I have read many articles about entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship, many top 10’s and 20’s of what to do and what to not do, similar to “10 secrets of becoming a successful entrepreneur”, “53 ways to become a better entrepreneur” and the list goes on (if anybody is interested links to these articles are at the end of this blog). There are tons of materials on the internet, but finally I’m also able to write a “top something” list (always wanted to do this) from my own interaction with the sources. For this I’m grateful to bunch of real life successful entrepreneurs who shared their hands on experiences and gave me much more than any of internet articles I have read before. This “top 12” is compiled from advises from Ziv (paragraph.com), Diego (wehostels.com), Antonio (socialdraft.com), Bojan (two lines and a dot), Alex (Brooklyn research), people who tried and succeeded in entrepreneurship.
Bottom line is that this is my top 12 tips for beginner entrepreneurs:
Tip #1: Don’t do it! – And by this I don’t discourage anyone but its good to know that the road you have chosen is tough and will get tougher.
Tip #2: Find a good partner! – It is very hard to succeed on this journey alone, having a reliable person around helps.
Tip #3: Have lots of ideas! – You will need them.
Tip #4: Validate your ideas! – You don’t have resources to pursue all the ideas, so before jumping in validate the idea. Build a lending page for your idea, build a list of potential customers, use social media to find out what people think about your idea, see whether people will buy it. Only after you validate the idea, make it, ship it and repeat.
Tip #5: Prototype as fast as you can, details come later! – Having MVP not only means having most valuable player, but having minimum viable product as soon as possible. Having something tangible rather than only idea will help you in many ways, people rather see once than hear hundred times.
Tip #6: Find the one thing that matters and focus on it! – You will be tempted to put as much features as possible into the product, But truth to be told 70% of your users will use one or two of these features. Do not waste your time on everything, find the feature that matters and focus on it.
Tip #7: Create a community and provide them what they want! – Build a community, interact with your customers, talk to them and find out what they really want. Solving their needs is road to success.
Tip #8: Hack the system! – Do not tackle every problem head to head. Know your skills and competences, most importantly know your limits. Do not hesitate to ask help and you will be surprised how much will you gain.
Tip #9: Contracts DO matter! – Don’t let anybody tell you otherwise. Read carefully anything you sign and do not hesitate to make changes.
Tip #10: Outsourcing is good! – Best talents nowadays are around the world. Its hard to find them in one country and its even harder to find them near your workplace. Use every resource that internet has provided us and find best people for your needs around the world.
Tip #11: Under promise and over deliver! – Quite simply do not do the opposite.
Tip #2: Fail and start all over again! – And finally when you fail and it’s gonna happen inevitably, do not fade away. Just remember that 3 out of 4 start-ups fail, which means that you have to fail only two more times, but the forth time will overshadow any previous failures.