Below are the 12 quality tips you have to put into consideration if you want to be a successful entrepreneur.
1. You must always, always respect agreements, and contracts.
Before you enter into agreements of any kind to work with other people, you must do your due diligence of those people properly. However once you enter into an agreement and you give your word, you must adhere to the agreement that you signed.
Adhering to and respecting an agreement with a party that you consider weaker than yourself, is the final test of integrity. It is never about the integrity of the other party, it is about your integrity that you must focus on.
When you enter into an agreement, whether it be verbal or written, you must respect it.
Don’t borrow money from people and when they come looking for their money, you threaten them and tell them to go away. Don’t promise your employees salaries and promotions that you will ignore once you get them to do what you wanted. Don’t strip your partners of their shares simply because you believe you have more power.
Finally, a successful entrepreneur also respect agreements that others have made before you came in. If you buy a business or any property, always respect existing agreements and even titles. If you take over management or leadership, respect every agreement made by your predecessors even if they were not smart agreements in your opinion.
2. Holding Regular Meetings With Your Partners Is Very Important.
It does not matter what kind of business you have, or how small it is, its important to sit down and have proper meetings, and by this I do not mean, “chatting things over, whilst relaxing, over coffee”. I mean you must have scheduled meetings, during working hours, when you sit down with your partners and and also with your staff to discuss what is going on in your business.
Always hold such meetings during prime time or normal working hours, It serves as a remainder that you consider it to be an integral part of your business.
Before you start your discussion, you must agree what you are going to talk about, and select someone to keep a record ( “minutes of your meeting”). Before the next meeting, everyone must agree that the record of your previous meeting, is the correct one. This is one of the most important discipline for you to learn, if you want to grow and build your business.
As I have said before such meetings are not serious, if they do not begin, and end with a discussion on the finances. This is the engine and lifeblood of a business.
Practice to spend most of your time discussing figures, not just exchanging stories, remember you are in business now! In your agenda, you must always, have agreements, on what constitute your policies as a business. And these you must write down, and jointly sign with your partners.
Keeping proper written records because its a key to your success, Keep the records safe and always have copies, its very bad to operate a business on just verbal agreements, a successful entrepreneur meets his or her partner and talk physically.
Discuss how many shares each of you have in this business. Always remember to pay everyone their salary including those helping to clean and organize everything in your office, they also have dreams too.
3. Know Your Partner.
Do you really need a partner? The best partner for you is not some big powerful politician, or someone with a lot of money, or some big international company. The best partner for you is someone just like you who has the passion for entrepreneurship that you have. Who has the skills to compliment what you do best and is willing to work hard, very hard alongside you.
It might be a man or a woman regardless of race or colour, even from a different tribe or nationality from you. The key is to align your values and respect each other’s space, never mind the money, the power and the influence, because its not a factor.
Incase if you have access of calling him on phone, don’t write, if you can see him personally, don’t call him on phone, as simple as that.
The most important thing in business is to “know your partner”. You must understand their character, their strengths and their weaknesses, you must understand their aspirations and hopes and even with all this, misunderstandings will emerge and there may be a possibility of a misunderstanding.
The moment this happens, do not fire off an SMS or an email, look for an opportunity as soon as possible to “talk face to face.” Do it straight away and when you do meet, listen to what the other person has to say, first.
4. Sit Down and Calculate The Cost First, Don’t Just Start.
When people start out in business, they are sometimes so excited about what they are going to achieve and they forget to sit down and calculate the cost first. Sustainable success in business or even in a social enterprise is as much about managing your costs as it is about generating sales or revenue.
In other words, Calculating simply means managing the cost, in the end you will be a successful entrepreneur.
5. Be Consummate About What You Do!
When you are in a business, you must join associations, (both local and international), so that you can exchange ideas, with people from the same industry, including your competitors. This is how you “benchmark”. Before you dash off to implement something, try and find out what others have done, or not done… This is really how you should be using tools like the Internet.
Do you want to rear goats? that’s good, now go out and become a member of that industry, go down deep and learn about the industry, make yourself a “goats guru”, eat, sleep and talk goats! If someone asks you about goats, talk about the South African and American industry, tell them who is the biggest player in Uganda, what type of goats are preferred in Brazil, Its your game.
My game is online marketing and website development, in Dec -2014 someone asked me about the best programming languages today, I gave him a lecture about it, am always yearning to learn and know more on anything related to online marketing and website development. I just love it, Its my game.
Even if you are working in an organization as a professional, it is important to remain current about the job you do and also about the industry you are in. Be proud of what you do, there is no better way of doing this than subscribing for professional and industry publications.
6. When Things Go Wrong, act Quickly.
If you are running a business or even a social enterprise, sometimes things can go wrong, infact very wrong, even with the best idea in the world, things can go wrong, very wrong, so what are you going to do, now? It might not be you fault.
– Maybe it is the work of an enemy.
– Maybe its government policy in your country.
– Maybe someone you trusted, later he let you down.etc
You don’t have to sit back and relux, each and every day that you delay to act, makes the solution much more difficult and much more costly and the consequences more dire.
When things go wrong, there are 5 things that you must do:
1. Accept that things have gone wrong, It does not matter whose fault it is. Take chargeand show responsibility.
2. Make an unemotional assessment with the help of someone who is independent minded and was not involved in how you got there. Don’t just listen to people who tell you what you want to hear or those who stroke your ego.
3. Then come up with a plan, even if it means changing direction, downsizing or even shutting down what you had started, to do so, does not mean you have failed, its just courage.
4. Act quickly and boldly, do not postpone, there are very few things that correct themselves without you doing something.
5. Do the right thing, don’t compound the problem by trying to conceal it. Don’t be proud even to ask for help and most importantly to apologise to those who have been negatively affected, you will be a successful entrepreneur.
7.Allow The Business To Be Separate From You.
Most entrepreneurs start their businesses on very small scale, they work hard usually with the support from family and friends, without any proper salary structures or regular payments. Sometimes when they borrow money, they are forced to secure such loans using personal assets like their home.
Avoid operating your business informally. Register it properly as a “limited liability” company with the assistance of a lawyer, make sure you purchase a of copy of your country’s company code. Every self respecting business person should have a copy of their country’s company code.
Under that company code your business is a “legal personality”, separate from you. Make sure you fully understand what that means.
A successful entrepreneur should have a lawyer that he / she meets regularly at least once a month to talk things over, make sure you have a relationship with a professional lawyer who makes time for you and enjoys business matters rather than criminal law.
Think of your business like a it were a “person”, quite separate from you. Starting a business and growing it is rather like having a child and raising it to adulthood, It goes through exactly the same process.
Please not: Always meet your obligations as a citizen, pay your taxes both corporate and personal, it does not matter that some of the biggest Entrepreneurs that you know don’t pay taxes, shame on them. You are better than that because you are a “nation builder”. You will end up a Successful Entrepreneur.
8.Planning is important.
Planning is important, for whatever you do, whether it is for profit, or not for profit, as you setup your business, you must always consider the consequences of your actions, don’t just rush into doing something anyhow thinking it will work out the way you want it. Many people have caused suffering to themselves and their families simply because they took on a competitor who was bigger and better facilitated or better skilled than themselves without proper planning.
Search for enough accurate information and study it carefully, Don’t rush and avoid being emotional, you will be embarrassed by yours competitors.
9. Any organisation that does Not Invest In Itself, Has No Future.
This is related to a farmer who has cows, but all he does is to get milk out of them, but never feeds them, What do you think will happen?
You’ve bought a fleet of Buses and you want to start a transport business, but later if you don’t carry out periodic servicing or change spare part, what do you think will happen?
There are people with factories that never bought new machines or carry out regular maintenance on those they have until they break down. Many businesses out there simply do not invest sufficient resources into developing new products or expanding their capacity.
No matter what business you are in, whether small or big, there must be continuous investment in it, you will be a successful entrepreneur in the end.
10. Be a Nation Builder .
Regardless of what kind of business you’re in, whether you’re a civil servant, in social organization, in a private sector or a hawker in the streets , paid or unpaid as long as you’re not a criminal, you must have a heart of building your nation.
If you live overseas and send money home to your family no matter how little it is, you have a right to call yourself an investor in your nation. A nation builder, an employment creator, a national developer, do as much as you can.
11. Build a circle of trust around your business.
Its always good to build a circle of trust when you’re doing business, some customers donot pay immediately after giving them a service, some pay weekly and others pay monthly, if you have a supplier whom you don’t have a good relationship with, you will be forced to pay him cash, either through borrowing.
Make sure you create a good relationship with your customers, lenders and suppliers, if they findout that you’re trusted, you will be a trustworthy partner to them and everything will move on well in your business.
Success comes from creating a “circle of trust” between your business, your customers, your suppliers, and your lenders. The more people enter this circle of trust, the more you will prosper, in the end you will be a successful entrepreneur.
12. Show up to your creditors with modesty.
When you run a business,sometimes things don’t always work out the way you planned, you might find yourself borrowing some money or take some goods on credit, then that payment you were expecting does not come through and now you owe a lot of money, then creditors begin to chase you for the money, almost putting in jail.
I want to let you know that all business people, men and women have gone through this experience. It might be with a supplier to your business or even a bank. It can happen to you whether you’re small or big. The most important thing to always keep in mind when you are in this situation is not to lose sight of the fact that the other party once trusted you by giving you goods on credit or by giving you a loan, so don’t get angry with them and say, “why are you bothering me.
How you respond to such a situation will not only test your character but will decide how successful or big you are going to be in future. Go to the biggest and most successful business person anywhere in the world. They will tell you the same things like these below.
1.A successful entrepreneur always treats his / her creditors with the most utmost respect for the trust they had in you.
2. Be quick to apologise for the situation even if the other party is angry and abusive, do not react
.3. Do not default under any circumstances and by this, I mean that if you had an agreed payment date, the moment it becomes clear that you are not going to make that payment, go and see them and tell them. Do this well in advance, giving the other party time to make alternative arrangements. Do everything you can to get them to agree a new date, never default by ignoring the dates.
4. When dealing with a creditor in this situation, always go and see them, do not write or call on phone, meet them in person.
5. Don’t threaten your creditors or lenders. Work with creditors and bankers as partners, always make them feel proud of you, by doing that, you will be a successful entrepreneur.
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