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The 4 Difficult Lessons Every Successful Entrepreneur Must Learn

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entrepreneurship

Successful entrepreneurs are born learners, but often they focus on the wrong lessons. Yes, learning about financing, staff management, selling, marketing, product innovation, decision-making and risk taking are vital. However, there are other lessons that are just as important to the future of your business.

Learn these four lessons, really embed them into your psyche, and you’ll be in great shape to build a successful, sustainable business:

1. It’s essential to pivot

Startup businesses often go off like a rocket. You invest your money in building a top-line product or service, putting together a fantastic team, and making sure the design of your website and marketing material is just right. You invest so much time in this before you launch that you forget about sales and demand. You launch – and, well, all those customers you thought would be knocking down your door aren’t there. It’s a struggle to get through your first year in business.

Growing a business is all about product-market fit – matching up your offering with what customers actually want, ideally at a price that is profitable and appealing to the customer. The important lesson is that while every entrepreneur is passionate about their sector, very few can hit product-market fit first time. Don’t beat yourself up. Instead of getting frustrated about customers not buying from you, ask them why they aren’t. Then take what you’ve learnt and pivot in a new direction.

2. Process geeks are cool

I’ve worked with many brilliant and inspiring entrepreneurs. Some have gone on to build international businesses and others have foundered. What separates them? The truly successful ones all have one thing in common: scratch the surface and they’re process geeks.

Successful entrepreneurs enjoy the detail, they love separating each job into separate actions, seeing where they can make efficiencies and freeing up the bottlenecks. Every element of their business has a written process with clearly defined steps.   

If you’re a visionary, and most entrepreneurs are, the actual nitty gritty process of your business probably leaves you cold. You’re focused driving sales, bringing in new clients and building relationships. It’s the bigger picture all the way for you. Nonetheless, if you don’t put proper processes in place, your business will fail in the long run, no matter how many sales you’ve made or how big your client roster.  

“Details create the big picture.” – Sanford I. Weill

3. Hiring people smarter than you is clever

Everyone knows this one, right? The problem here is that though we all know it, we very often forget it. I’ve seen lots of entrepreneurs fall at this hurdle with sometimes catastrophic results. The reasons for this are very clear to me because some entrepreneurs are control freaks. They are big, extrovert personalities, and they have to be the top dog in the workplace. That means when it comes to hiring, though they think they’re focused on going for smart people, they’re actually choosing people who won’t threaten their ego. Hiring for a startup is difficult – there is no doubt.

Successful entrepreneurs know and understand themselves. They know their strengths and their personal weaknesses. Driven, go-getting extravert founders can be incredibly successful, but they need to surround themselves with people who are unafraid to challenge them. Otherwise, what you end up with later down the line is a business full of yes-men. Smart, yes-men, maybe, but still people who will go along with any mad idea you might have at 4 o’clock in the morning.

The best way to ensure this doesn’t happen to you is to get a second opinion from people you trust, even people outside the business or let your team interview the person, not you. Clearly this plan isn’t foolproof, because if you’ve already built a business full of yes-men they’re just going to pick someone like them. Nonetheless, nine times out of 10 you’ll end up with a new team member who’s not going to be afraid to tell you when you’re being an idiot.

4. All entrepreneurs are afraid – it’s normal

Every entrepreneur has sleepless nights. All startup founders worry that their business is going to go bust tomorrow. All entrepreneurs think they’re going to get found out. This is perfectly normal, and absolutely nothing to worry about. In fact, it’s all part of building a highly successful business. The trick is to ensure that it doesn’t start to impair your judgement or your health.

We’ve all heard stories of entrepreneurs who only sleep four hours per night, and work 80 hour weeks for years and years on end. While some do, most come to the correct conclusion after a few months that if they and their team must work 80 hours per week, they don’t have a viable business. The effects are more harmful than you might expect. Getting a good night’s sleep will calm you down.

“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.” – Albert Einstein

If your business is sustainable and you’ve just got into a cycle of fear that’s driving you to work ridiculous hours, then stop. Look again at your product-market fit and processes, hire some people smarter than you who will tell you you’re an idiot and go on holiday. Yes, one of those things where you leave the office and don’t come back for at least a week. Holidays are definitely not for wimps.

Successful entrepreneurs understand that it’s the big lessons that count. They are the portable life lessons that will carry you through the tough times ahead. If you can really nail these four lessons, you’ll not only be in great shape but you’ll be ahead of many of your fellow entrepreneurs.  

Which one of these four lessons do you need to implement most in your life? Let us know in the comments below!

Sharon Fishburne is CEO of the Sharon Fishburne Consultancy, which provides startups and SMEs with strategic marketing advice to take their businesses to the next level. An expert at marketing strategy, Sharon previously worked at number of the biggest global consultancies, including PwC, advising multinationals on their expansion strategy.

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Entrepreneurs

10 Lucrative Buy and Sell Businesses to Start in 2024

The buy-and-sell business model provides opportunities across many niches

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Businesses to start in 2024

In the dynamic landscape of 2024, starting a business that capitalizes on buy-and-sell models can be incredibly lucrative. This article explores ten different models that entrepreneurs can consider. These ventures range from real estate flipping to trading in domains and luxury items, providing a broad spectrum of opportunities regardless of your initial capital or interest area.

1. Car Flipping

Flipping cars can be a very lucrative business venture for an individual with business acumen, an eye for value, and mechanically adept at cars. It involves buying under-priced cars, restoring, and selling them for a profit. For deeper insights and opportunities in this market, refer to sca.auction.

2. Real Estate Flipping

Flipping real estate—be it houses, condos, or even commercial properties—remains pretty solid business, especially in markets where real estate values are on the way up. Investors buy properties relatively low, do rehab or renovation, then sell at a profit.

The success of the area is endowed with a huge potential spotlight, the ability to juggle various elements such as local real estate market knowledge, and efficient management of renovations.

3. Vintage E-commerce

With the advent of technology, it became easy to sell vintage or retro items over the online selling platform. Be it clothes, furniture, or even collectibles, consumers these days prefer something unique that is eco-friendly and which may have a nostalgia quotient in it. Hence, it brings the opportunity to open an e-commerce shop effectively.

4. Domain Flipping

If you have the skill to predict catchy phrases or business names that would be popular in the future, then buying and selling domain names would be a very profitable business. Register prices are available to purchase domains, which later can be sold at high prices to interested parties or businesses that wish to get an early online identity.

5. Luxury Items

One of the most promising buy-and-sell businesses is the luxury market, and what makes it very attractive is its less sensitivity towards economic downturns. Some of the common items in the luxury market include high-end watches, jewelry, and art, rare cars, all with high yields. Most times, items do appreciate, especially when they are limited editions.

6. Sports Memorabilia

While the sports memorabilia trading business can at times seem lucrative, especially when one focuses on big personae or big events, authenticity and rarity can definitely help items fetch top dollar. Provenance and limited supply both go towards inflating their values.

7. Sneaker Reselling

In recent years, the sneaker resale market has exploded, fueled by a commodity of scarce releases and athletic brand collaborations with a list of celebrities. Today, with operations such as StockX and GOAT, it’s really that easy to break into the worldwide market. It’s pretty easy to find your buyers and make a very good profit if you’re targeting the right trend and releases.

8. Book Flipping

Flipping rare and first editions can become a really meaningful, and yes, one more profitable, business for a book lover. Sometimes the signed ones, rare manuscripts, or those early editions of famous novels could sell for thousands of dollars, usually done by collectors or academic institutions.

9. Furniture Upcycling

Upcycling furniture consists of restoring and using second-hand furniture to sell it at a higher price. For the environmentally aware consumer, this business model has great appeal. It could be pretty profitable if done with good taste and talent in design and restoration.

10. Electronics Flipping

Smartphones, tablets, and laptops resell at values significantly high; hence, business ensues. Buy, refurbish, and sell in better condition to appeal to budget-minded consumers looking for technology at more affordable price points. 

Overall, The buy-and-sell business model provides opportunities across many niches. Be it real estate flipping or vintage item upcycling, you can succeed in both models with market understanding and trend application. That, with careful planning and strategic investment, will throw huge financial returns for these business models in 2024.

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Entrepreneurs

How Your Business Can Outmaneuver Your Competitors by 85%

Did you know that companies that master big data can outmaneuver competitors by 85% in sales

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big data strategy

Did you know that companies that master big data can outmaneuver competitors by 85% in sales and more than 25% in gross margins? Sounds inspiring, right? But the thing is that data alone isn’t enough. Rather, it’s the strategy behind it that unlocks these enviable boosts. So, this article explores how to make the most out of your big data and build a strategy that’s functional and competitive. (more…)

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Most Entrepreneurs Fail to Do This and It’s Killing Their Success

Celebrating progress also provides entrepreneurs with the psychological sustenance needed to endure the marathon of building a business

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celebrate your milestones

The journey from a mere concept to a tangible reality is one of the most exhilarating yet challenging paths an entrepreneur can navigate. This odyssey is punctuated by milestones that stand as testaments to perseverance, innovation, and relentless hard work.  (more…)

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Entrepreneurs

9 Ways Augmented Reality Gives Your Business a Competitive Edge

By embracing AR technology, companies can unlock new opportunities for growth, innovation, and success

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augmented reality in business

Leveraging Augmented Reality for Business Advancement: Exploring Applications

In the ever-evolving landscape of business innovation, Augmented Reality in business emerges as a transformative force, reshaping traditional paradigms and unlocking new opportunities for growth and advancement.

Through a comprehensive examination of AR’s capabilities, applications, and business benefits, this article serves as a roadmap for enterprises seeking to harness the full potential of augmented reality to propel their success in the digital age.

UNI.Agency as a forefront developmental agency tailors unmatched digital products and immersive experiences. They help companies outperform their competitors and customers’ expectations. And now, there is time to delve deep into the AR realm.

Gaining Insight into Augmented Reality

From revolutionizing customer experiences to optimizing operational efficiency, AR in retail is poised to drive significant advancements in how businesses operate and engage with their stakeholders.

Augmented Reality (AR) seamlessly integrates digital information and virtual objects into the real-world environment, offering users an immersive and interactive experience through devices like smartphones or AR glasses.

It revolutionizes various industries, from entertainment to healthcare, by enhancing perception and creating innovative opportunities for engagement and exploration in the digital era. AR not only enriches our understanding of reality but also opens up new possibilities for creativity, communication, and problem-solving, making it a powerful tool for businesses seeking to enhance customer experiences and streamline operations in an increasingly digital world.

Differentiating Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality

Augmented Reality (AR) overlays digital elements onto the real world, enhancing the user’s perception of their environment. Virtual Reality (VR), however, immerses users in entirely virtual environments, blocking out the real world. There are some core differences between these two technologies in gear and display approaches:

  • AR enriches reality with digital information, while VR creates entirely immersive virtual experiences.
  • AR typically requires less specialized hardware, like smartphones or AR glasses, while VR often involves dedicated headsets.
  • AR is commonly used for enhancing real-world experiences, such as in gaming, retail, and navigation, encouraging augmented reality shopping. Whereas VR is primarily employed for immersive simulations, training, and entertainment in fully virtual environments.

The Influence of AR on the Customer Experience Journey

As of 2024, Augmented Reality (AR) has evolved into an indispensable tool across various sectors, offering immersive and interactive experiences that seamlessly blend digital elements with the real world.

Stimulating Interest

Augmented Reality (AR) captivates customers by offering visually engaging experiences that spark curiosity and intrigue, enticing them to explore products or services further.

AR’s ability to overlay digital content onto the real world creates an immersive and attention-grabbing experience, drawing customers in and igniting their interest.

Educating and Empowering Users

AR in business empowers users by providing interactive and informative experiences that educate them about products, services, or concepts in a visually compelling manner.

Through AR, customers can interact with virtual models, animations, or informational overlays, gaining a deeper understanding of the features, benefits, or use cases of the offerings.

Exploring Further Depths

AR encourages customers to delve deeper into products or services by offering immersive and interactive experiences that go beyond traditional marketing materials.

By allowing users to explore virtual representations of products in real-world contexts, AR in retail provides a unique opportunity for customers to visualize how offerings fit into their lives, fostering deeper engagement and understanding.

Business Benefits of Augmented Reality

Businesses utilize AR for diverse applications, including product visualization, virtual try-ons, and enhanced customer engagement. In education, AR transforms learning experiences by providing interactive simulations and visualizations.

Additionally, AR has become integral to industries such as healthcare, where it facilitates surgical training and patient education. With advancements in AR technology and widespread adoption, it continues to shape how we perceive and interact with our environment, ushering in a new era of innovation and connectivity.

Let’s look at why AR has become so indispensable as a business tool nowadays.

Revolutionizing Training Methods

AR in business transforms training by offering immersive, interactive simulations that replicate real-world scenarios, enhancing employee learning and skill development.

It’s lucrative for hands-on training experiences. Since there’s no need for physical equipment or environments, reducing costs and logistical constraints while improving knowledge retention and performance.

Boosting Productivity Levels

Augmented Reality in business boosts productivity by providing real-time access to information and guidance, allowing employees to complete tasks more efficiently and accurately.

Through AR-powered tools and applications, workers can streamline workflows, troubleshoot issues, and collaborate effectively, resulting in increased output and operational efficiency.

Implementing Dynamic Marketing Approaches

AR enables businesses to implement dynamic marketing strategies that captivate and engage audiences in unique ways.

By integrating AR into marketing campaigns, companies can create interactive experiences that drive brand awareness, customer engagement, and sales conversions, setting themselves apart in a crowded marketplace.

Fostering Product Development

Augmented reality and marketing foster innovation in product development by facilitating virtual prototyping, design iterations, and collaborative decision-making.

With AR, teams can visualize and test product concepts in 3D, gather feedback from stakeholders, and make informed design decisions faster, leading to faster time-to-market and more successful product launches.

Creating Tailored Customer Experiences

AR creates personalized customer experiences by allowing users to interact with products and services in customized ways.

Through AR-enhanced applications and experiences, businesses can tailor content, recommendations, and promotions to individual preferences and behaviors, enhancing customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Amplifying Brand Recognition

Augmented Reality shopping amplifies brand recognition by providing memorable and shareable experiences that leave a lasting impression on customers.

By incorporating AR into branding initiatives, companies can create immersive brand experiences that spark conversations, increase social media engagement, and strengthen brand loyalty, ultimately driving business growth and success.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, Augmented Reality in business stands as a transformative force, offering a multitude of benefits across various aspects of operations. From revolutionizing training methods to boosting productivity levels, AR empowers businesses to thrive in an increasingly competitive environment.

By embracing AR technology, companies can unlock new opportunities for growth, innovation, and success, while delivering immersive and engaging experiences that resonate with customers and stakeholders alike.

As AR continues to evolve and integrate into everyday business practices, Uni will incorporate the best practices to promote business advancement and drive meaningful change for the clients. We’re to shape the future of commerce to your benefit.

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