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THE ENTREPRENEUR’S EXPERIENCE.

While it’s a good thing to advise people to start their own business, the hard truth is that being an entrepreneur is tough. It sucks everything out of you – time, money, physical and mental energy etc.As an entrepreneur, the workload can be intense especially during the early stages, which i can still consider myself to be in after 6 years, when you are the CEO, accountant, HR person, sales staff, marketer, IT guy, and manager. With all these roles, there’s no rest. There’s always something else to do, like developing new products and researching the markets, writing press releases, developing media contents, managing the social media accounts, seeing clients, chasing production etc. And for those with a family like i do, it’s so damn difficult to maintain a balance.Permit me to share with you some nuggets of information, which i have garnered so far. This is not an exhaustive list of points on the discussion and are not listed in any order of importance.- The life of an entrepreneur is like that of an animal in the wild. You hustle daily for your survival. You hunt or starve. You kill or be killed (not literally).- Before you start, have a plan B.- While you are at it, have a 2nd income and a 3rd and 4th if possible. In essence, have multiple streams of income.- When making business decisions, always think like you are on a zero budget. Think creatively!- Avoid taking high interest loans as a start up. The pressure of running a sole business is enough.- Work on product/service improvement more than anything else.- Work with your heart but make decisions with your head.- Maintain low overheads. Build a business model that keeps your overhead at the barest minimum.- Don’t hire an extra hand if you can barely pay yourself.- Hold off any personal gratification or pleasures until you are sure you deserve it.- Forget glamour. Focus on your product and services.- Know or Learn the core of your business.- Never ignore reality. It doesn’t mean you are negative. Running a business is not all about fantasy. Make projections, but act on reality.- The statement that ‘£1 is better than zero sales’ is not always true. Never lose sight of the bigger picture.- Sometimes it’s better to turn down some customers (politely) than to accept their devaluing patronage.- If there are loopholes in the market, system or anywhere, exploit them.- Don’t place your hustling instinct above your reputation. Reputation is key!- Be very careful of those customers who’ll ask for special discounts with the promise of refferals or directing business your way. While it’s true that some of them will bring you business, they would equally have devalued your business by telling their friends not to offer you more than a certain price. Once you sense this pattern, just stop business with ALL of them.- ALWAYS remember that offering discount is not the only means of attracting customers.- A good product/service, targeted at the right audience will sell regardless of the price.- Don’t sell at cheap and hurt in silence. Charge what you think you are worth and don’t be sorry for it. Allow the customer walk away if they cannot afford you.
It’s better for people to say that you are expensive than to label your products/services as poor.- Always remember it’s about the process not the result. If the results are unfavourable, focus on the positives in the process which you can build on to become better. This approach is the same when the results are what you were expecting. Don’t get carried away in celebrating the success that you forget the need for continual improvement. Stay focused and committed to a change system which eventually will lead you to an efficient process which guarantees consistent extra ordinary results.- Make mistakes but don’t make a habit out of them.- Never operate outside the limits of your competencies.- Start small.Having said all these things, i must say that i’m grateful for the privilege i have to do what i truly love, the opportunity to express my creativity and the flexibility and freedom that comes as part of the package…- by Akin VoGg

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