At the heart of every successful small business, is an entrepreneur. Being innovative, placing customer service at the heart of strategies, handing out gifts to other businesses and recognising areas of potential growth are all hallmarks of a great entrepreneur. Here are some hints and tips if you’re a budding entrepreneur and are looking to set up (or have just started) your own business.
Innovation is central to any small business. If they are offering a service or product that no other company is, attracting investment and customers should be easy. For example, Facebook manages to dominate large scale social media channels because it has established itself as the market leader thanks to its innovative approach to keeping people connected.
Jeff Bezos, who is founder and chief executive officer of Amazon, was the first person to recognise the importance of predictive analytics – which involves recommending products to customers based on their search history and buying habits. According to Forbes, this has been essential in the rise of online shopping, as it has dramatically improved the experience for the shopper.
Small businesses will always be looking to climb to the top of the ladder in as short a time period as possible. However, you should be wary of taking too many gambles. Just look at the case of Warren Buffett, the deeply conservative trader who has made billions from savvy investments.
Buffet’s approach to trading over the years shows that slow and steady wins the race and this should act as a cautionary tale for small businesses keen to bite off more than they can actually chew. Having said that, you should be confident enough in your abilities to take advantage of favourable trading conditions – such as an upsurge in a product’s popularity – when they exist.
It may seem obvious, but business owners need to show leadership if their business is going to be successful. This involves knowing when to take responsibility for a decision and when to delegate, as micromanaging every aspect of your business is not going to be sustainable in the long term. Small businesses can learn from the experience of Richard Branson, who owns some 400 companies under the Virgin brand.
What his case shows is that tenacity is important in business and entrepreneurs people must also be prepared to take risks at the right time. Branson recognised the importance of developing his own personal brand and how doing so could help differentiate your organisation from the competition.
One thing the top entrepreneurs share is a drive to be successful. This is important for any small business owner, as they need to be able to stick at it.