Bill Gates created an empire through his love of technology and dreams for Microsoft to flourish.
Walt Disney started off as a farm boy, drawing whenever he had the spare time and now his legacy fills the hearts of children everywhere. He was fired from the Kansas Star for having “no imagination or good ideas”.
‘Dragon’, Peter Jones, lost £200k on his first venture and had to give up his home and move in with his parents after a second business failed. Now he’s worth over £500m.
JK Rowling was told not to give up her day job – now she’s worth £700m and has been voted the most powerful and influential woman in the UK. Oprah Winfrey was fired as a TV anchor for getting too emotionally involved in her stories. She’s now worth over £3billion and is America’s most respected female.
We all enjoy reading about success stories but what we really want to know is, what is the key to your success? How do we start a business from the ground and raise it to become a multi-million pound industry? More importantly how do we keep it from failing?
So how can I become a success story?
Walt Disney stated “you can design and create, and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it takes people to make the dream a reality”. Here are a few tips:
- Belief - You have to believe in your business in order to make others believe in it. This is the key into selling any idea or product.
- The people behind the entrepreneur – ‘Your boat only moves if everyone is rowing in the same direction’. Find your people and look after them for they will in turn look after you.
- Funding – Unless you have an unreserved amount of cash you will need help with funding. So pursue investors, pitch your business plan to the bank, or look for an invoice finance provider to help you with your cash flow.
- Reinvention – If something isn’t working or if it fails don’t be scared to reinvent the original idea. Revaluating and coming up with a better product is always a positive in business. It’s ok to be the ‘second mover’ in the market.
- Aim high but start small – It is so important to have goals to succeed and a drive to be the best. Many people can get lost with their ideas and simply jump from one idea to another without mastering the first one. Succeed at the first, be the best at the first and then move on to conquer the second.
What if we fail?
Bill Gates once said, “it’s fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure”. The UK has become a leader for embracing entrepreneurial pitches and creative ideas, however statistics show that 8 out of 10 companies fail within their first year of starting.
This failure can be put down to many different reasons such as cash flow and funding issues, fierce competition, lack of understanding of the industry and funding issues.
It not only gives you a chance to re-evaluate your business plans but it highlights potential weakness. If you are someone who has had a failed business or someone whose business is potentially failing here are 6 things to consider to ensure that you succeed in the future.
- Finances - Are you losing money quicker than you’re making it? Do you need a financer, a back office company or a bank? If so, go out and ask for help.
- Understanding the industry - Have you gone out there and researched your industry? Do you know everything there is to know about it? If not how can you possibly foresee obstacles in the future.
- What is your weakness - Every business will have a weakness, find out if your weakness is competitors, price or location, once you know what it is, you can work with it or employee somebody to compensate for it.
- Your online presence – Have you Googled your business recently? Do you know your online presence? Be aware of your online reputation.
- Who is your audience - Are you advertising to the right industries? Is your name out there and accessible for the audience that will be interested in your idea? Find your audience and sell through the right channels.
- What are your goals? - If your goals are to connect to people on an emotional and personal level you need to know how to do that. If it’s connecting via price and service then use that to sell your idea. Use your goals to sell your business and people will buy it.
So with belief, the people behind the entrepreneur, funding, reinvention and aiming high but starting small, your business will be way on its way to becoming a success story.