15 Lessons For New Entrepreneurs

What Is an Entrepreneur?
The conventional definition of “entrepreneur” goes something like this: “A person who innovates while taking a risk in developing a product, service, or business.”  Another definition, a bit less precise but equally effective: “Someone who identifies an opportunity and creates a means to pursue it.”  Either way you look at it, the concept of entrepreneurship encompasses several traits.  Entrepreneurs want to create something of their own to bolster their feeling of personal achievement, and they do so with the knowledge that risk can sometimes equal failure.  For the new entrepreneur, he or she should concentrate on minimizing risk while maximizing opportunity.  How is this done?  The best way for new entrepreneurs to succeed is by following the life lessons laid out by those who have gone before.

Are You a New Business Entrepreneur?
Running your own business imparts great responsibility.  You will have employees who rely on you to provide a stable work environment.  You will have customers who expect you to deliver exactly as promised.  Suppliers want to be paid on time, and investors look to you as a source of profit for the money they have put into your company.  The successful entrepreneur takes calculated risks, not crazy ones.  By following the fifteen lessons below, you will have a leg up on the competition.

Fifteen Dynamic New Entrepreneur Ideas

  1. Start small – Too many budding entrepreneurs feel they need to jump into new entrepreneurship with both feet.  Especially if you are promoting a relatively untried concept, or if your business is breaking new ground geographically, it makes sense to keep your initial operation small while preserving capital.
  2. Learn to earn – Your time and your advice is worth money; don’t give it away.  Early in the process, it may be tempting to give your family and friends a break.  At the end of the day, however, free advice is only worth what you pay for it.  Lawyers make money through the concept of billable hours.  No matter what form your new venture takes, keep that in mind.
  3. Your idea is the key – Some new entrepreneurs have a strong desire to start a business, but they don’t know what to do.  Keep your eyes open and look for opportunities – they’re everywhere.  Find something that needs improvement or fills a need that is not being met.  Ask people for their opinion; you know they love to give it!  After a while, a great idea will come to you.  Then, run with it.
  4. Be a visionary – Ideas are wonderful, but they never attain reality unless acted upon.  Set goals for yourself and for your business.  Even if they seem too lofty today, you still need a target to aim at.  Think big, and big things will happen.
  5. Stay the course – There will be days when your entrepreneurial enterprise looks to be on its deathbed.  Money will be short, with customers few and far between and bill collectors knocking at your door.  The “I told you so” police will be out in force as well.  But if you have followed the previous concepts, keeping the faith while others around you say “nay” will serve you well in the long run.
  6. Do it now – Planning is an important part of any venture created by a new entrepreneur, but actions speak louder than words.  After everything is planned out properly, jump in and (with apologies to Nike), Just Do It!
  7. Profit or die trying – A healthy bottom line is an imperative part of a successful new business.  Cut costs at every opportunity, save where you can, and pay yourself last until the business is successful.
  8. Stay positive – Every new entrepreneur makes mistakes.  That’s just human nature.  By keeping positive thoughts uppermost in your mind, however, you will be able to use the lessons you learn from those mistakes to build a stronger business.  Negativity never helped anyone.
  9. Always improve your business – No company exists in a vacuum.  Everyone has competition, and your path to success involves staying ahead of it.  Introduce new products or services, improve your standard line, and keep your eyes open for new opportunities.
  10. Encourage your employees – The best asset any enterprise has is its people.  As an entrepreneur and a business owner, you should feel obligated to treat them with respect, dignity, and honor.  By believing in them, they will believe in you and your business.
  11. Stay solvent – Running out of cash is an entrepreneur’s nightmare.  You can’t stay in the game if your money is gone.  This ties in with number seven above, where profitability is the only thing that keeps your company operational.
  12. Attract new customers daily – One of your early goals as a new entrepreneur is to constantly come up with ideas that will drive more business through your door.  Even companies that sell something people need every day (like a bakery, or a gas station) need to find ways to constantly expand their client base.
  13. Only quitters fail – Every business experiences its dark days, but sticking with a concept you believe in can make your company stronger as time goes on.  Work through the tough issues, no matter how challenging they may seem at the beginning.
  14. Build a solid reputation – Brand names sell well for a reason; people recognize quality and fair value.  If you concentrate on building a company that has a strong brand affiliation, you will enjoy considerable success. 
  15. Opportunities are what you make of them – There are times when we recognize greatness, and others when greatness is thrust upon us.  It takes only one “yes” to put you onto the path to entrepreneurial greatness.  Keep an open mind, and don’t let a great opportunity pass you by.


Closing Question
Which of the aforementioned fifteen new entrepreneur ideas do you believe is the most important; the least important?

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