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Why Successful Entrepreneurs Read A Lot And How They Find The Time

why entrepreneurs should read

There are many different habits attributed to the success of entrepreneurs and business leaders. Some people say, “Get up early”. Others say, “Find the right mentors”. Although both can be great advice, there is one habit that is arguably the most recommended━read a lot.

In fact, studies have found that on average Fortune 500 CEOs read 4 to 5 books each month or 60 books a year. Why is reading so important especially for budding business owners? There are many reasons, but these are three that you must know.

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5 Essentials That Every Business Plan Needs

business plan

There’s a lot that goes into starting a business. One of the first and most crucial steps is the business plan. It is the place where you finally document all those thoughts that have been swirling around in your head.

It is the roadmap for your company. It helps you focus your thoughts, guides you into the future and will get you back on track when you get lost. Without a well-crafted, documented business plan, banks and lenders aren’t likely to consider your loan. Investors probably won’t give you a chance.

When you finally write out the plan for your company, it has immense benefits for founders too. For instance, the business plan can highlight key holes or challenges in your concept. You’ll be better equipped to handle the bumps that you come across if you prepared in the beginning, anticipated them and formulated actions.

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5 Tactics to Prevent Burnout When Building A Business

entrepreneur burnout

Shark Tank’s Lori Greiner has a saying that, “Entrepreneurs are the only people who will work 80 hours a week to avoid working 40 hours a week.” You know all too well how true that statement is if you’ve ever built a business.

Entrepreneurs are some of the hardest working and determined individuals out there. But, growing a business is at times incredibly stressful. You may find yourself juggling your time between family, friends and business meetings.

No matter how driven, competent, intelligent or successful you are, stress will catch up to you. If you don’t learn how to handle it in healthy ways, you’ll burnout. Prevent burnout with these 5 tactics.

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7 Techniques To Know Whether Your Startup Idea Is Good

businessideas

Everyone with an entrepreneurial spirit wants to have a breakthrough idea, one that has the potential to change an industry or even the world. However, it can be hard to know if anyone else thinks that your ideas are actually good.

No one wants to be the person that pitches a bad idea to a potential investor or business partner. To avoid that embarrassment, and a lot of work, time and effort thrown into a bad idea, here are some techniques to help you determine if your idea is worth pursuing.

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5 Lies People Tell Entrepreneurs

liespeopletellentrepreneurs

As an entrepreneur, you have probably had many people offer their advice and insights. Mentors, consultants and other sources of support can be crucial to you, especially if it’s your first time starting a business.

However, entrepreneurs should also be wary. Although an individual may not intend to be dishonest, they could tell you lies without realizing it. Watch out for these 5 common lies, because if you haven’t heard them already, you are likely to hear them at some point in your career.

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An Entrepreneur’s 5-Step Guide to Identifying Target Market

innovation

You’ve got an innovative business idea that you know could potentially impact an entire industry or even the world. You’ve put your heart and soul, sweat, tears and time into building this product. But, there’s one looming question left unanswered: Who’s your target market? The target market means the people who are most likely to:

  • Buy your product.
  • Be interested in your services.
  • Read your content.

Identifying your target market is one of the first and most crucial steps for startup success. It’s also one of the most difficult to complete, with limited resources available that explain how to do it. We’ve compiled the most important steps that will help you strategically and accurately define your target market.

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5 Tips for Starting a Successful Business

tips for starting your own business

More people than ever before are thinking about starting their own businesses. Perhaps you have already tested out a few ideas but failed or you are currently building a company.  Founding a business is a long and challenging journey, at times filled with frustration, doubt and disappointment. However, these crucial tips for starting a business can make the journey a little less stressful and lead to greater success.

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3 Steps To Gaining and Keeping Your First Customers as a Startup

The day has come that you’ve been waiting for, and your product is ready to launch. From there now you need to find the market who has a desire to buy what you have to offer. On top of that, when you’re first starting out you want to be able to start finding the right customers. Having a simple, yet solid strategy can help you reach this goal. You first want to identify your target market, as well as getting customers. From there you need to sell the customer on what you have to offer, and once you have the customer on board, you have to manage the customer relationship. Continue reading “3 Steps To Gaining and Keeping Your First Customers as a Startup”

Why Blogging Can Be Your Key to Startup Success

Several years ago when the Lean Methodology took off, entrepreneurs were reminded that customers are really their best ally and that products sink or swim based on early adopters. Prior to that time, it was not uncommon for startups to pour tons of money and time into developing products on the belief that “if you build it, they will come.” Well, a lot of building went on and folks didn’t show up to the party.

Lean was a big, refreshing wakeup call for many entrepreneurs by helping them focus more on fact-and evidence-based product development. Lean also introduced us to the importance of the Minimum Viable Product (MVP). The idea behind the MVP was simple but profound; spin up a prototype to prove out the value proposition of your product. It could even be as simple as a landing page, but the point is just to introduce something that will get people’s attention and “test the waters” on a product idea.

Most folks don’t realize it but a blog can serve as a very viable and efficient MVP for a potential startup. If you don’t believe me, take a look at this post: Five Successful Startups That Started As Blogs. In that post the writer details the stories of how a number of now very successful companies started as blogs. The most well-known, and least likely of those, is Groupon. Here’s what the writer says about it.

The first version of the daily deal site was “totally ghetto,” according to an interview with founder Andrew Mason. To launch the idea, the team re-skinned a WordPress blog with the Groupon brand. Each day, they manually posted offers for heavily discounted restaurant gift certificates, concert vouchers, movie tickets, and other deals in the Chicago area. Using off-the-shelf software, they generated PDF coupons, emailing vouchers to customers using a script and Apple Mail.

Entrepreneurship Organizer Risk Enterprise Dealer Concept

Fascinating concept! If you touch a need in the community then what does it matter whether it comes through a blog, landing page, full-fledged product, or what have you? Value is value and consumers will recognize it when they see it. The article above goes on to make some excellent points about the real value a blog can bring to a community.

Quoting again,

The beauty of the Blog-First Startup is that it allows the entrepreneur to: Validate ideas with minimal effort, Identify their customer, Build a following, Gather early user feedback. There is no best method for gathering feedback and validating startup ideas, but add blogging to your lean startup toolbox and before writing code, consider writing a blog post.

We can’t agree more! Blogging is free, low maintenance, and helps you become a thought leader in a particular niche. The only requirement is time and persistence. An occasional blog won’t cut it. Most professional bloggers recommend high posting frequency, which amounts to 5 weekday posts. Posting consistency will serve to attract new visitors and help you retain repeat visitors as well.

Perhaps you’re drawn to the idea of someday pursuing your passion and turning it into a business, but don’t quite know where to start. Then why not just start writing about it? Kickoff a blog and see where it goes. The likelihood is that you will find out soon enough if others share your passion and are interested in your ideas.

Becoming a thought leader in your niche will help you build a ready-made community of visitors, early adopters, and potential customers. Scaling up from there with a simple email campaign, newsletter, and eventually a short whitepaper, might just give you the traction you need to someday spin your blog into a real, viable product.

Start with a small step forward and see where it leads, and then pivot from there. If things work and you get some favorable responses then take another small step forward, and so on and so forth. The sky’s the limit, and if you really want to put wings on your idea then there’s nothing stopping you. All it takes is for you to take the first step!

Why You Need to Have a Startup Mindset

It wasn’t too long ago that careers and career planning were fairly straightforward. You became interested in an occupation (say you wanted to become an engineer or a lawyer) and then you worked backwards to attain the goal. In other words, by envisioning yourself in the chosen field, you did research and read up on the industry, perhaps talked to someone in the field, figured out the training and college requirements, and then determined how to obtain your goal of completing the necessary education to finally enter your chosen field. Everything was predictable and if you navigated the shoals of college and successfully graduated, chances were good that you could expect to enter the workforce as a freshly minted engineer or lawyer.

Today (meaning within the past 3-5 years) things have become much less straightforward. We live in an age of increasing uncertainty. Whole industries are disappearing and being replaced by machines. As the book, Own Your Future: How to Think Like an Entrepreneur and Thrive in an Unpredictable Economy, makes clear, things are not as they were just a few, short years ago. The authors start with some poignant and thought-provoking questions about the wholescale disruption that is creating so much uncertainty about the future:

Been to a music store lately? Drop off any photos to be processed? Used a payphone? Read an afternoon newspaper (or been able to find a local morning one if you live in a small or even midsize city like New Orleans)? Bought a printed map? Place a call from your hotel room—through the hotel’s phone system? Used a travel agent to book a routine vacation? Probably not. And the trend of entire industries disappearing is only accelerating.

The writers support their major premise that in order to survive and thrive in today’s “unpredictable economy” today’s knowledge workers need to rethink their professions, the economy, and the future. To prepare themselves, they need to operate like entrepreneurs. They need to be willing to retrain and retool for the digital workforce, to take risks, to chart their future and to turn their thoughts into tangible outcomes, while also being willing to work harder than the next person.

Laptop computer tablet
Laptop computer tablet

We’re entering the Startup Economy in which everyone will eventually have to think, act, and ultimately become like an entrepreneur to stay competitive and relevant. Digital technologies, including smart machines, Internet of Things, cognitive computing, and rapid increases in artificial intelligence are steadily making whole industries obsolete. The impacts of this rapid technological expansion is going to be felt on jobs in profound ways. A report out a couple years ago projected that almost half of American occupations could become automated within 20 years.

Those who expect to survive and thrive in the “Startup Economy” are people who are prepared for the possibility (nay, likelihood) that their present job, profession, career path will be disrupted to some degree. They are taking initiatives to boot up their training and develop new skills (such as learning to code or how to analyze Big Data). Or they may be freelancing on the side through a site like Upwork. Or else they may take on extra projects at work to gain more exposure . . . or all of the above.

The Startup Economy is here to stay and will be the primary pipeline for innovation, creativity, and commerce in the months and years ahead. Those with the skills, initiative, and desire to succeed in this new economy will do so, while the rest will get left behind.

StartupLabs is an emerging market assistance company that dedicates its resources to helping startups and new businesses grow through innovation. We exploit technology and digital business tools for you to achieve greater advantage in the rising world of technology and IT. StartupLabs aims to prepare digital leaders in the emerging startup economy by helping them plan, strategize, prototype, and bring their ideas to market. Whether you’re completely new to this area or a seasoned business person with an idea you’d like to launch, contact us today to discuss how we can help you take the next step.