Entrepreneur Tips: 7 Ways to Improve Your Chances of Success

For many people, starting their own business is part of the American Dream. But, it’s not without its challenges.

There are approximately 27 million entrepreneurs in the United States alone and that number is expected to grow. Rapidly.

That means it’s even more important to stand out from the crowd. With 30 percent of small businesses failing in their first year, finding ways to be successful can seem like a major challenge.

Wondering what you can do to boost your chances of success?

Here are a few handy entrepreneur tips to give you a leg up on your competition.

1. Pick an Industry or Niche You Love

The easiest way to be successful in your business is to make sure you enjoy what you’re doing.

During the planning process, take a look at your skills, how they can be used to fill a void in the market, and whether or not you enjoy using those skills.

If your skills don’t fit something you’re passionate about, start thinking about the industries you love most. Then, consider how you can use your skills in that industry.

As an entrepreneur, you’ll be spending a lot of hours working on your business. Make sure you enjoy it before committing to a business plan. If you don’t, overcoming the hurdles every small business faces can be almost impossible.

You need to have that fire and drive to push past roadblocks.

2. Target the Customers Your Competitors Leave Behind

Once you have a niche, start researching your target market. What are they looking for in products or services? How will you help satisfy their needs?

Look at your competitors in the industry and see what needs are still not being fulfilled.

When you understand how your business can satisfy customer demand in a way that your competitors aren’t, you’ll automatically set yourself up for success.

Remember, going after the same exact target market as your competitors only make it more difficult for you to succeed. But going after the customers they’re leaving out is always a good idea.

3. Invest in Learning New Skills

You can’t be an entrepreneur without a certain skill already in place. It’s what your business is based on!

But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t start learning new skills.

Take the time to evaluate what skills would help you grow and succeed in the long run. Then, consider if it would be more affordable to outsource those tasks or learn them yourself.

If you think you can learn those skills quickly and that performing those tasks won’t add significant stress to your workday, start learning! Even if you’re not an expert, having that extra bit of knowledge can help you take charge.

Not sure where to get training? Turn to the internet. There are dozens of online learning websites that can teach you the basics.

4. Stay Positive

Starting a business is hard. That should come as no surprise.

But when the challenges are constant, it’s easy to get trapped into a cycle of negative thought. Negativity blocks your vision and makes it difficult to spot solutions.

The key to being successful is maintaining a positive outlook on your business when things get tough.

When you’re positive, you’re better prepared to solve problems, develop innovative practices, and grow your company.

5. Create a Budget and Stick to It

Financial planning is one of the best ways to set yourself up for success as a business owner. But it takes work.

Before you start building your brand, you need to have a good source of capital in place. This means finding investors, working with a business partner, or drawing from your savings to keep things running.

Consider how much money you need to meet your goals in year one and draft a plan to get there. Write it down and stick to it!

If you need a business loan, start looking for lenders. If you plan on drawing from your savings, make sure you leave enough to cover your personal expenses.

As your business grows and changes, you may need to adapt your budget and update your business plan, but that means you’re doing things right! Change is part of the process.

6. Focus on Sustainable Growth

One of the biggest downfalls for entrepreneurs is growing too rapidly.

It’s easy to see early success and want to expand on it, but doing so too quickly can put a financial strain on your company. If you’re going to grow, start out slowly.

Bring on a new business partner or employee when you need them rather than rushing the process. Rent an office space once it becomes practical–not when you land your first large client.

By growing slowly, you’ll set yourself up for future success. You won’t tax your budget or strain your operation and procedures.

7. Listen to Feedback…Both the Good and the Bad

How will you be able to tell whether or not your clients are happy? Their feedback!

Customer reviews and referrals are a great way to see what you’re doing right and where things can improve.

The important thing is to be willing to listen to both the good and bad feedback.

View the positive feedback as a way to validate what works in your business. Look at negative feedback as a chance to do better.

When a client or customer complains about something, listen to them. If multiple people have the same feedback for you, you’ll know exactly what you need to improve.

Still Struggling?

Launching a startup is tough, especially if you’re going it alone. But just because you’re going into business for yourself doesn’t mean you can’t ask for help.

Reach out to your network for advice and additional entrepreneur tips. Talk with other entrepreneurs and advisors to see what they did to overcome the challenges they faced.