In today’s ever changing business climate, an entrepreneur can easily become overwhelmed. It’s vital, though, to stay focused on your goals for the company.
Even with a firm strategy in place, every entrepreneur should do these six things to clear a path to success:
1. Study the competition.
As an entrepreneur, you need to know who your competitors are. You also should understand the rival product or service that is being offering.
This knowledge will help you better market your product or service to stand out, perhaps even using your competition’s weaknesses to your advantage.
2. Conserve cash no matter how good business is.
Frankly put, live as cheaply as possible.
Entrepreneurs should be as conservative with their money as possible to be able to deal with any rough patch that arises. Conserving several months’ worth of operating expenses in the bank will help you survive most unforeseen circumstances.
3. Research new products and services.
Understand emerging products or services on the horizon that could improve your company’s operations.
Do your homework. Are you taking advantage of all technology has to offer? Is there an app that could help you manage your time more efficiently or a service that lets you delegate ordinary tasks to free up more time for priority projects?
4. Don’t tackle huge markets at first.
Avoid expanding into large markets in the initial stages. Thinking “if we can capture just 1% of China” could turn into a mistake. Niche marketing can be extremely cost effective if you keep three things in mind:
Meet the market’s unique needs by offering something new and compelling.
Speak the market’s language and understand its hot buttons.
Your language should be in synch with that niche even for the minor aspects of a marketing campaign like the company’s slogan.
5. Listen to customer feedback and adapt.
Salespeople know the adage “always be closing,” referred to by the acronym ABC. Entrepreneurs have an acronym, too: Always be adapting, or ABA.
But entrepreneurs can evolve their business only when they’re listening to customer feedback. It may not mean much if one customer doesn’t like your product but if this is true for many of them and they’re requesting another feature, listen and be ready to adapt.
Whether you’re adapting your marketing plan, simplifying a product or responding to new trends, pay attention to customer feedback. Be all ears.
6. Respond to change.
In business change is inevitable and those capable of responding are flexible and versatile.
An entrepreneur must be prepared to accept change and adapt business operations accordingly. Be flexible. If a shift in your product or service is warranted, don’t be left behind. Realize from the start that where you are is likely not to be where you’ll end up.
A lack of adaptability can result in loss in customers, profits and even business failure.
As an entrepreneur, understand that the world is evolving rapidly. Even a company founded a year ago could change the world today.
Yes, the world customarily commends big players like Bill Gates and Oprah Winfrey. Yet there’s room for everyone in the game. Entrepreneurship in emerging markets could very well be a major factor in the return of a hearty global economy. Why couldn’t you be a part of that change?
This article appeared in Business Insider