If you have serious interest in becoming one of the successful entrepreneurs who build an idea into a successful business, you will benefit from doing some of the same things others have done. It will certainly help if you have a few of the same personal characteristics as these company founders. But if you follow the right path, you will have an even better chance.
1. You Must Do What You Enjoy
If you try to start a business that involves activity you don’t enjoy, your chances of success are not very good. Keep in mind; about half of all start-up businesses don’t last beyond the first five years. A huge number cease operation after one year. The key here is to make sure your business gives you personal satisfaction and enjoyment, along with financial benefits.
2. But Seriously
Even though you have to get a certain level of enjoyment and satisfaction from your new business, it’s essential to take it seriously. Some veterans of this process use the word “believe” to let new entrepreneurs know what’s required. If you don’t believe in the service and the products, you are more likely to be turned from your goal by those who say it can’t be done.
3. Be Frugal
It won’t take many words to explain this key. You don’t have to be Ebenezer Scrooge. (If you don’t understand this reference, read A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens). But you must manage your money wisely from the beginning.
4. Customer Service First
You may have heard the saying, “The customer is always right.” While this is stretching the truth a bit, you must focus on the customer first, every day. Even if you believe you have the most outstanding product ever invented, you are in the service business.
5. Entrepreneur, Know Thy Customer
In connection with putting the customer first, you must know your customers extremely well. It’s the only way you’re truly going to be able to deliver personalized attention. Answer your own phone calls and pay attention to what the customer tells you. Their story is the key to your success.
6. Reputation is a Business Asset
Thousands of businesses survive by delivering good service. A select few lead the way by delivering unmatched customer service. Be consistent, be honest. Your reputation is a business asset.
7. Sell Benefits, Not Features
This is really a two-in-one key to being a successful entrepreneur. You must ask for the order or you won’t get the sale. But you get to the point of asking when you sell the benefits of using or owning the products/services you’re offering. If it solves a problem for the customer, that’s a benefit.
8. You Must Follow Up, Always
If you communicate with a potential customer, based on a lead you’ve received from your marketing, you should do two things every time. Make an offer and include a call to action. Once you’ve done this you must follow up – not once, not twice, but three or four times. This applies to current customers just as it does to potential customers
9. Deal with Facts
This should be a consistent method of operation for every business. Make your decisions based on facts and on solutions, not on emotion. Don’t assume something will happen. Make it happen. Don’t project a good or bad outcome. Create the outcome the customer desires.
10. Have a Plan and Follow It
This is an absolute must. Maybe it should be first on the list. But it’s here, at #10, in the hope it will stick in your mind when you get started. In fact, put these keys/tips in any order you want. But use them.
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