Dan Radak, World Executives Digest | While the history of the business world is filled with stories of people who failed on their first try only to build an empire later on, for a lot of people, there is only one shot. Getting demoralized isn’t even the main reason why this is so, seeing as how a lot of people use all resources they’ve got and even indebt themselves in order to pursue this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Sure, a lot of people say that learning from mistakes is the most effective method, but learning from your own mistakes can sometimes be incredibly expensive.
Luckily, in the age of the internet – the age of free knowledge – there is no reason why you shouldn’t learn from others’ mistakes in order to get a much cleaner first-run. Of course, this is far from being the same thing, since every situation is different, but some of the costliest mistakes can be avoided by just doing a bit of research. In this way, you can ensure much better odds for your business and even make the consequences of a failure much less drastic, so that you have the opportunity to bounce right back. With this in mind, here are five tips that most first-time owners find simply invaluable.
Start building a network
The first major mistake that first-time business owners make in the corporate world is believing that everyone is out to get them. You see, sometimes even people who should be your direct competitors aren’t threatened by you, seeing as how the industry demand might exceed their capacities to begin with.
In this situation, they might be willing to connect you with their suppliers and contacts, recommend you to a person whose demands they currently can’t meet or even directly outsource some of their excess work to you. For this to happen, however, you need to start networking day-one. Keep in mind that even if your business fails, most of these contacts will remain valuable assets in your future efforts.
Keep your personal life in check
Another major mistake that keeps recurring is committing to your work so hard that you completely neglect your personal life. On the one hand, working too hard may get you completely exhausted and therefore make you less capable to deal with all your tasks. Still, this is merely the tip of the iceberg. Hurting your family, neglecting people who care about you and giving up on things that make you tick can have a serious impact on your morale. Needless to say, if you allow yourself to lose motivation, your business will inevitably follow you on this downward spiral.
Listen to feedback
Instead of focusing too much attention on expensive analytics and surveys, you can simply try to keep an eye out for what people are saying about your business. For this, you can simply go to the comment sections under the content you publish, look at reviews of your business on various platforms and see the direction in which your ratings are moving. For those who want to take this kind of media monitoring to the next level, going with a platform such as Isentia might be the right choice. In this way, you can get a much more detailed report on your overall media coverage and track your brand’s journey every step of the way.
Set realistic goals
The easiest way to get disappointed is simply to set your expectations too high. While believing in your idea and entrepreneurial prowess is, beyond doubt, a good thing, expecting to get rich overnight is simply not realistic. Those who enter the business world with this kind of goal are bound to meet some major disappointment sooner rather than later. The easiest way to set realistic goals is to do a survey of the companies you believe will be your closest competitors and look into their growth rate. Although this kind of projection usually isn’t terribly precise, it can give you at least some idea of what to expect in the nearest future.
Prepare for success
In the introduction, we talked about the high chance of your first enterprise failing. However, what happens if everything goes according to plan? The growth of your company can’t be an end goal – it is a transition period towards something bigger. Needless to say, not knowing how to handle it properly can lead you into a whole world of trouble. Should you hire more people or outsource this excess work? Do you immediately move to larger headquarters or hire some remote workers? These are just some of the questions you need to have an answer to upfront.
At the end of the day, you need to keep in mind that running a business is a marathon and not a sprint. This is why you need to save your strength for many battles to come. In order to come out of this struggle victorious, you need plans, allies, tools and a safe haven where you can recharge your batteries at the end of a long day. Finally, while you should always expect the best, you need to keep all your options open. With this mindset, no obstacle should be too hard to overcome.
Dan Radak is a marketing professional with eleven years of experience. He is currently working with a number of companies in the field of digital marketing, closely collaborating with a couple of e-commerce companies. He is also a coauthor on several technology websites and regular contributor to Technivorz.