10 Lessons Learned as a Startup Entrepreneur

When you decide to bring your greatest business ideas to life, you have to work hard and deal with challenges along the way. Mostly, launching a business is a leap in the dark, so it is important to learn a couple of basic lessons before you start. In this article, we have gathered the best recommendations for aspiring entrepreneurs.

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Lesson #1: Don’t wait

One of the biggest obstacles is actually starting. It is the personal obstacle which sounds like “waiting for the perfect moment to do it”. However, the perfect moment may never arrive. That’s why people who have a plenty of up-and-running ideas do nothing but putting it off. Of course, starting an enterprise is a challenging road to walk along. However, you shouldn’t wait forever to make your first steps. Motivate yourself, picture your thoughts in positive colors, and push yourself forward even if you don’t get an immediate payoff.

Lesson #2: Be flexible

Any specialized book on business or marketing will emphasize that one needs to have a strict business plan and follow every step set in this plan. However, our advice is quite the opposite – be flexible and don’t be afraid to make adjustments along your business journey.

It is obvious that the main priority of a successful business is customer satisfaction level. When you set up a business and determine every point in accordance to your initial ideas, be ready to change these points if your clients require. Sometimes, you’ll have to make crucial changes, like adjusting prices, service packages, additional features, and other aspects. If meeting the majority needs of your clients requires changing everything you have established from the beginning – do it and you will become more attractive to your audience.

Lesson #3: Use the variety of channels

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You should avoid being dependent on one customer capture channel or source of income. If you are, then you squander a deal of opportunities. Your business should not have only one point of breakdown. However, it is even worse when you try to spread your brand too wide. Choose the most suitable marketing platforms regarding the specificity of your business and take a full advantage of them.

Lesson #4: Reassure that your marketing channels are efficient

The biggest mistake most first-time entrepreneurs make is spending a great amount of resources on the online marketing strategy without a clear understanding of what you want and what is the greatest benefit for you.

For example, let’s picture a very common situation. You have decided to make your brand popular among Facebook users and build a large group of followers. However, when you have built a large base of followers, they turned out to be not so active. Thus, neither your sales, nor user engagement had grown. The problem is that you should have focused on reaching a relevant audience instead of chasing big but meaningless numbers. That is why, you have to narrow down to the smaller target audience instead of trying to build brand awareness on the global level.

Lesson #5: Keep your costs low when you start

Setting low costs is a good idea for a beginning entrepreneur. Affordable prices mean more customers, more profit, and as a result – more chances for success. If your services or products attract users, you will have an opportunity to grow and raise the rates gradually.

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Your initial prices should be enough to make a profit you can reinvest. There is no need to spend thousands of dollars on the website’s design, marketing, and staff. Instead, start with something simple to embody your idea, sell your product, and do everything by yourself.

Lesson #6: Find a partner with commendable skills

The best partner is a person whose strong sides balance your weak sides. If you are pursuing an aim you are really passionate about, find a partner who is equally interested and has skills and talents that supplement yours. However, be careful when looking for a partner: if you are more interested in the business idea, your project may fail to bring results. And if your partner doesn’t really have a relevant set of skills that supplement yours, then you won’t have enough experience and knowledge to launch your project and make it successful.

Lesson #7: Define the mission of your brand

It is crucial for an entrepreneur to know not only the weak sides of the product/service, but also the main values of it. What attracts people in your brand and makes them say “yes”? It is vital to know the key features and benefits that make your product better than the competitors’.

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It is not a rare case when entrepreneurs believe that the main benefit of their service is cheap prices, however a deeper analysis of the audience and customer experience states that their most attractive feature is an opportunity to get a same-day service. Use different channels like Facebook and Adwords to realize which of your offers are the most compelling and valuable. Developing these features, you will drive more visitors to convert.

Lesson #8: Stop being a perfectionist

Don’t be obsessed by small details, focus on something more valuable and the most important – give yourself the right to make mistakes.

Striving to do everything the best way you can is great, but don’t rush into extremes. Shed your perfectionist ambitions and stop trying to make it perfect. After all, you won’t reach the point of perfectness, because minor mistakes and failures will inevitably follow you. If you fling oneself on mercy of these impulses, you will waste a great deal of time and energy trying to revise your work again and again, without getting objective feedback. Doing so, you will end up losing too much resources and producing too little results. Things are always incomplete, imperfect, and require to be polished. Deal with it. And allow yourself follow the process and make mistakes from time to time to learn how to make everything faster and better.

Lesson #9: Create a kickin’ website

Your website is your brand’s identity. Therefore, it is necessary to create a good-looking and convenient website to ensure business growth. In the modern world of intensive online marketing, looks do matter. If you have a website that looks good, feels simple to navigate, and provides all necessary information for your audience, then your visitors are more likely to become your customers.

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By the way, if you think that website content and design are of secondary importance, then you are wrong. Content and design reflect the reliability of your service, making your offers more attractive to customers and partners.

Lesson #10: Don’t forget about PR

If you are a beginning entrepreneur, remember that PR should become a large part of your brand’s communication strategy. Public relations can help you make an efficient message and reach more potential clients when they are choosing among similar products. Modern customers don’t want you to flog your service or product. They want to make a research and come up with a decision themselves. That is why old aggressive marketing methods like cold calling, email marketing, magazine advertisements, pay per click campaigns, and conference booths do not bring the ROI that PR brings. Encourage your customers to judge on their own and make informed decisions.