Entrepreneurship can either be the best journey for an individual to undertake, or it could turn into a nightmare of a decision. Despite the odds, what is promising today is the shift in paradigm where more people want to become an entrepreneur rather than work in a safe job. However, this growing affinity towards entrepreneurship is also leading to people starting their business without understanding what it takes to build a successful venture.
Read on if you are thinking of becoming an entrepreneur or you want to take your business to the next level. You should also ask yourself the below questions to test whether your business idea is built to last or will eventually collapse.
For a business to grow, the following four elements need to be in place:
A Profitable and Scalable Business model:
Far too many entrepreneurs are starting businesses which provide products or services. However, are their products or service something which the customer is willing to spend their money on? To build a successful business, you need to provide products or services which solve a problem for a specific target audience, only then will your business be profitable. It is also important to structure your business for scale, if not you will end up struggling for survival as a self-employed professional. So the key questions to answer when you are building a business are, does your product or service solve a significant problem or fulfil a need or desire which your target customers are willing to spend money for? Also how do you expand the reach of your business from sales and beyond a delivery point of view to ensure it is scalable?
Proactive and Engaging Marketing Strategies:
The other big trap to avoid is, waiting for word-of-mouth publicity to generate prospects and inquiries.
You have to be proactive and implement marketing strategies which will attract the right customers. Lack of marketing will lead to inconsistent lead generation which will have a serious domino effect on your sales and profitability. You need to keep in mind a few questions such as, what channels and mediums can you use to engage your prospects and nurture them to turn into leads for the business and how can you position the business to your target audience which will make them want to buy from you?
Building a Sales Team:
In most businesses, the sales are dependent on the entrepreneur. This restricts the scalability of the business. To build a successful business, growing a sales team is essential. As an entrepreneur, you need to clearly define the sales process, scripts, create the support materials and train the team continuously for developing selling skills. You need to ask yourself, what does your sales system look like and what are the steps, scripts and support materials that could be used in sales? Also how to train, coach and mentor your sales team to be competent and effective in selling?
Building a 2nd line team of leaders:
For a business to grow there has to be a competent leadership team of functional experts with the right value system. Without a leadership team, a single entrepreneur is of no value. Most entrepreneurs make the mistake of trying to do everything by themselves. This lands the entrepreneur in the trap of self-employment. The big difference between entrepreneurs who are successful and the ones who get stuck in fighting for survival is the one key factor of – “Have you built a second line team of leaders?” What departments do you need to hire and build functional experts who can be your second line team of leaders? Also what will be their role, goal and benefit?
As entrepreneurs, it is important to always remember that business structures have to be well defined. If you work without a plan, you will just end up going with the flow which will eventually drown you. If you carefully define, develop and deliver on the four elements described above, be sure that success is inevitable.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors’ and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.