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The Top 6 Things You Need to Know to Start a Successful Business

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Congratulations for wanting to or already starting a business that you could call your very own. One of the hardest decisions you will ever make is to leave a cushioning job to start off a business that is going to lead you into the unknown. So now that you have started, what next?

I know that it has probably entered your mind at one point or another about the failure rate of people who start a business. It is definitely intense and scary to even think about. The last thing that you want to do is start a business just for it to close down in a few years.

So for all of you that have decided to be courageous and take the lesser traveled road, here are a few ways for you to stay in business:

1. Know Your Audience

One of several epic business fails is not knowing your audience. You can have this amazing product or service just to constantly get in front of the wrong people that don’t need it or don’t want it. If you know your audience, you will know where to reach them, what catches their attention, and how much they will pay for what you have to offer.

2. Brand For Success

Many businesses fail because people don’t know what they are, what they offer, and what makes them relevant. Branding correctly can solve these problems for your business and yourself.

When branding yourself, you need to know your Business Archetype, what you stand for or against, and because it is a noisy marketplace, you need to have something that is going to separate you from all the others.

“If your business is not a brand, it is a commodity.”

3. Surveys Are Gold

Your audience has something to tell you that can make them the best selling product you have ever created but if you don’t ask them, you will never know. As a business owner or entrepreneur, it is easy to create a product or service that we think the world needs. What’s hard is to put away our creativity and allow the people who we are trying to serve to create the product for us.

Don’t worry, it does get easier to do, especially after you see how much this works. Survey your audience and allow them to tell you their pain points, what they want, and how much they are willing to pay to have the solution to their pressing issues solved. Then create the product or service based on the information that they have given you.

4. If You’re Not Seen You Can’t Be Heard

You can have the best product and service in the world but if no one knows about you, it is not going to make you a dime or a positive reputation. You have got to be visible and let people know that you are there to give them the solutions that they have been looking for. It is a big world that has gotten smaller because of the Internet so a lot of times you don’t even have to leave the comfort of your own home to do this.

Just to name a few ways that you can accomplish this is to utilize your social media, brand leverage, publish your expertise in different places, and join social media groups that you believe your ideal customer will be in.

5. Have The Guts and Grit

Without guts and grit, you might as well throw in the towel. Being a business owner or an entrepreneur is probably going to be the hardest thing that you have ever done in your life.

Don’t let it stop you because all of those people that made it to the top, at one point, were looking up to others that were already there. They had to have the guts to pursue a dream and a vision relentlessly that was not guaranteed despite the doubts, the struggles, and the nay sayers.

6. Time Is Always The Main Ingredient

Time is one of the ingredients that we all have to apply in multiple areas of our day and life. So why should you believe that it doesn’t apply to your business? There is no such thing as an overnight success and if there is it is rare enough to know that it most likely won’t happen to you.

The people that have made it to their success have put in the work and most importantly the time. Most businesses didn’t fail because their products and services were bad, it was because they didn’t utilize all of these ingredients and most importantly they didn’t persevere.

If you can persevere through the rough times, the times when you have no money, and the times when you feel like nothing you are doing or have done is working, then you will eventually make it to your success. Give your dreams and visions time to manifest.

“Don’t worry about failure; you only have to be right once.” – Drew Houston

Starting a business will render you amazing results if you apply the right ingredients and continue to believe in yourself. Your business and life is worth the effort and if you do the work, your successful self will thank you for it later.

What else do you think someone needs to know to start a successful business? Leave your thoughts below!

Hi, I'm Denise Damijo, I'm a Business and Lifestyle Strategist and a #1 Bestselling author of "When You're Done Expecting." I love helping other entrepreneur's get laser-focused on plugging the holes in their business so that they can improve their lives. You can find me writing for cool publications like this one, Huffington Post, Thrive Global, and She Owns It. I also love cooking up a good business plan and spending quality time with my family. Connect with me on my Podcast, Mind Money Mogul or on Facebook.

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11 Comments

11 Comments

  1. Philip V Ariel

    Jan 15, 2019 at 8:19 pm

    Hi Denise,
    What a joy to be here today.
    Very timely tips for the people who want to start a business of their own.
    I appreciate you for putting them in order for the benefits of the newbies in business.
    Keep writing
    Keep sharing
    Best Regards
    ~ Philip

  2. Denise Damijo

    Feb 19, 2017 at 6:41 pm

    Tracy, I’m glad that you found this article helpful! Starting a business of your own is very possible and I can help you with that! Please let me know how I can be of help to you.

  3. Dara Lin

    Feb 14, 2017 at 7:32 am

    To start a business, it requires effort, work and time. It is always probably hard to balance those things to any other responsibilities you need to accomplish, but even if it was not easy at first, it will still be all worth it and eventually it will be for your success. These 6 different ingredients to start a successful business give us more courage to believe that all of us can have a successful business if we put value to every work we have and to believe in ourselves that we can make it.

    • Denise Damijo

      Feb 19, 2017 at 6:37 pm

      Hello Dara,

      Doing the work and believing in yourself is key to your success in business. I’m glad that you found my article helpful and I wish you all the best in your business endeavors.

  4. Dan

    Jan 4, 2017 at 9:13 am

    Great tips Denise

  5. Dan

    Jan 4, 2017 at 9:12 am

    Great tips Denise

  6. Ewen Munro

    Jan 3, 2017 at 10:45 am

    Great tips, Denise! Especially 6. 😉 #keepgrowing #keepcreating

    • Denise Damijo

      Feb 19, 2017 at 6:39 pm

      Thank you Ewen!! I’m glad that you found this article helpful! Continuing to grow and create is very important!

  7. Tracy Ann Allen

    Dec 31, 2016 at 10:07 pm

    Really want to start a business of my own thank for the tip

    • Denise Damijo

      Feb 21, 2017 at 7:23 am

      Tracy, I’m glad that you found this article helpful! Starting a business of your own is very possible and I can help you with that! Please let me know how I can be of help to you.

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Entrepreneurs

What if Elon Musk Ran Your Business? 4 Lessons From the Real Life Iron Man

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Image Credit: The Times

The story of Iron man and Elon Musk starts when Robert Downey Jr. visited SpaceX headquarters miles away from the setting of the first Iron Man movie back in 2007. The actor was inspired to base his character on Elon Musk’s personality. Ashlee Vance writes in Elon’s biographyboth Musk and Stark were the type of men, according to Downey, who ‘had seized an idea to live by and something to dedicate themselves to’ and were not going to waste a moment.” (more…)

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5 Ways to Prepare for Your Entrepreneurial Journey

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There are many ways to get ready for entrepreneurship regardless of whether you’re ready or not. The migration to the unknown will take you through many places, emotions, and people. Your journey will be both easy and difficult, but hopefully in between, you prepare yourself with an expectation of helping people by solving problems. The quest that you are about to enter will be one to remember if you are willing to adapt quickly and not give up.

Arranging for this huge change in your life should be one of the most memorable expeditions that you will ever experience. Looking into the future and being able to lay out a road map for your entrepreneurial journey will definitely be beneficial. Though there will be challenges every step of the way, being prepared will help you achieve your goals more efficiently.

To help you get started, here are 5 ways to plan an entrepreneurial expedition:

1. Form Ideas By Visualizing And Writing Them Down

Before beginning your entrepreneurial quest, brainstorm to come up with many amazing ideas even if you never act upon each of them. It’s always a good thing to write them down on paper, computer or via a mobile device app such as Google Docs. An abundance of suggestions about your processes is better than none or even a few objectives that can possibly help in some way.

The key is to breakdown those ideas to come up with better solutions to move forward in your voyage. See what’s more in line with your mission and values to be effective for your core audience, products or services that you may want to create. Whether you categorize those ideas or check them off one by one, coming up with different concepts will be a great start to your journey.

“Creativity is contagious – pass it on.” – Albert Einstein

2. Begin A Pattern Of Consistency By Quitting Bad Habits

Repetitive actions can present their challenges but if there’s a way to make progress and eliminate bad habits that aren’t hindering your itinerary then keep doing them. Have you ever noticed that negative thoughts, lack of confidence, and no exercise regimen could negate persistence of not only your entrepreneurial journey but other goals as well?

Get your mojo or swagger back by committing to a life of constant and everlasting consistency by stopping eating bad foods, wasting your time with hours of playing video games, watching television and other things that will stall your progress. When you get rid of actions that are slowing down aspects of your life, you’ll begin to pursuing things to help you lay the groundwork for success.

3. Be Disciplined While Listening More

Another way to prepare for your entrepreneurial journey is by being in control of yourself while paying more attention to everything else. It’s quite common to focus on things outside of your realm and instantly become something other than what you see fit. Difficulties can arise if your focal point isn’t there and somehow an opportunity pass right by you.

Mentorship even from a distance from someone that you don’t know can be a key element as you learn the importance of your mission. Listening to podcasts and watching YouTube videos of someone that has validated your idea is a great starting point as well. Mimicking them on some level can help you understand different phases that are ahead and how to deal with them.

“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young.” – Henry Ford

4. Work Effortlessly And Prioritize Your Time

You will have to work extremely hard with an emphasis on actual time value before pursuing your pilgrimage. We often hear about the results of hard work and it sounds cliche but when many other things are happening outside of your control, finding a way to manage your time can become difficult.

Most people will start off alone with zero help in terms of having a partner and putting in 100% effort. You will likely wear multiple hats as the visionary, programmer, marketer, content creator and so on. You may have to function with only 3 or 4 hours of sleep or even none at times while being respectful and cognitive of the time of others as well.

5. Persist Like There’s No Tomorrow While Planning For The Future

What’s in you? Nobody knows the answer to that question but you and the determination for reaching your destination as an entrepreneur. Whatever the answer is, you should be driven with an undaunted passion to pursue your expedition. Go after your dreams with a tenacity that you didn’t know was within your soul and keep pushing no matter what.

Be mindful that your strong pursuit can be done all while determining the proper destination of where you want to eventually end up. Never lose your focus admist numerous distractions that will happen. The emphasis comes from experience along with talking to other entrepreneurs who had similar occurrences at multiple stages of the process.

Put in the work early with the mindset of expecting obstacles and pushing forward pass them.  It will be tedious and preparing for a grind will make your entrepreneurial journey more understandable through tough times. You will be a lot wiser and better after all of the hard work whether it’s considered a failure or success.

Which one of the above 5 ways to prepare for your entrepreneurial journey resonated most with you and why? Share your thoughts below!

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7 Things You Need to Do to Grow as an Entrepreneur

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Startups are on the rise and youngsters are keen to launch their own business instead of a nine-to-five job. As simple as it sounds, opening a business needs patience and the right planning. Moreover, the profits gained can help you meet your financial obligations and realize other dreams.

Young entrepreneurs must learn the skills of investing money within the right channels as most startups fail because of a shortage of funds. Every entrepreneur has a chance to innovate, create new jobs and have an influence on society. It’s our responsibility to continually grow and push forward, usually beyond our comfort zones.

Here are the seven must-learn tips to grow as an entrepreneur:

1. Read Books and Articles

For many new entrepreneurs, your first mentors are usually found in the pages of books and blogs. Much often learned from the writings of others, and fortunately these days, people are sharing their experiences. A survey found that 88% of the world’s wealthiest people read for a minimum of 30 minutes daily. By comparison, only 2% of the overall population reads this much daily.

Read chapters in books, and articles to get new ideas and skills. Some ideas might not be directly relevant to what you’re doing these days however, it could come helpful a year or so down the road.

My advice is to search out those leaders and writers who resonate with you. You’ll understand when you’ve hit on something when you find yourself returning to a book for answers and inspiration time and time again.

“Books give a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything.” – Plato

2. Perform SWOT Analysis

Business students and old-school marketers should be very aware of mapping out SWOT Analysis charts (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats). If you’ve never made a SWOT chart, write out the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats in four quadrants on a piece of paper.

In reality, you’ll jot down a couple of notes on the back of a cocktail napkin, however despite the simplicity, if done right, a SWOT will shed light on crucial areas that require improvement. Most significantly, don’t shy away from the truth. Dissecting your weaknesses isn’t fun however, no good comes from avoiding the fact.

3. Be Willing to Take Risks

It’s impossible to become an entrepreneur if you don’t take risks. Doesn’t matter how many times you’ve fallen. See how many times you stand-up. Being an Entrepreneur isn’t that easy; it’s an up-and-down game like a business. Be willing to come up with new plans even when old strategies are working. It’s through such risks that your business will grow. You’ll learn and meet new partners or investors. Even so, the risks must be calculated. Doing the analysis and making consultations is vital in this case.

4. Open Your Eyes Wide

Many opportunities are arising in the business world every day. For instance, many companies are willing to come up with a mobile solution for a startup without charging immoderate prices. This info can only be discovered if you’re keen.

Before dismissing adverts from websites and mainstream media, conclude if they’re relevant to your business. Also, follow the events happening in the stock market and international business summits. You’ll find the opportunities which will take your business to a new level.

Becoming successful as an entrepreneur is possible if you learn, take risks, evolve, innovate, and stay motivated. You must be realistic regarding your abilities and watch the events that unfold in your world.

5. Lead the Way for Your Team

Young entrepreneurs need to encourage employees and provide help at every juncture. For any young entrepreneur who aspires to be a leader it’s necessary to be:

  • Honest
  • Ambitious
  • Courage and Risk Taking
  • Dedicated
  • A Team-player
  • An effective listener
  • An effective communicator
  • Able to inspire confidence
  • Positive

An entrepreneur who has all the attributes of a leader leads the employees to productivity. It’s essential that the team respects a leader. The hunger and aspirations of the leader to strive for success inspire the employees to put in that extra effort to be successful.

“A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.” – John C. Maxwell

6. Learn How to Keep Initial Success at Bay

Do not enjoy the shrubs of initial success for too long. Return to the drawing board and draw the future course of action. To move on to the next phase:

  • Utilize local and online channels to make hype for the services
  • Start expanding by hiring employees to enhance productivity
  • Cater to a good segment of the audience by providing various services
  • Re-invest the profitable revenue into new business efforts

Never let the initial success get to your head. The online platform is an ever-changing arena. Analyze what’s working and what new tactics can be utilized to strengthen the market base.

7. Find and Keep Business Partners

You will always go far if you have people to carry your hand during hardship in business. They’ll share ideas that have made them successful and provides you funds whenever necessary. Demonstrating that you are organized, capable, and serious is vital when nurturing such relationships. Keeping records, creating financial contributions to society, and attending forums are some of the choices worth trying.

Being an entrepreneur isn’t as easy as it looks. You’ll face many up-and-downs, risks, financial crisis, and many more. Be ready to face these problems if you want to be an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurship isn’t about making money, it’s about innovating new things and represent new concepts and ideas to the world.

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Transitioning From Employee to Entrepreneur? Try Intrapreneurship First

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Studies show that 15 million Americans are self-employed full-time and that an estimated 27 million Americans will transition from the traditional workforce to full-time entrepreneurship by 2020. Additionally, it is asserted that entrepreneurs are 125% more successful if they have previously been employed in the industry in which they presently do business. This is all great news on many levels.

Chances are, if you are reading this article, you are considering transitioning from employee to entrepreneur, or perhaps you have already made the shift. I get it. I am one of the millions who has made the switch – trading stability and comfort for passion and freedom. However, if you are a potential full-time entrepreneur, there are many things to consider before making the leap.

How will I support myself and my family in the initial stages of development? What do I do if I fail? How do I maintain the drive needed to make a business successful? How will my business harness the creativity and innovation required to thrive in the marketplace? These are all valid questions and should be considered deeply.

If only there were a training ground to test your management capabilities, gain knowledge, think innovatively and be solution-focused. But, wait, there is. Your current employment can offer these opportunities and more – through intrapreneurship.

By definition, an intrapreneur is an employee of a company who has adopted an entrepreneurial mindset. Intrapreneurs are highly motivated self-starters and innovative, solution-driven thought leaders, who work within an organization. Because of this definition, acting in an intrapreneurial capacity in your current place of employment makes a great deal of sense when considering the move to self-employment. You can use your current employment status as a testing ground for where you want to be.

Here are four reasons why intrapreneurship can work for you:

1. See a problem. Solve a problem

All businesses should be designed to fulfill a need. Just as your own business should be able to justify its existence in the marketplace, initiatives within an organization should do the same. Closely examine processes and products in your place of employment. Determine what could be executed more productively. Alternatively, design a new initiative to creatively meet and exceed customer expectations. Acting in this manner will prepare you for building the structure and mission of your own business.

2. Creatively capitalize on skills and talents gained outside your employer

In many instances, we separate business from personal, and there are many good reasons for this approach. However, there are notable skills and talents used in your personal life that are transferable to the workplace. For example, if you engage in team sports, use your team building skills and charisma to involve your colleagues in projects.

If you love to read fiction books, integrate the creativity of the stories to bend the thinking of traditional methods of operation. The possibilities are many. Business owners rely on all life experiences, directly or tangentially related, for the benefit of their enterprises.

3. Intrapreneurship is for all employment levels

If you think intrapreneurship is only for c-suite executives, think again. Intrapreneurship is for the mailroom to the boardroom. As noted in the definition, intrapreneurship is about being a self-starter. You do not need permission from anyone to be highly motivated. Just as all parts of our bodies have a function, so do all positions in an organization. Even if you feel your position has no purpose in your organization, make one. We all have to start somewhere in our entrepreneurial journeys, so start right now, where you are.

4. Experiencing failure is inevitable. Move forward anyway.

All of us will experience failure at some point and multiple times as well. Failure will happen regardless if you remain employed or set out on our own. Be bold enough to move forward with establishing your voice and your place anyway. Business and life are about forward movement. Decide now what next step you will take if you fail. There is always a path forward. Get used to the possibility of your ideas being rejected and your designs being flawed now, so when you are a full-time entrepreneur, you will know how to advance.

Whether you are at the infancy stages of developing your own business, currently self-employed or even wish to remain an employee, establishing yourself as an initiator and innovator can reap many benefits for you and your company. That is the beauty of it.

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