Did you know that American automaker, Henry Ford failed 5 times before succeeding and the man behind Sony first invented a rice cooker that couldn’t cook rice properly? Not everyone can do it right the first time. That’s why probably the most important quality of successful entrepreneurs is persistence.
However persistence is just one of the many things that success in business requires. This is a short summary of what I’ve observed it takes to succeed when starting a business along with a few common myths to watch out for.
Myth#1 – You need money – Yes money is needed to start a business but the perception that one needs a lot of money is the myth. Thousands of people have started a business with less than $1000. Many times, it’s not about how much startup capital you have access to but how to spend it. For example, why buy a new computer when you have a fairly good working computer already? Why rent an office downtown if you can work from home?
In other cases money isn’t as important as having access and control of a business asset. You don’t necessarily need to own something out-right, you just need to be able to control it. For instance, you might get control of a property with the option to buy it at a certain price. You then proceed to find a buyer for that property and sell your “option” to the buyer at a profit. So by simply having control of the property you were able to make money while never actually having owned the property yourself.
Myth#2 – All you need is a great product – Yes it’s great to have a great product but there are lots of other factors at play such as timing, and successfully marketing and promotion, not to mention competition.
There have been many products that were invented yet weren’t successful.
To see a list click here: http://listverse.com/2013/01/12/10-innovative-pieces-of-technology-that-failed-miserably/
Fortunately in today’s business world, the internet provides many cost-effective ways to market your winning product idea. In fact with options such as crowdfunding available (check out sites like www.indiegogo.com and www.kickstarter.com) it’s easier than ever to get people to support your innovative product idea. The key to success in the internet age is to focus on building a relationship with your customers rather than the old strategy of just constantly blasting your brand into everyone’s face hoping to keep your product “top of mind”.
Myth#3 – All you need is passion – Passion is great and will take you far but it is may not be enough. The upside of building a business around your passion is that it keeps the business from feeling like just another job.
However the downside is that you can be easily blinded by something that you’re passionate about. Your passions can prevent you from seeing the weakness in your business plan because you’re too emotionally invested, this can lead to failure.
For example, if you want to start a car trading business because you have an intense passion for cars, you need to be realistic about the time it would take to turn-around a car. A car may end up sitting in your driveway for weeks at a time. If you love trading nostalgic or collector’s cars it may take even longer. So while you might really enjoy what you do, the niche nature of your passion presents some challenges.
So the ideal situation is to find something that you can be passionate about that has a high probability of success because there’s a ready-made market already in place. As well, be aware of your tendency to become overly emotional about your business. Maintain a flexible mindset since you’ll probably have to make a number of changes to your game-plan before you hit your stride.
Successful business people also tend to share certain traits that give them an edge over the competition. A few of these traits are listed below:
Be Resilient – There will be bumps along the road with any business. To be resilient means being able to bounce back with determination and resisting the temptation throw in the towel when things get tough.
Being resilient also means being able to take negative criticism of your vision even from the people closest to you. Hang in there and be confident about your vision but be humble and keep an eye out for valid critiques that you can use to make your business better.
Be Passionate – As mentioned earlier, passion is very important. Not only does being passionate make your business way more fun and fulfilling, passionate people are also natural sales people, even when they don’t mean to be.
People want to follow people who are authentic and believe in what they’re doing. At the end of the day why should you be wasting your time doing something you don’t believe in?
Be Decisive – If you’re going to be running a business then having leadership skills is implied right? So you need to be comfortable assessing situations and making decisions. People also want to work with people who have clear direction. You need to be able to declare your vision and move forward confidently.
So if you’re getting ready to start your business adventure this should give you some things to chew on.
What other traits do you think are critical to success of new business or business owner? Put your ideas in the comment section below and share your knowledge.
About The Author:
Patrick Ogunnaike is an entrepreneur based in Toronto. In 2012 he founded TheMankipedia.com. When he’s not busy writing or editing articles for TheMankipedia he’s usually rummaging through youtube or watching a science documentary making him an endless source of fascinating but mostly useless facts.