Managing partner, Rely Services Inc.
Entrepreneurship isn’t easy. Forgoing the safety of a full-time paycheck, entrepreneurs forge their own paths into the unknown. Their earning potential is unlimited.
But they have to make many sacrifices along the way (we’ve all heard the stories about entrepreneurs subsisting on ramen noodles)–and success isn’t guaranteed. Citing data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Investopedia notes that as of 2021, 20% of small businesses “failed in the first year, 50% within five years, and 65% within 10 years.”
Once entrepreneurs get a taste of success, they want to keep going and pursue other ventures. As FreshBooks found in its 2019 American Self-Employment Report, 30% of Americans are serial entrepreneurs; on average, “serial entrepreneurs have run three businesses over their careers.”
Launching more than one business is a savvy move, one that makes sense. As an entrepreneur who has founded two businesses, I’m constantly dreaming up new ideas and thinking about my next venture. But getting the confidence to go beyond the planning phase and push my ideas out into the world takes time, especially if I want to enter a new industry.
Here are my top tips for starting new ventures and scaling them to success.
1. Get In The Right Mindset And Be Disciplined
As the adage goes, mindset is everything. Psychologist Carol Dweck, the author of the acclaimed book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, explained the power of mindset in the Harvard Business Review. Those with a growth mindset, or “individuals who believe their talents can be developed,” ultimately “tend to achieve more than those with a more fixed mindset.” In other words, be open. You may not be an industry expert now, but that doesn’t mean you can’t work to become one. Soak up all the knowledge you can.
In addition to having a growth mindset, you need to create a clear roadmap for your venture. Daniel Walter covers this concept in his book, The Power of Discipline. He notes that self-discipline “is like a key—it unlocks the door to personal fulfillment and opens the door to the life you have been dreaming of.”
Lots of people have ideas. But the people who turn their ideas into reality are the ones with discipline.
2. Scale And Grow Your Business
Mindset and discipline are the foundations of any new venture. Once you’ve opened the doors to your new business, it’s time to strategically scale and grow it.
My first recommendation is to invest in building talent for your company. Doing everything by yourself is a recipe for failure. You can’t juggle being a founder with other critical roles, such as human resources, marketing, sales, accounting, etc. Growing a business takes time and requires top execution in many areas. Superman and Wonder Woman are fictional characters and not business role models. Hire a team!
Secondly, your network is everything. You never know where a conversation will take you. For instance, meeting someone at a local networking event could lead you to your next investor. Build strong, meaningful relationships. Send your contacts an article of interest every quarter to keep them in your circle. Reach out on birthdays and work anniversaries. And always approach relationships from a perspective of giving. Think about how you can help others instead of how others can help you.
3. Keep A Close Eye On The Financial Health Of Your Business
One of the biggest mistakes entrepreneurs make at the beginning of new ventures is neglecting the financial health of their companies. As a result, they don’t know how well their businesses are truly performing.
Knowing your numbers allows you to move your business forward. If things look unstable, course-correct as soon as possible—so you can keep building and continuing down the entrepreneurial path.
Forbes Business Council is the foremost growth and networking organization for business owners and leaders. Do I qualify?
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