When it comes to success in business, it is the most important factor that entrepreneurs think about. If it was possible to get an ingredient that could be able to cook up business success, you can be rest assured that some entrepreneurs would have long bought it and begin selling it to others for profit.
As much as many of us would love it to be that easy, in reality, it is far from this. By far, I mean it is not even close to all those jargons being advertised daily in your email inbox and spam folder. To be a successive entrepreneur, one has to be a combination of a whole lot of things. At some point in time, he could be a combination of some things or a combination of all. When it comes to success, every minute details matters. Knowing just when to stay calm and when to make a move could be all that’s needed to make or break the business.
Taking the leap
Adjunct associate professor of entrepreneurship at the London Business School, Keith Willey, says while these success tips can readily be taught, some characteristics – which are often the most important – would have to be sought from within.
According to him, what makes an entrepreneur different from everyone else is their ability to spot opportunities in places where other people won’t. While many think of this as a superhuman effect, it can actually be learnt. The only trick, if there is one, is the ability to do quality feasibility and analysis of opportunities found. This allows the entrepreneur to spot these opportunities before any one and after such analysis, be willing to invest capital and time.
He continues by saying, what makes it more of an innate instinct is the ability to know when to act on the instinct and opportunity. This is the part that is usually difficult to teach. This is the part where the individual decides if he’s going to quit his job or not. Obviously no amount of teaching can give an individual this level of complex calculation.
When it comes to making such decision, it has to be done on a personal level. Looking at the statistics, it says that two of every business would not be able to survive after three years. This may seem sad but it is the reality on ground. Willey advises entrepreneurs to have a mind-set of winning and not losing much but continues that they must make such decisions with a clear mind.
One of the determinants of which side of the statistics your business who eventually fall into, is how effectively you are able to sell your products or services. While many tend to look at it in just the area of selling products and services, as an entrepreneur, one would have to look at it on how well you can sell people on your business idea to secure desired funding.
A good example of an entrepreneur that has been able to do this is James Lodge. He is the owner and founder of WowMugs.com which manufactures and retails colour changing ceramic mugs. Using his skills as a good sales and management expert, he was able to grow his product which he developed in his garage.
According to Lodge, it was easy for him to move into technical sales because of his extensive background. He advises that if someone has something to create or sell at any point in one’s life, such a person cannot bypass sales presentations.
According to him, he became successful because he had quality training during his pre-entrepreneurial years. He adds that he was privileged to attend quite a number of marketing and sales courses. While some of these courses were sponsored by companies, he too had to pay for others, just to get the right knowledge.
Business Sense: Know when to spend
Willey continues by saying that there is more to just knowing how to sell your idea to others and see things others can’t. He says, there’s still a huge possibility that you will fail. This should not be a weakness but one should find strength in this. He calls it ‘survival bias’.
Many people tend to admire successive people but fail to realize that what makes them that successful is the decisions they too at the right time. These successful people know when to invest their money into business ideas.
When it comes to analysing business success, the part that is not readily seen by the public is those select few who never made any decision to invest. They were comfortable with the idea of the dream but never knew when the opportunity hit them in the face.
Even with all the gifting in effective sales, if one is not able to apply business sense, sooner than later, they will lead many astray. Willey warns that many people have a wrong concept of whom or what an entrepreneur is all about. It’s now more like a myth for many. To become a successful entrepreneur, there are certain skills one would have to possess. A good understanding of general management will go a long way in keeping the business profitable. A good business sense, as well as sales skills, would also be needed. The good thing about these skills is that they can be learnt.
Adding more to this, Lodge affirms the path to becoming a successful entrepreneur starts with great passion and creativity. While these are the starting point, to achieve a lot, you will need a background in technical, sales, management and marketing.
As stating before, these background skills can be learnt, albeit expensive. For example, in the area of marketing, if one dos not know what it entails, they are going to have to spend a lot of money to get this part done, and done properly.
When it comes to marketing, there are several ways to get people to work under a budget. Let’s be honest with ourselves, to achieve success in business, one would have to know how to make budgets. There are quite a number of professionals that are able to deliver quality marketing at a fixed budget you have created.
If the business owner has the necessary marketing skills, there’s a higher chance that they can do it effective. Now while it is essential to have these aforementioned skills, it is worthy to note that with a remarkable product and service, the skills required may not be as many as stated. This is because a quality product and service tend to market itself with little external marketing strategies.