Becoming an entrepreneur – 5 things we’ve learnt from our idols
Being an entrepreneur, starting up your own company, jumping out at the deep end. It all takes guts. It’s a risky business and it normally takes a lot of time to learn the ropes. But, luckily for us, entrepreneurship is not a new concept. There have been many great entrepreneurs before us, and we are sure there are lots more to come. We love learning about the fantastic minds behind great companies and what’s more is that we recognise the wisdom they part with is absolutely indispensable to budding entrepreneurs like us.
Here are the 5 key things we have learnt from our entrepreneurial idols…
1. To never give up
2. To be brave. Risk it
No entrepreneur is born a success. Every smart entrepreneur has a fear of the unknowns in their new business initiative. But only those with the passion and conviction to take the first steps will have any chance of success in the first place. Likewise, you can’t succeed if you give up too early, or sabotage your own efforts due to a fear of failure.
Make sure you don’t let doubts paralyse you at any stage of your startup.
Before getting the ball rolling, sit down and ask yourself:
- Am I okay with the worst thing that could happen?
- What is my opportunity cost?
- Is there a market for this? Will people like it?
- Will I regret not taking this risk someday?
- Can I identify when the risk is clearly headed for failure?
- Am I being objective?
- Am I fantasising?
- What are my expectations
Mark Zuckerberg is a great entrepreneur who thought about these questions and chose to be brave, to risk it. When dropping out of college to focus on building Facebook; he took risk. By confronting Google; he took risk. Facebook itself was a risky venture that paid off immensely. Entrepreneurship is all about risk taking and without it, the world would reach a standstill.
“The biggest risk is not taking any risk… In a world that is changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.” Mark Zuckerberg
3. To ask for help, and listen to those closest to you
Most of the time entrepreneurs are great at starting new projects. But too often they are slowed down trying to do everything off their own back. They consider asking for help as a sign of weakness, or even failure. This should definitely not be the case. Here’s what the experts have to say.
4. To really understand your customer
When it comes to your target market, you definitely don’t want to be shooting in the dark. Once you’ve recognised the problem you are aiming to solve, look at exactly who it is that experiences the problem, why, how and in what ways.
Take Dollar Shave Club for example – the company is a big believer in using technology to understand its members. Using a powerful system to integrate its in-house CRM, customer support platform and data analytics, Dollar Shave ensures that it has a rich understanding of its members — so that it can deliver an outstanding customer experience. “We don’t respond to situations; we respond to people,” is the philosophy that drives the company’s member engagement. Dollar Shave Club now has over 1.5 million happy subscribers, who not only enjoy the brand, but also participate in a great relationship with the company.
Or Unbounce, who immediately attracted many new customers after launching in 2009. However, it soon learnt that some of these new customers misunderstood Unbounce and actually didn’t need a landing-page optimization tool. So, Unbounce learned to drive uncertain leads to freemium membership plans to ensure they understood the product before converting to paid membership. CEO Rick Perrault drove the company’s customer-focused culture and championed this mission to improve Unbounce’s customer success efforts and, ultimately, its customers’ experience. Says fellow co-founder Jason Murphy: “Startups have limited resources. Make sure you attract customers who really need your product so your time supporting them is well spent. Customers that aren’t a good fit for your company often take a lot of your time, and leave relatively soon.” Unbounce now has a high engagement retention rate, with an active customer-success team working with well-targeted and high-value customers.
Here’s a great article covered by Joseph Pigato to show you how you can get to know your customer better than they know themselves!
His top suggestions include
- Reduce surveys and “be honest with me” conversations
- Get accurate, unfiltered customer feedback
- Observe real actions
- Take a little step into big data