burned out and fail. Be in business to help others and do good for the world. Having a business you believe in will make it easy to get up every morning and build your empire!

The strategies and themes mentioned in this article will help you start or take a business to the next level. Take action, be persistent, focus, create systems, and ultimately follow your passion. Combining these strategies with a hard work ethic and positive attitude will set your vision up for success. I hope this article inspires you to take action and to go for it! GOOD LUCK.

Pete Sveen runs the Think Entrepreneurship Podcast and owns an E-commerce store name