Before you say “I’m not an entrepreneur so this article isn’t for me,” read the definition of entrepreneur. You’re very much an entrepreneur and your drive to make your business rise above the others proves that you have the entrepreneurial spirit too.
That being clarified, this article is very much for you. Whether you’re in the infancy stages with your business or you’re a seasoned serial entrepreneur, the advice we’ve aggregated in this post can help you be even better at what you do.
As an entrepreneur, the approach you take in your business can make a world of difference. You need a plan that covers the short-term and long-term and gives you what you need to target problem spots and apply the business philosophies that work best for your industry.
Having a strong peer group as mentors is important in providing you with insight from those who have faced similar situations – whether they be successes or failures – that will help you to either avoid their missteps or better capitalize on wins. Tapping into a peer group can mean the difference between struggling and finding success.
Good mentors can offer encouragement when deserved and constructive criticism when needed as well as guidance on subjects and situations from A to Z – without attempting to run the business themselves. Your mentor is someone who HAS BEEN where you are and is now a mature, seasoned business person. You also need to seek advice from peers who are in the same place you are in their business growth. The value here is that they ARE IN similar situations as you but have different strengths and perspectives and are likely to be able to help you through your struggles…just as you may be able to help them through a struggle of a different sort.
Seek Out and Use Valuable Advice
We’re sharing 9 pieces of advice from members of Forbes Magazine’s Coaches Council. These are things that they wish they had known early on. You get the benefit of their lessons learned.
- Research and Understand Your Market
Take the time to do market research and really listen closely to your ideal client’s needs. Get really in tune with them to know where they’re at right now: That is different to where you would like them to be. Take this intel and craft it into an irresistible solution for them to be able to get easier yeses in your business. – Penny Elliott, Pennycomins.com
- Put in The Hard Work
Starting a business is exponentially harder than another other job. Successful entrepreneurs need to operate well across a variety of functions: sales, marketing, finance, operations, HR, etc. On top of that, creating an enterprise from scratch requires creativity, persistence and continuous learning. – Justin Kulla, BusinessBlocks
- Mold the Life You Want for Yourself
You are the designer of your life. If there are parts of your life that do not fit well, you can make adjustments. Think of your life and career as clay on a potter’s wheel and you as the potter. Get a picture in your mind of what the masterpiece looks like and keep shaping toward that picture. – Bonnie Hagemann, Executive Development Associates
- Really Listen to Your Clients
Truly listen and empathize with your clients. Everyone is so interested in getting their own personal message across, that no one pauses for a moment to actually listen and hear the root of the problem or pain. Believe in listening 80% of the time, clarifying 10% of the time, and responding wholeheartedly and intentionally, is the remaining 10% of the time. – Stephynie Malik, ChiqueSpeak
- Learn with a Team
Most leaders settle for learning by themselves. They read a book or attend a conference by themselves. Good leaders learn with the help of a mentor. A coach can come alongside a leader and help the leader see things from a different perspective. The best leaders learn with a team. An old proverb teaches that where there are many advisors, there is much success. – Ken Gosnell, CXP – CEO Experience
- Focus on What Makes You Thrive
Be unapologetic and relentless with what makes you thrive. Many times, we are influenced from the outside world, and cloud our own desires for the sake of those around us. The sooner you are able to grasp this nugget, the sooner it will drastically change your world. – Neeta Bhushan, Global GRIT institute
- Play the Long Game
It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day challenges of running a business, but you MUST carve out time at least once a week to take stock of what you’re doing for the long-term health of your business. That includes marketing, training, employee development, community engagement and capital development. Sound investments today will pay dividends in the future. – Jim Judy, Try Franchising
- Focus on the Rewards
This may sound cliché, but my honest advice is to go for it when considering starting a new business venture, despite the fear it may not work out. One needs to adopt the mindset that the whole journey is a big experiment and that “failure” is not an option, because ultimately it is learning and growth that we will get. Focusing on the rewards instead of the fear is the real key to success. – Noor Hibbert, This Is Your Dream LTD
- Network with Experienced Execs
Take any opportunity to network and learn from more experienced executives, as well as to be mentored and coached by some of them. Further, exposure to specific meetings, boardroom discussion, and strategic planning would be utterly beneficial. – Izabela Lundberg, Legacy Leaders Institute
These gems of advice are great! But they are from entrepreneurs from various industries that DO NOT include children’s activity centers like gyms, dance studio and swim schools. That is fine because we often learn new ways to do things from those in other industries. But – as we noted above – it’s of tremendous benefit to hear from those who have the same issues, same types of customers, same working hours and staffing challenges, etc. as you have.
Considering that, we’ve gathered a few tips from a couple of your industry peers in a new post to provide words of advice from those in your industry who have walked down a path like yours.