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Six Key Steps To Succeed When Starting From Nothing

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It’s not enough to have a fantastic thought backed by a solid business strategy. 

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What do Kevin Plank, John Paul Dejoria/Paul Mitchell, Jan Koum and George Soros have in common? For starters, these founders of, respectively, Under Armour, John Paul Mitchell Systems, WhatsApp and the George Soros Fund Management, all started with barely a nickel in their pockets. Some hardly had any formal education. Yet, theirs’ has been a tale of massive success built without venture capital or initial support from any bank. What they had truckloads of was what we call immaterial wealth: business intuition, professional expertise, a strong network and the ability to work all hours of the day… and the night.

Let me break down some of the ingredients to their success.

1)     The Right Moment To Launch Your Business

Many entrepreneurs strike out with just a small amount of personal capital. This puts pressure on them to promptly find gifted sales and unearth more capital and subsidies. John Paul Dejoria and Paul Mitchell scraped together $700 to launch John Paul Mitchell Systems in 1980. 37 being shortly their net worth is over $3.1 billion. At the heart of their success was a lack of dread of debt. The early momentum they established was accompanied by a strategy to reimburse all loans. Debt in fact turned out to be a valuable asset. Another positive factor was what is dubbed “sweat equity”.

2)     Don’t Go It Alone

Successful entrepreneurs often start their adventure with one or more co-dreamers. Top leadership specialists, Tricia Naddaff, president of Management Research Group, once said interaction “make(s) a new, stronger entity”. She pursued: “The best teams are courageous observers of themselves”, and are well-versed in the strengths and weaknesses of their partner(s). There’s nothing better than a new and enthusiastic team,” she insisted, “one that, on a shoestring budget, tries to do something that’s by no means been done before.”

The Cards Against Humanity company reflects such togetherness. The founders’ combined skills in the commercial, technical and administrative departments have allowed them to erect a $12 million firm in their very initially year. A similar team philosophy has helped to propel the likes of MailChimp, Paintnite, Klaviyo, Zip Recruiters and Mojang into the financial limelight.

3)     Innovative Offers Which Answer Tangible Needs

Entrepreneurs who hit gold often chance on an urgent need which is not being addressed by the commercial world. In France, Crazy Voyages noticed that no one was catering for stag parties. Their personal experience made them choose to launch a successful startup which has become pan-European. In the U.S., the tale of Lynda Weinman and her online training website, Lynda.com, has reached nigh-mythical proportions. The self-taught computer instructor was frustrated at the dearth of technical books she could provide for her web design lessons. Linking 1995 and 2015 (when LinkedIn bought Lynda.com for $1.5 billion) Weinman’s company exploded then expanded on the online education scene. Her risky and innovative approach are well-chronicled in the copious publications co-authored with her husband Bruce Heavin.

4)      Work, Work And More Work

The success of a young company often resides more in a vigorous, no-holds-barred ability to implement business plans than in spawning them before. It’s not enough to have a fantastic thought backed by a solid business strategy. You also have to invest a considerable amount of sheer energy. To make Anders Pink and BuzzSumo, serial entrepreneur Steven Rayson insists on the resilience needed to beat off competition. His relentless approach, allied to his ability to team up with similarly-minded entrepreneurs helped BuzzSumo reach $2.5 million in revenue in its very initially year.

5)     Satisfy Your Customers

Another crucial way to beat the competition is cultivating your relationships with your customers. Awareness of their experience helps improve your offer at every level. The Genesys Global Survey estimates the global loss due to poor customer service a whopping $338.5 billion a year. The United States leads the table with $80 billion, nearly twice as much as second and third-placed China and Brazil. They could undoubtedly subsidy from the exemplary customer attitude of companies of the likes of Ritz-Carlton, Trader Joe’s, Rackspace, Jetblue and Wistia.

6)     Aim For The Stars

The adage “Start small, fail quick, reckon huge” fits perfectly with the trajectory of the Waze navigation app. It started as a community-driven project to provide people with a free map. In the following seven being, but, it morphed into a global enterprise offering GPS-guided air force to car drivers from southern Chile to northern Finland. Its steadfast development attracted Google which bought Waze for $1.15 billion in 2013. This kind of success is inspirational for the hundreds of employees behind the company’s ascension. They gain experience and added responsibility as a once-confidential startup becomes one of the world’s leading navigation tools.



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