When you want to build a successful business, it pays to follow in the footsteps of those who have come before you. Take a look at interviews, books and other sources, and you’ll find that there are certain things the world’s top entrepreneurs do that less successful ones don’t. Read on for some of these tricks and how you can use them today.
Have an Open Mindset and Keep Building New Skills
The most successful business owners are those who keep building new skills each week, month and year. They don’t rest on their laurels; they continue to push themselves forward and to develop both key entrepreneurial practical knowledge as well as personal traits that help them succeed, such as communication skills, creativity, problem-solving ability, focus, etc.
To be the best in your field, you must regularly have new experiences and learn new things. You can pick up a lot from books, blogs, magazines, reports, white papers, newsletters, forums and the like. These materials will help you stay up to date on industry trends and events and to discover more about topics wide and niche. It pays to attend networking and industry events as well and to join business groups and associations.
Consider getting more comprehensive training, too. For example, participate in courses and workshops, and attend seminars, talks, and conferences. For the most in-depth development, enroll in a degree. A business program, such as an MBA, is great for all-round knowledge; or you might want to study something more specific that will help you in your particular business.
For instance, a MS Business Analytics degree online will help you learn how to effectively use data, while a degree in marketing or communications can help you get the word out about your venture and its offerings. Similarly, a course in computer science will set you up to develop tech products and the like, while a finance or economics degree is beneficial when it comes to managing business cash flow and getting access to funding.
Surround Yourself With the Best People
While you might think, “I’m just going to start a business by myself, so this isn’t relevant,” keep in mind that to grow your venture you will have to get to the point where you hire staff eventually. Before that, you should be utilizing the talents, knowledge and support of others anyway. For instance, you will most likely need to consult with an accountant, a financial advisor and a lawyer as you set up your organization to ensure it’s done in the most practical and beneficial way possible.
You should also find mentors to help you negotiate the business landscape. By reaching out to those who have been in your shoes before, you can not only get advice and learn a lot but also have someone there to listen when you’re feeling overwhelmed by your business journey. Running a venture is stressful and challenging, and everyone has tough times.
Once your business is at the point where you can begin outsourcing some tasks and hiring in-house employees for others, you need to be sure you’re choosing the best people. The most successful entrepreneurs are those who work out how to spot and utilize talent. They’re adept at delegating work and leading, motivating and inspiring a team to greatness. Start working on your leadership skills now, so once you do have people working for you, you can get the most out of them from the start.
Find Ways to Innovate
Keep in mind that entrepreneurs who have long, successful careers are often known for their ability to innovate. To stay at the top of your game and ensure your venture keeps growing, you must find ways to stay ahead of trends — or even create them.
Economies, laws, consumer interests, lifestyles, situations and other areas of life continue to change and evolve, so businesses must do the same. It’s impossible to achieve remarkable results if you’re doing the same things as your competitors and in the same ways.
Challenge yourself to have a creative, problem-solving mindset. Look for new opportunities, keep an eye out for threats, and think outside the box when it comes to finding alternative solutions to problems. Be strategic, always looking ahead multiple “moves,” and don’t be afraid to take advantage of new technologies and customer interests. Be open to pivoting in your business. If one tactic or pathway isn’t working, or if changes are afoot which could spell disaster, don’t leave it until it’s too late to try something else.