9 FACTORS FOR SUCCES FOR ENTREPRENEURS BY ENTREPRENEURS
Entrepreneurship: taking steps while not knowing where you will end up. From creating a concept to implementing this concept into practice. What do you think is THE factor of success for your business? It’s not what you expect. This is a LinkedIn post I wrote while my daughter Mila-Nova was sleeping next to me, while my son Kyan and my wife Nathalie were visiting the lion habitat during our visit to the zoo.
Because this is what I call personal entrepreneurship: visualizing new opportunities while trying to improve or exploit the situation you are observing. Leaping into the unknown. You’re an entrepreneur 24/7, while also trying not to neglect your family. Even if you visit a zoo during your holiday, something small like a downward stairway can even lead to inspiration. It leads to… well, as in most cases with entrepreneurship. You never know where you will end up.
For this blog post, I asked several entrepreneurs to describe a few key factors for success. This is what they said.
SUCCESS FACTOR 1: THE ENTREPRENEUR AS A HUMAN BEING
Paul AB, an enthusiastic trainer in the fitness world, once started as a youngster at Fitness First, a place where I also started my working life. He says success is determined by the entrepreneur himself. “How can you be unique in a market when there is already so much competition?” “The only thing that makes a difference, is your enthusiasm and unique appearance as a person.” That was his literal response to my question.
I certainly agree. It is essential to establish a strong brand. That strong brand is something that has to be created by the entrepreneur himself/herself. You may have an amazing business; your chances of success are slim if you don’t treat the customers the right way. You have to inspire or teach them something, or just like Paul said, motivate and enthuse your customer.
SUCCESS FACTOR 2: ACTION!
Rob van den Borne is an author, entrepreneurial coach and experienced entrepreneur. If there’s someone who knows what the factor for success is, it’s him. His answer was as short as it was effective: “Simple: action, because without action there will be no result”. A very concise and simple answer. And in its simplicity, it’s also difficult.
Many entrepreneurs started their business out of love for their passion. They are (for example in the world of personal trainers) amazing at coaching people. What they often fail at is being able to guide larger numbers of people. They lack action, they lack sales orientation, a plan to get there. While they are good at making plans for people who want to achieve certain physical goals, they are lacking in the entrepreneurial department!
Action gives a reaction. Don’t sit back while waiting for things to happen if you want to move forward with your business. Leap into the unknown and just do it! Try growing your business! Does it work? Duplicate or scale. And when it doesn’t work? Learn from it and continue with a new ACTION.
Tip: Do you want to grow faster? Even if you only have a few customers, use this group of customers! Their success will certainly attract new customers. This applies to B2C companies and certainly also to B2B. Don’t forget: B2B, B2C? H2H, Human to Human!
SUCCESS FACTOR 3: SELF-CONFIDENCE
When you were an employee, you had a supervisor. If all goes well, you are coached and motivated. Who will do that for you as an entrepreneur? You can, of course, surround yourself with relevant entrepreneurs and coaches. But to improve your company you have to start with yourself!
Amanda van Zon, a fellow marketer, commented: “Trust in yourself, in your passion, and just go for it! It doesn’t happen by itself.”. This success factor is an extension of the previous one. You have to do something. Otherwise, nothing happens. Have faith in yourself, show passion for your profession and the customer and just go for it. What else can I add?
Adding to this confidence in yourself, Roland Ubben added: “The support on the home front is also important.” And that’s right. You can’t do it alone. Not without entrepreneurs around you, without people who coach and motivate you. And that certainly includes the home front!
SUCCESS FACTOR 4: LEARNING FROM YOUR EXPERIENCE(S)
André Köppen replied that many activities you do for the first time will be handled differently next time through various insights and experiences during your journey as an entrepreneur. I think he hit the nail squarely on its head. Doing business is taking steps. And sometimes a step is not the right one in terms of results. But you learn from your mistakes, this is a part of the process of taking steps in the right direction!
As an entrepreneur, everybody sometimes has to take a few punches. You have to learn from that, even if it sometimes hurts more than you thought it would. Ellen Lagemann also indicated this. “Perseverance + resilience + learning ability!” was her enthusiastic reaction.
SUCCESS FACTOR 5: DON’T THINK TOO SMALL
The same André Köppen, from the Gulpener Brewery, got inspired by my question. Think big, that’s what André thinks you should do, dare to do as an entrepreneur. “Think big, zoom in and create a funnel to develop a master plan”.
This remark deserves a separate article, André!
SUCCESS FACTOR 6: SOUNDING BOARDS
Previously we discussed that as an entrepreneur, you’re on your own. Nobody is there to hold your hand. André’s third entrepreneurial advice, therefore, is: “Try to acquire high-quality advice from various sectors by organizing a sounding board meeting”. This tip is very valuable.
You can’t do it alone. Surround yourself with entrepreneurs who can help you further. This can result in a healthy dose of feedback and inspiration while simultaneously learning from the experiences of other entrepreneurs. Don’t forget: you can return a lot of your expertise and experience to these people. Because it always works both ways, of course. Give, take and share!
SUCCESS FACTOR 7: USE RENÉ’S FORMULA
“Wanting + passion + being able + doing = nothing, without perseverance and discipline. Learning from your mistakes (and successes) has given me a lot.” René van Stein is a specialist in sales and turnover growth. Like André, he attaches great importance to experiential learning.
Rene adds: ”You want something, you have a passion for your profession and your customers, you are also good at it and you take action… doing it once has no use, you don’t build a business on it. You have to do this often. Continuously adjust and improve. Roland van Boxmeer (a creative concept maker and inspirer for everything in terms of sensory stimulation) adds to this: ”trial and error, continuing where others stop” and “Celebrating successes and learning to say no.” This is absolutely true! From my own experience, I know where this can take you, and also where it doesn’t take you when you stray away from your focus.
Iris Lagarde, the first franchisee of WowDeal, also supports this. “Guts, passion & enthusiasm, passion & focus!”. The terms he mentions are 100% factors he has shown and each of them counts as success factors.
Mariska Kemper of The SlowBeauty Group also agrees with this. “Working from and with passion is an important factor in successful entrepreneurship”.
SUCCESS FACTOR 8: CONNECTING WITH YOUR BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT
Roland had something else to add. Fortunately! His tip: “Create sincere connections with your business environment and stay close to who you are”. Other people can help you further. And you can help them. That is the definition of networking. Helping each other out. Of course, you can do that in a networking club, something that is quite effective on LinkedIn (if you have that attitude and behavior). But you can also do something similar by creating connections with entrepreneurs and shopkeepers in your area and neighborhood
Customers who come close to companies, can also become your customers. They may also need the solutions you offer. Entrepreneurship is also about visibility and awareness. Otherwise, there will be no bread on the table. A chat with a fellow entrepreneur costs nothing and can add so much value to your business…
SUCCESS FACTOR 9: TAKING RISKS
As Rob van den Borne said earlier, you have to take action. Nicolet Theunissen, from startup MooierMens (´more beautiful person´ in English), added ‘taking risks’ to our list. You can only take a risk if you have enough confidence in yourself, in your idea, and in the outcome, you think you can achieve. And for this, you have to take action. You often don’t know where your action will lead. And yet you have to take the step to experience how it can benefit you in experience and money.
TAKE A CRITICAL LOOK AT YOURSELF: ARE YOU MAKING USE OF THESE FACTORS OF SUCCESS?
The beauty of everything we talked about earlier is that it is not sorcery. Nor do you have to be super talented to do this. To do business with these factors, you simply have to start, get to work, and take action.