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7 Ways to Become a Successful Entrepreneur

7 Ways to Become a Successful Entrepreneur

It’s widely known that a significant number of start-ups fail because of financial problems or poor management decisions. While this may alarm you, you shouldn’t let it discourage you; there are plenty of ways to put the odds in your favor. If you heed the following seven tips, you can dramatically increase your chances of success as an entrepreneur.

Go From Hobbyist to Entrepreneur

Perhaps you can launch your career as an entrepreneur by way of one of your hobbies, especially if there’s a huge demand for it. There is nothing quite like going to work every day and doing something you love. For example, are you a karate expert or comic book collector? Then open a karate school or comic book store. You already have expertise in your field of choice, which is a necessary ingredient for success. You also don’t have to open up a brick and mortar store if you don’t want to. You could always just start your business online and move into a brick and mortar store later as your demands and needs change when your business grows.

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Provide a Needed Service

If you have a hobby that consequently provides people a needed or wanted service, then the real question is, “Why haven’t you turned it into a business?” You already have a customer base if you are doing something that people need or want. For example, people often need others to install blinds, walk their dogs, repair wash machines or move them to new homes. Each of these services –along with many others– can become platforms for launching new businesses. You need only start thinking like a successful entrepreneur

Create a Business Plan

Create a business plan that includes details about your company’s product line, organizational structure, marketing strategies, and sales goals, according to the U.S. Small Business Administrations. This provides an entrepreneur such as yourself with a blueprint for reaching your objectives. A well-developed business plan can also help you get financing if necessary.

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Study Your Competition

Before an entrepreneur opens up his or her doors for business, it is important to learn who the biggest competitors are. Study their strengths and weaknesses versus your own and exploit your advantages. You want to know what they provide and what their customers think of them. This will give you an edge as it will help you understand the services you can provide that they might not be able to. It can also give you an idea of how to price your products or services. Maybe you can offer packages or other deals that will make your pricing more competitive than your competitors’.

Know Your Target Audience

If you aren’t aware of who’d be interested in your product or service, conduct some surveys. That will help you determine which buying groups would most likely purchase your offerings, whether you’re basing your target customers on age, sex, income, or lifestyle. You can also better target promotions to these people if you know who they are.

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Educate Yourself

Many colleges offer bachelor’s and master’s degrees in entrepreneurial studies. Better yet, try enrolling in an online MBA degree program. You can obtain your degree from home while getting practical knowledge of all the key functional areas of a company, including finance and product development. In either case, educating yourself will certainly benefit you as an entrepreneur.

Turn Your Business Into a Franchise

If you have the money, purchase a franchise. The advantage of owning a franchise is the brand recognition. Most franchise companies will also help you get started by sending experts in the field to work with you.

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Any of these strategies can help you launch a successful business. But make sure you enjoy what you’re doing because you’ll likely work a lot of hours in the early days. Such is the life of an entrepreneur.

Featured photo credit: shutterstock.com via shutterstock.com

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Kara Masterson

Freelance Writer

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Published on September 17, 2018

How Being Smart With Your Money Leads to Financial Success

How Being Smart With Your Money Leads to Financial Success

Achieving financial success is not something that just happens. Maybe if you win the lottery or something, but for the average person like you or me, it comes from a series of small steps you take over a long period of time.

With each step, you form a new smart money habit. And with each smart money habit, you build towards financial independence.

So what sort of habits can you form to get on that path? Let’s take a look at smart money habits you can start today to get you closer to a financially independent future.

1. Avoid being “penny wise but pound foolish”

It’s tempting to try saving a couple cents here and there when buying small items. However, that’s not where the real money is saved. You’re putting in extra effort for something that doesn’t move the needle.

You get the most bang when you’re able to cut down on your bigger bills. For example, finding a lower interest rate for your mortgage could save you $50+ per month. And cutting your transportation bill by purchasing a cheaper car or taking public transportation can provide large gains as well.

So, look at your recurring expenses such as housing, transportation, and insurance, and see where there’s wiggle room. It’s a much better use of your time than trying to pinch pennies here and there on smaller purchases.

2. When you want something big, wait

Impulsivity can get you in trouble in most aspects of life. Finances are no different.

It’s human nature to see something and want it right then and there. It starts as a kid in the checkout line at the grocery store, and it continues on through adulthood.

We get an idea in our head of something we want, and it’s hard not to go out and get it right then.

A good example is wanting a new car. Perhaps you’ve had your car for several years. It’s crossed the 100k mile mark. Maybe maintenance is due, and you’re annoyed that you need to replace the timing belt or purchase new tires.

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So, you get the itch.

You start digging around online, and you realize you could trade in your current car for something newer and more exciting… all for a few hundred bucks a month. Then you get obsessed.

Here’s where you have to take a step back.

Your newfound obsession is clouding your judgement. Rather than giving into the impulse, wait it out.

Set a timeframe for yourself. Maybe you come back to the decision three months down the road. See if the obsession lasts.

It might, but often, a funny thing happens. Often, you forget about it. And often, you find that the new car wasn’t a need at all.

The impulse faded. And you just saved yourself a ton of money.

3. Live smaller than you can afford

You finally get that big raise. And you want to celebrate – and why not?

You’ve been looking forward to this forever. And after all, it was all due to your hard work.

That’s fine, splurge a little. However, make it a one-time deal and be done.

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Don’t get caught in the trap that just because you’re now making more money, you should spend more.

Too often, people get more money and feel like they that gives them the means to buy a bigger house, a bigger car… you know the drill. Resist.

The fact is that living smaller than what you can afford is one of the fastest ways to build savings.

But if you constantly upgrade as you begin to make more, then you’ll never get ahead. You’ll just build up more debt along the way and have just as little wiggle room as before.

4. Practice smart grocery shopping

Food… it’s one of the biggest portions of any budget. And if you’re not careful, it can be one of the biggest drains on your wallet.

But luckily, there are a few things you can do to ensure that you stay smart with your money when buying groceries.

Create a grocery budget

Set a strict weekly grocery budget. When you know how much you can spend on groceries, you can then plan your weekly menu around it.

Once you know what all you need, you can go shopping and keep a running tally as you shop to ensure you’re on track.

I tend to do this in my head, rounding for each item. However, writing it down as you go would probably work best for most people.

Make a list… and never deviate

Never go to the grocery store without a list. If you go to the store with a ballpark idea in mind, you don’t have a true ide of what you need.

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You’re not well-researched. You don’t know what the sales are. As a result, you’re going to make decisions on the fly.

These impulse decisions will lead to overspending, which will derail your grocery budget.

Eat before going grocery shopping

It’s also important to eat prior to going to the grocery store. Hunger is a powerful force.

If you’re shopping on an empty stomach, everything is going to look good. In particular, you may find a lot of ready-made, processed snacks will look enticing.

After all, you’re hungry now and that food is easily available. So subconsciously, you may lean towards those items.

Unfortunately, not only are those items typically less healthy, but they’re likely more expensive. You pay for convenience.

However, when you eat prior to shopping, then you’ll shop with a clear mind. Your hunger won’t cloud your judgement, influencing you to make poor decisions like a cartoon devil resting on your shoulder whispering in your ear.

This makes it much easier to stick to your grocery plan.

5. Cancel your gym membership

Now that you’re all set on your food, it’s time to get smart about managing your budget in terms of physical fitness. And let’s begin by avoiding the gym. The gym bill, that is.

The average gym membership costs around $60 per month. That’s $720 a year.

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Yet, two out of three gym memberships go unused. That means two-thirds of people who have a gym membership are literally giving away almost a thousand bucks a year. It’s crazy!

I recommend seeking an alternative. One good alternative is to look into fitness streaming services.

Streaming services allow you to stream hundreds of workouts like Insanity and p90x, right in your own home for around $10-20 a month. That’s $40-50 less a month than the average gym membership.

Of course, then there’s the free option. The internet is full of free workouts that you can do on your own with minimal or no equipment.

For example, there’s the Couch to 5K program, that I personally used a decade ago to ease myself from couch potato to running my first 5K race. If I could do it, anyone could.

Then there are free resources like reddit that have limitless information on workouts. The Fitness subreddit has done all the research for you, populating workout tips and detailed workout routines for anyone to use in their wiki.

There are several routines that require no equipment. And you can join in on the subreddit to become part of the community, making it easier for those seeking comraderie and encouragement in their fitness goals. All for free.

It’s baby steps… And baby steps can start now!

I’ve never met anyone that can’t stand to be a bit smarter with their money. And on the flip side, anyone can get smarter with their money. But remember, it doesn’t happen all at once.

Begin by fighting your impulses. Prepare for the week and be smart at the store. And cut monthly expenses like gym memberships that are overpriced and you probably aren’t getting your money’s worth out of anyway.

The devil is in the details. And the details can change your lifestyle and prep you for a financially independent future.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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