Tag Archives: entrepreneur

A true Entrepreneur never fails, just learns

In the recent months, I have been thinking about the journey we take as entrepreneurs. This is not always a logical one and it has many twists and turns but as a lecturer I know it’s important to present a structured approach with a limited set of options. But as a realist, I also know the path to true enlightenment may be through the pit of delusion.

The message that failure is a good thing is one which many people are now talking about, yet I find our education system still thinks in a binary way, you either pass or fail and this can only be done at defined points, normally set by your age.

Our Examination system teaches us from a young age that there is only one right answer and many wrong ones. This then provides society with a view of you, typically a grade from A* to U. We sit and judge you from afar, if too many get high marks then the exams were easy, if too little get high mark then the youth of today are spending too much time on their Xbox. The hard fact for many young people is that the grade is final and they be able to change it, even if they get better at that subject. You never get the opportunity to learn from your mistakes or gain a higher grade.

Yet Entrepreneurship is about the path your take and the reactions to the decisions and not the decisions themselves.

Everyone is expected to take the wrong turn at some point and the important thing is how you get back on track. How do you learn from the situation? How do you react to your mistake? How do you reflect on the situation and opportunities surrounding you at this point?

Let me explain this in terms of driving from London to Paris. If you made one wrong turn at any point, then as long as you recognized this fact and acted on this information to rectify it, you would still arrive in Paris. It may or not take longer or extra time. yet our education system would have failed you and asked you to never drive this route again.

I always explain starting a successful business as having to make one hundred right decisions. Out of how many I do know know. Over what time I do now t know. I don’t know what feedback loop will be in place. When will I know that I have done it?

We all agree that these decisions will need to be made and that some of them will be shown to be wrong. (Either the right decision at the wrong moment or the wrong decision at the right moment) This is not a fail, just another opportunity to learn, rethink the plan and evaluate your surroundings.

Our secondary education system needs to develop an opportunity to reflect on the learning and allow the learner to build this into their learning plan moving forward.

Your path is your own and only on your reflection can you mark yourself.

What makes a good entrepreneur? – Advantage

I often have to look at new businesses and see if it is ready to move to the next step, sometimes this is investment, sometimes it is getting the first customer and other times it may be ready to have a mentor. For each of these the critical element is “Is the entrepreneur making the most of their advantage?”

This advantage is diverse but it is important that as an entrepreneur you look inside and see what are your strengths and how can you maximise these in the world we live in. These strengths can always be developed with new skills and abilities. The next evaluation is the team you have in you business and what are their strengths. Then you should start looking at the business, its brand, its products, its location and the processes that you have developed. This provides a very powerful advantage that your business can project into the market to develop loyalty, awareness and revenue. This advantage is very important to understand and evaluate to ensure they are real.

This internal search for the core assets of your business, is the most important aspect of creating a deliverable vision based on your strengths, and not on your competitors. Many entrepreneurs see the world in a different way and therefore create new products, services and experiences which no other person have ever thought of. This need to generate a new solution drives their creativity to develop a new alternative future for man kind, they have vision.

If you want to see examples of this, then watch “Drangon’s Den” where the investors will only invest in businesses they understand how they can add value, how they can use their advantage to their strength. It’s not about the money, it all about their core strengths when choosing to invest. If we take a look at “The Apprentice” we see the challenges playing to the hosts advantage, when they were developing their business they had core advantage, like selling on products for a profile. Successful people understand their strengths and how much they are worth and how they can get the most out of what they have. So ask yourself this important question.

We don’t have all the resources in the work when we are developing our business and therefore resourcing is always an issue. However once you know what you are good at, the rest by definition must require some extra resources. This is always a major issue for young and inexperienced entrepreneurs as managing other people is normally out side their mind or skill set. Handling diverse people within a business is an issue as creative people are motivate in a different way to sales people. The one advantage you will always have is you are an entrepreneur who started the business, you have the drive, vision and strength to lead those in your business. This is your advantage, use it.

Be faster at creating change than any other business!

In the news today Nokia and Mircosoft are teaming up. This is good news for both of these companies as they may now each do what they both do best. One will make hardware which receives radio signals, which a person can use to communicate. The other will make an operating system which everyone can use. Surely a great day for the consumer!

I can remember using my first mobile phone, it was a Motorola and you needed a motor vehicle to transport it. It was a carphone, you could even buy it in a special warehouse. Motorola really did dominate the first generation of mobile phones.

Then we moved to the second generation (GSM) and the Illinois based company just could not believe what was happening, even when their European executives told them. As with a lot of businesses they did not innovate fast enough, they did not see where the market was going and they just lost touch with their potential customers. They expected business as usual.

Nokia took the billion dollar market, they had better phones in terms of functionality and also in terms of diversity of style. The mobile phone became a consumer item, sold in supermarkets and everyone had a cupboard full of them at home.

Then we did the 3G thing, which cost a lot of money(loans). Whenever this happens companies become risk adverse and they try and control the business models, partners and also the consumer. The greedy operators were taxing everyone 50%, applications, SMS and event the payment solution. The cosy manufacturer-operator-regulator friendship was working. Yes, the regulators all want to keep the status as it keeps them in a job.

Then Apple and Google, who are always looking at markets in a fresh way thought this has to stop. The internet has largely been free from regulations, so devised a plan to attack.  Providing us the consumer with better handsets, services and business models.

As a business owner-entrepreneur you must understand that everything everyday changes. You have to both believe in the change and want the change. Be the master of change and feed from it. Just because you are doing well today, providing a great product, there is out there, somewhere in cyber space, someone looking at your business wanting part of the action.

Selling with passion leads to success

When we look at the motives for starting a business, one which stands out as the most durable is passion. The entrepreneur has a hobby, they wanted to make a difference or they have a great emotion for a subject that makes them want to start and develop a business around it.

This passion was their motive for starting and developed into their motivation to make this venture succeed. These are amazing businesses which develop around a person and lead to great entrepreneurial lifestyles that ensure their passion is maintained, developed and built upon. A self sustaining motivation leads to business success.

This success is also due to customers liking the entrepreneur and their passion for the product. They sell with their passion on their sleeve and for all to see. It’s a very simple yet powerful sales technique which only a few entrepreneurs can carry off, but it pays in pure dividends which I recommend, if you can, duplicate.

No one can take away your passion, only you, so it is a very powerful force in driving you to success and others to face the fact they believe in you. This self belief is the key to any sale, people buy from people and as you are the top of your game, you are in the right place at the right time. So when buying a product they look for people they like, they want to do business with, or people who make them feel good. Your passion does this, so make it your sales mantra which drives your success in sales.

People with passion for their product also say no, when customers ask for changes which they don’t like, increasing the desire for the product. People with passion have a vision they want the product to go in and therefore a vision which the client can buy into. Passionate people make the best sales people.

Start selling with passion and create your success in sales today.