10 Secrets of Successful Entrepreneurs Written by Jenny Fulbright
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5. Plan accordingly. You have a vision, and you have enough faith in yourself to believe that you can achieve your vision. But do you know how to get to your vision? To achieve your vision, you need to have concrete goals that will provide stepping-stone towards your ultimate vision. Put your goals in writing; not doing so just makes them as intangible fantasies. You need to plan each day in such a way that your every action contributes to attainment of your vision. Do you foresee yourself as next Martha Stewart of hand-made home furnishings? Perhaps today, you need to see an artist to help you conceptualize new line of hand-made linens that you hope to launch. Intense goal orientation is characteristic of every successful entrepreneur. They have a vision, and they know how to get there. Your ability to set goals and make plans for your accomplishment is skill required to succeed. Plan, plan and plan - because without which failure is guaranteed.
6. Work hard! Every successful entrepreneur works hard, hard and hard. No one achieves success just by sitting and staring at wall every single day. Brian Tracy puts it out this way, "You work eight hours per day for survival; everything over eight hours per day is for success." Ask any successful businessperson and they will tell you immediately that they had to work more than 60 hours per week at start of their businesses. Be prepared to say goodbye to after-office drinks every day, or a regular weekend get-away trip. If you are in a start-up phase, you will have to breathe, eat and drink your business until it can stand on its own. Working hard will be easy if you have a vision, clear goals, and are passionate with what you do.
7. Constantly Look for Ways to Network. In business, you are judged by company you keep - from your management team, board of directors, and strategic partners. Businesses always need assistance, more so small businesses. Maybe lady you met in a trade association meeting can help you secure funding, or gentleman at a conference can provide you with management advise. It is important to form alliances with people who can help you, and whom you can help in return. To succeed in business, you need to possess good networking skills and always be alert to opportunities to expand your contacts.
8. Willingness to Learn. You do not need to be a MBA degree holder or PhD graduate to succeed in your own business. In fact, there are a lot of entrepreneurs who did not even finish secondary education. Studies show that most self-made millionaires have average intelligence. Nonetheless, these people reached their full potentials achieved their financial and personal goals in business because they are willing to learn. To succeed, you must be willing to ask questions, remain curious, interested and open to new knowledge. This willingness to learn becomes more crucial given rapid changes in technologies and ways of doing business.
9. Persevere and have faith. No one said that road to success is easy. Despite your good intentions and hard work, sometimes you will fail. Some successful entrepreneurs suffered setbacks and resounding defeats, even bankruptcy, yet managed to quickly stand up to make it big in their fields. Your courage to persist in face of adversity and ability to bounce back after a temporary disappointment will assure your success. You must learn to pick yourself up and start all over again. Your persistence is measure of belief in yourself. Remember, if you persevere, nothing can stop you.
10. Discipline yourself. Thomas Huxley once said, "Do what you should do, when you should do it, whether you like it or not." Self-discipline is key to success. The strength of will to force yourself to pay price of success - doing what others don't like to do, going extra mile, fighting and winning lonely battle with yourself.
Jenny Fulbright is a Staff Writer for PowerHomeBiz.com. For information on starting a small and home-based business, visit PowerHomeBiz.com at http://www.powerhomebiz.com
10 Lessons for Every "Shoestring" Entrepreneur Written by Isabel M. Isidro
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5. Is it right time? Timing can be a key to success of a start-up. There's a right time and a wrong time to open a business, especially if your business is cyclical in nature or in a seasonal location. The opening of a retail slot in your favorite mall, or your own convenience should not be your reasons for starting a business. Rather, you should plan through months when crest for demand of your product cyclically ends.
6. Control cash. Cash flow is said to be lifeblood of a small business. And rightly so. Your business will survive only as long as it has cash to pay for your financial obligations. With limited capital, cash flow controls every decision in shoestring enterprise, and it can be only way to navigate during your start-up phase. One key rule for entrepreneurs: only when you have adequate cash can you even begin to think of profits. Many businesses fail not because they are undercapitalized, but because they fail to properly plan undercapitalized operation.
7. Push sales. Building sales depend on several factors - nature of business, location, level or competition, and intensity of marketing and promotion. The goal of every shoestring entrepreneur must be to build up sales immediately. If you have a bank loan or financed your business through credit card, for example, your creditors will not allow you to delay your payments just because you are still in process of building up your sales. They want your payment - now! You therefore need to push marketing of your business, maybe issue a flyer this week, run a one-paragraph ad in local newspaper next, send out news briefs and article contributions. The key rule is to dedicate at least two hours of your day to marketing your business. Know steps you'll take before you open and after you open to maximize sales and help business to fast sales increases.
8. Balance your sales and profit objectives. Sales and profit do not always go together. Some entrepreneurs are willing to cut down their profits in their effort to drive sales up. Oftentimes volume alone will not be able to compensate for loss in profits. Try to maintain gross profits at least equal to industry averages. Strive to give business best balance between a solid policy of capturing sales without sacrificing needed profit margins.
9. Be 'lean and mean'. A struggling start-up does not need dead weights. Keep your fixed costs down, and spend only on items that can sufficiently contribute to improving bottom line. If you can still adequately operate from your home office, there is little need in leasing an office space in downtown area. Avoid hiring a permanent employee if you can still make do with temporary and seasonal staffs Every dollar in expense should be directly tied to income: spend a nickel only when you are sure you can get a dime in return.
10. Master financial tools. As a business owner, you are responsible for life and growth of your business. This entails knowing, not only marketing or production aspects of your business, but financial tools you need to manage your business effectively. Understanding finances of your business will give you control over its direction. Unpalatable it may be to some entrepreneurs, knowing money part of your business will tell you where you've been, where you're going, and how fast you're getting there. Sure, you can hire bookkeepers and accountants. But you yourself need to understand your cash flow, income, profit and loss statements, and break-even point.
Isabel Isidro is the Managing Editor of PowerHomeBiz.com. For information on starting a small and home-based business, visit PowerHomeBiz.com at http://www.powerhomebiz.com