If starting and running a business is harder now, what should you do?
With the Internet and digital development, everything seems to be impacting with each other quickly. Today, it’s harder for an entrepreneur to tell the direction when politics, humanities, and technologies change, in order to control their business development. Not to mention the black swans.
So, as a new entrepreneur, what should you do?
1. Focus on cash flow or cash cow
First of all, you must try to survive.
I suggest that entrepreneurs in the initial stage of the start-ups do not think too much about how to do user size, how to beat competitors, but first to know what their profit model is, and how to do this profit model better.
2. Identify short-term goals
Many entrepreneurs like thinking about long-term goals, are not clear about what short-term goals are, and have never set up steps to achieve the short-term goals.
However, many long-term goals can be forced to change as circumstances change. And the lack of short-term goals will keep you from really thinking through your profit model, how your product is polished, and what resources and teams you need.
Also, short-term goals can help you quickly test the market’s response and see if you’ve found the right person to do the right job.
Identify your short-term goals. Describe them in numbers. Identify deadlines, what actions are needed, and who should take the actions.
3. Discuss with an investor and take advice
Whether you need investor participation or not, I recommend that you reach out to investors.
Good investors have already seen lots of business practices, and can give you a lot of advice on the business model, team management, and operational logic.
And as investors care more about the money side, they will ask you the right and tough questions like what is your goal? What’s your plan? What resources do you require? When can you make profits?
From these discussions, you would have a better understanding of your strategy, your competitors, the market trends.
They don’t need to be those VC guys, even your family friends who have working experience in a business world may help.
Besides, as far as you are fine with the control power over the business, please get an investment and make your business grow faster.
4. Pay more attention to the skills that you can still use or replicate in future
What are the experiences that can be replicated?
For example, financial analysis, team management, project management, communication skills, etc.
You can apply these skills to your business in the future stage, or even your other businesses. No matter how your business ideas or the environment change, they are always essential and useful.
I recommend you to check MIT OpenCourseWare. They are providing great Entrepreneurship Courses on very detailed subjects. Those courses cover most of the skills needed in a business world. Check the course names, and you will know which skills you should pay more attention to.
Continually polish those skills. Review what lessons are learned from every trial. And you will never waste your time starting a business.
5. Keep learning
Try your best to master the relevant knowledge as much as possible. Then when you make a business decision, you will think more comprehensively.
Learning ability is a critical ability for successful entrepreneurs. Even though there may be jobs such as financing or product design that don’t require your personal involvement, you need to understand basic common sense to help you find a better person to take that job.
Many talented entrepreneurs successfully started their businesses for the first time, or at a very young age. But more people, are repeatedly defeated, or after a long period of exercise and accumulation to succeed.
Only continuous learning and the absorption of new knowledge can make it more likely to cope with, or at least understand, a rapidly changing market environment.
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