One of the dreams of many people is to be able to start, and build, a successful company. An entrepreneurial spirit and dedication to fulfilling your dreams are the two things that are taught that an entrepreneur needs to have. While these two things are important, even foundational, they are not all you need. As more and more people take steps into entrepreneurship, new ideas flood the marketplace inspiring many. The real key to long term success, then, is to find ways to be a better entrepreneur. In order to help you in that direction, here are 10 ways to become a better entrepreneur.
1. Always Be Networking
Very few people in the course of history have been able to be successful, time and time again, without any help. Most successful entrepreneurs continually put themselves out into different circles in order to meet new people, make new connections, and plant ideas. This process is called networking. It is what drives the heart of all entrepreneurial projects. It is also one of the most frightening aspects of starting new ventures. However, networking is as easy and going to an event and simply joining in on conversations, leaving a business card, or becoming active on social networks like Twitter and Facebook.
2. Never Stop Learning
The world continues to move on at lightening speed. New concepts, ideas, creations, innovations, and products are being developed every day. An entrepreneur who does not take the time to learn these new ideas is quickly left behind. Successful entrepreneurs are those who continually read the newest books, attend classes and conferences, and push their own knowledge further. This leads to more creativity in your own business, but also helps to do things better.
3. Become Tech Savvy
As this world evolves into a more highly integrated existence, tech products will also continue to improve in all areas. Entrepreneurs should be quite savvy in the way that they can grow and adapt with the new tech products. This does not mean you must run out and purchase the next best thing, but you should have plans to upgrade as often as possible, and be proficient in their use.
4. Take Time to Market
Many entrepreneurs begin their venture with some marketing plans, but quickly get wrapped up in the “doing” of their project that they forget to plan for continued marketing. To be a better entrepreneur, continued planning of marketing schemes and ways to get out your message is an absolute must. A good rule of thumb is plan your marketing for every six months. This will enable you to use new innovations and technologies as they are developed.
5. Always Prepare for Tomorrow
One of the best practices that any entrepreneur can develop into a lifelong habit is to plan for tomorrow today. At the end of the day it is important to have a blank piece of paper and write down the goals for the next day before it begins. By doing so you can begin by crossing things off instead of wondering where you want to start. At the very least you should have a weekly list of things to accomplish to keep you on track and successful.
6. Get Better at Negotiations
In today’s world the way that you can negotiate a deal will have dramatic effects on your business. The best way to become a better negotiator is to listen to those who are. Take tips from them and implement them into how you would like to control your next deal. Making a bad deal is sometimes par for the course, but if you can minimize these then you will be a much better entrepreneur.
7. Make Relationships a Priority
As you connect with other people you must take a proactive approach in keeping in contact with them and acknowledge their importance in your life. This can be done through simply notes, cards for special occasions, or short “thank you” notes or gifts to show your appreciation. This also goes for your family relationships. Getting sucked into your business is a very easy thing to do. Let your family know how important and they are to you and you will become a better entrepreneur.
8. Always Ask for Feedback
How will you ever know what you need to improve if you do not ask? Many entrepreneurs benefit from instilling a personal feedback program for themselves. Through this mechanism you can then see yourself through other people’s eyes rather than your own perception. It is important to have a close circle of people, both friends and co-workers, that can give you good feedback for personal and business growth. Feedback from your customers is also important so you can improve your services or products.
9. Take Vacations
The importance of taking a vacation, or a break, can not be understated. As you live and breathe the start up and growth of a business it can begin to take a toll on your mind, your body and your relationships. By getting away you can refresh and be inspired with new ideas, meet new people, and renew the passion in your own family. If you do not feel comfortable with leaving for too long, take mini-breaks. A weekend in another town to simply enjoy the life you are creating for yourself.
10. Keep Control of the Clock
Every entrepreneur will tell you that there is never enough time in a day. If we were able to get another few hours, we would simply use them up with work. As your business begins to grow there will added pressures for continued success. Having a defined start and stop time will not only give you some of that needed “off time”, but will also make you more productive as you go through your to-do list.
Entrepreneurship is a very demanding way of doing business. It requires a lot of dedication and courage in order to climb that ladder of success. By using these tips in your own business you will find that you not only become a better entrepreneur, but your do so with a lot less effort and more joy.