So, it’s 2021, and, spurred on by the community of entrepreneurs you’ve surrounded yourself with, you’re ready to see your big entrepreneurial dreams become a reality. 2020 proved that anything can happen; the world flipped on its head within a matter of weeks, some businesses boomed and others disintegrated. Becoming an entrepreneur, especially now, is not for the faint-hearted. Some would say it’s crazy, but here at Entrepreneurs Collective, we’re inspired by people like you who have the drive and determination to start a business in any circumstances. So, if you’re looking for some advice and guidance on how to traverse the crazy world that we live in, here are our top 13 tips for entrepreneurs to be successful in 2021’s ‘New Normal’.
Have a vision and a purpose
Having a clear vision of your business is integral. Not only must you know what kind of business you want to create but you must also understand what value you want to create for your customers. Understanding why it is that you want to create that value and how you as a business owner will be able to do that is essential to be successful.
“Really understand the market you’re entering, the consumer you’re targeting and the problem you’re solving.”
Prepare a business plan
Once you have an idea of what value you want to create for your customers, then you will be able to create a coherent business plan with a profitable end goal. The more research you do for this, the easier it will be. Really understand the market you’re entering, the consumer you’re targeting and the problem you’re solving.
Be ready to pivot your business
As we saw in 2020, a lot can change in a very short period. Now more than ever it is imperative that businesses plan for even the most unlikely of events, whether that is societal, political or environmental changes (or even simply changing consumer trends). All up-and-coming entrepreneurs must be very well aware that they may have to pivot within a moment’s notice, and the more you prepare for the worst, the more successful off you’ll be!
“Skills are trainable, but a person’s character is unchangeable. Hire someone you can work with and someone who will encourage the team, and never put them down.”
Networking with other entrepreneurs and potential investors is essential for your business and your growth as a professional. Not only will you be able to find people that are willing to invest in you and your company, but you will be able to find like-minded people that probably have passed through similar hardships like you, and this is where finding mentors is critical. Here at Entrepreneurs Collective, our incredible events allow you to network with founders, mentors and investors, all of whom will be interested to hear your story and offer guidance. We’re huge advocates here for the importance of networking to be successful!
Hire character and not skill
Once you get to the stage where you can hire or you can bring on partners, you have to hire people that share your same goals. Skills are trainable, but a person’s character is unchangeable. Hire someone you can work with and someone who will encourage the team, and never put them down.
“Much like a game of chess, you must be 5 steps ahead of your competition and anticipate their movements, learn from their past moves and always think forward.”
Learn marketing on a budget
When you are in bootstrap mode, your budget has to be very strict -it’s not wise to spend all your money or savings on marketing. Learning to hack the system and market your company the fastest and cheapest way possible is important.
Understand your competition
What is your competition doing that is better than you? What are you doing that differentiates you from your competition to be successful? Much like a game of chess, you must be 5 steps ahead of your competition and anticipate their movements, learn from their past moves and always think forward.
“When you rest your body and mind, you will be ready for the next day’s challenges. “
Listen to your customer feedback
Now when you’re first starting out, this is one of the most valuable tips for entrepreneurs. The first customers are the most valuable people. The early adopters are the first ones that are willing to take the risk on your product/service. Listen to them & ask them what they think! You will learn valuable information from them, and they will (hopefully) spread the word of your great commitment to them.
Learn to relax and de-stress
Being an entrepreneur is stressful. Learning to de-stress cannot be undermined. Learn how it is that you want to de-stress; physical activity, socializing with friends, sleeping, watching TV, or meditating. Learn what makes you feel refreshed and understand your body has its limits. When you rest your body and mind, you will be ready for the next day’s challenges.
“Some investors look for different things, so first try and find out what it is that the investor is looking for and see whether you can help them.”
When you do meet a new investor, take into consideration two things; will you pitch them your business, or will you pitch them your purpose? Some investors look for different things, so first try and find out what it is that the investor is looking for and see whether you can help them. Raising funds in the best of times is hard enough, but during a pandemic, it will be even harder, luckily for you we have some tips and tricks for raising funds in a time of crisis. And we’ve also got more information on how to create the perfect startup pitch deck.
Never stop reading. Never stop learning. Even if you feel you have mastered your area of expertise, look for another area and learn something new. Be curious and always stay hungry.
At the Entrepreneurs Collective, we’re here to support founders on their journey to become successful. Whether the next 12 months will be just as challenging as the previous, our supportive network of founders and investors (who can give even more entrepreneur tips than this blog post!), coupled with our sponsor workshops, credits schemes and pitch competitions will enable our members to succeed, offering an assortment of tips for new entrepreneurs even in the midst of global hardship.