If you study successful entrepreneurs, among many things, you’ll learn that many entrepreneurs spent years working long hours to achieve success.
Yet the definition of success varies based upon who you ask. For me, the foundation for entrepreneurial success is based on innovative thinking, breakthrough ideas and most importantly — execution.
For example, Richard Branson says “…you must have the bravery to give it a go.” Branson started his first business selling mail-order records when he was 20 years old. Forty years later he leveraged that business into his Virgin Group empire. Forbes estimates his current worth at $4 billion.
So, if you’re brave enough to give entrepreneurship a go, here are 5 success tips to keep in mind.
1. Hard work breeds success
Everybody knows success isn’t achieved overnight. It comes from hard work and dedication. As Kevin Durant, a professional basketball player for the Golden State Warriors, has said: “Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard.”
Scott Belsky, a general partner for Benchmark Capital and co-founder of Behance shares the same sentiment: “There are no shortcuts to lasting success. Hard work is the single greatest competitive advantage. “
2. Customer experience is king
Customer experience (CX) is a benchmark for today’s leading companies. Many startups fail to reach their potential because they are more focused on the transaction instead of the relationship. “A study from NewVoiceMedia indicates that companies lose more than $62 billion due to poor customer service. No company can afford to be a customer service laggard.”
A few ways to improve your CX include loyalty programs, referral incentives, immediacy, personalization, and convenience. For example, when it comes to personalization and immediacy, companies like Jet Blue prove that social media is a great tool to deliver on both. When customers tweet Jet Blue, they respond within a matter of minutes.
3. Find business mentors
According to Success.com, “Among the wealthy, 93 percent who had a mentor attributed their success to that person. Mentors regularly and actively participate in your growth by teaching you what to do and what not to do.”
Find mentors who have built companies you admire or that are similar to yours, and find out how they did it. Find advisors that will tell you what it’s really like — people who talk about failure and sacrifice.
4. Build a winning team
Identify your core skills and build a team of talented people who offer complementary skill sets. Hire people who are good at what they do. As Brian Tracy explains, “Selecting the right people is the starting point of excellence in management. Probably 95% of your success as a manager resides in your ability to select the right people in the first place. If you hire the wrong people, then no matter what you do, what techniques you use, or what efforts you put in, it is not going to make very much difference.”
5. Prepare to pivot
Business can be unpredictable. Things that are out of your control can throw a serious wrench into your plans. Maybe a competitor just launched a beta version of the product you’re currently developing or your co-founders wants a buy-out in order to pursue another business idea. Whatever the situation, be prepared for the unexpected and adapt with flexibility. Meanwhile, take inventory of potential issues that can leave your business exposed.
This article has been edited.
Campbell Jof is a Creative Head for Designhill, as well as a blogger and designer. He writes on topics concerning design, business logos, eCommerce, start-ups, digital marketing, and interactive content. His creative work has earned him several laurels over the years. Connect with @Campbelljof on Twitter.
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