An ‘entrepreneur’ is defined as ‘a person who manages a business with considerable initiative and risk’.
If you own a business, great news – you’re already an entrepreneur! However, the ‘ship’ part in ‘entrepreneurship’ typically means whether or not someone manages their business well.
So, what does it take to be a successful entrepreneur? If you’re starting out, it can sometimes feel like you’re out of your depth and that your competitors were born for business. At Countingup, we want to empower new business owners and help budding innovators become successful.
In this article, we’ll teach you the key elements of entrepreneurship and walk you through how to build a lasting business. Read on to find out more.
1. Keeping developing your business
Business is a testing environment and successful entrepreneurs should learn from their successes and mistakes.
One of the best ways to do this is by market research and getting to know your customers. Understanding your customers’ wants and needs is essential for your business to stay relevant and trading for a long time.
If you’re just starting a business, market research will be an early and vital step to take. This will help you tailor your idea for what people need based on what they say or how best to fill the market gap you’ve identified. However, even if you’ve been trading for a while and have been successful, trends and tastes evolve, so keeping up with customer demands is essential.
The other half of this business equation is you and your business. Keeping a record of your past performance is a must for any successful entrepreneur. These records can be in the form of your budget or marketing strategy, and can tell you which choices worked best for growing your business and what you did specifically.
Without this record, any success you have will become hard to replicate, and your business will be disorganised and ineffective. If you make mistakes and your sales dry up, you can consult earlier notes to get yourself back on track and record what didn’t work for next time.
Finally, as you run your business, you’ll get to know your industry better. With a record of your orders and expenses, you can begin to identify areas you can reduce costs and save money. For example, you can look for seasonal patterns in your income or which stocked items don’t tend to sell as well. No one business model is going to be successful forever so continually developing your business is essential.
Read our article How to Write a Business Plan for more helpful advice.
2. Keep your marketing relevant
This second point might seem closely related to the one above. However, this point is specifically about how you market your business: good entrepreneurs know the value of strong communications.
As new technology and trends emerge, make sure your business stands out by having an engaging brand and interesting marketing. This partly concerns the content you share as publishing the same advertisement quickly becomes stale. Additionally, you should also have an eye for how your advertising materials are shared.
You may find that occasionally rebranding your business with fresh colours and more modern designs can energise new sales. Furthermore, using new marketing mediums like social media (or whatever the next step is after this one) can introduce new audiences to your business and grow your sales.
If you want advice on marketing, read our article How to Create a Marketing Strategy for a Small Business.
3. Build and use your network
If you’re looking for business advice or hiring people to help, you’ll need valuable and reliable contacts. Good entrepreneurs have a network of people around them they can trust.
Building a network for your business takes time and trust but can be highly useful in the future: offering you better access and flexibility when you need it. For example, some often-overlooked contacts within your business’ network could be potential suppliers. Having established and favourable relationships with your suppliers can mean they could give you leeway if your business’ cash flow becomes temporarily restricted.
This versatility can mean any stressful periods for your business can be eased while you figure things out, but can also mean you get priority or favourable access to new purchasing deals.
Other key contacts for your business should include your accountant, lawyer, any investors or lenders your business has, as well as any long-term clients you’ve held. Each interacts with your business differently, so developing good relationships can help your business in a variety of ways.
Know your business’ value
As you’re looking to sell your offers or secure investment, you’ll need to confidently and effectively communicate your business’ value. This is different from your marketing strategy as this is how you sell your business; here we’re concerned with what you’re selling.
Customers are often looking for products or services that solve problems in their daily life. Therefore, being able to evidence your industry knowledge and expertise can be an important aspect of successful selling.
Similarly, if you’re looking to expand your business, you may look to apply for funding from lenders or secure investment. Whether you’re presenting at an industry trade show or are writing a business plan, investors and lenders want to see value and promise in your business. Learn more about presenting your business’ value in our article How to Present a Business Plan to Potential Investors.
Entrepreneurship and Countingup
Countingup offers new entrepreneurs and small business owners the chance to save time and money.
If you’re new to the world of business, bookkeeping is an essential skill and mandated tax requirement. Unfortunately, as you’re looking to get established and build a strong base of sales, bookkeeping can be time-consuming and stressful.
Save time to improve your entrepreneurship and business experience by using Countingup.
With Countingup, your business current account and accounting software are available in one app. Coupled with handy expense reminders, automated invoicing and tax projections, you can have complete confidence in your books as you trade.
Our app’s profit and loss statements are generated in real-time – letting you gain insight into your performance and giving you the edge you need to build your business.
Find out more about Countingup here and sign up for free today.