Updated December 2017
Do you consider yourself an entrepreneur? Do you have a strong vision and the drive to see it materialize? When you see a problem, do you work to identify a solution? If you answered “yes,” you might be great entrepreneur material. But wait—before you launch that Etsy store or killer app, it’s worth taking the time to do it right. Here are our “rules of entrepreneurship” to get you started:
Take risks. Starting your own business is a leap of faith, but you’ll never know the outcome until you actually do it.
Listen. Other entrepreneurs, your family, and friends can be a great source of ideas and help when you hit a roadblock, but also remember to take everything with a grain of salt.
Do work that you care about. Starting a business can be a very rich experience when it’s done with passion. When you do something that you really believe in, it can even make it easier to find solutions to potential issues.
Run your business like a business. Choose the right business entity and keep it separate from your personal life. Imagine if someone sued you for a business matter and wound up winning a judgment against you. They would be able to collect from your personal assets, like your bank accounts, home, and car. Keep the two separate to protect your personal assets.
Network. Networking can afford you mentorship opportunities, help strengthen your network, and give you the opportunity to learn from people who have the success you want to achieve. It even helps you become more of an expert at your job.
Create your brand. No matter what you do, your personal branding is fundamental because it shows who you are and your expertise.
Work with people you like and admire. Build a great team to bolster your success, and surround yourself with individuals who understand and share your vision.
Keep learning. Whether you’re opening a cupcake shop or launching your photography business, learn about your craft and keep improving.
Don’t be afraid of failure. Starting your own business is risky and it takes time. While there’s always a possibility of failure, the best entrepreneurs learn from their setbacks and try something new.
Create a customer-centric culture. Ask for your customers’ opinions, and make sure you pay attention to complaints because they can be your biggest source of learning.
Deliver more than expected. Learn and understand your market, and deliver more than what customers expect from your service. It’s a great way to build a loyal following of advocates.
The most important thing: create an entity. If you’re stuck, we can help you decide between forming a corporation or an LLC. You can also ask a lawyer when you have legal concerns regarding your business.
Still hungry for more? For even more ideas and inspiration, check out the small business articles in our business center.