Many people want to become successful entrepreneurs, few actually turn their idea into a startup and even fewer succeed. So what makes the difference? What do the few who eventually succeed do that the others don’t? One of the key ingredients to a successful startup is in planning. Before diving into a business with their idea, successful entrepreneurs asked themselves these questions.
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- .What is my driving force? For many, the real reason they start a business is to get rich or become famous. Sadly, these reasons are poor motivators when the going gets tough. Successful entrepreneurs need purpose, from which persistence and the will to continue in the face of adversity comes. If your primary motivation is money or fame, your business will not last long.
- What can I start with now? The majority of people who never move from having an idea to actually making a business out of it are held back because they never felt they were ready to start. The combination of procrastination and feeling like you’re not quite ready yet are the chief killers of business ideas. If you want all the stars to align before you start, you will never get started. There will never be a perfect scenario or a time when everything you think you need will be available for your startup. Successful entrepreneurs make use of what they have, knowing that the time will never be perfect. Ask yourself “What do I have NOW that can get me started?”.Also read: 5 signs you can’t be an entrepreneur
- What do I want to solve? This is the question all successful startups begin with. Slack thought businesses and teams needed a simple, distraction-free way of communicating ideas that was not email and Airbnb thought people needed short-term lodging without the cut-throat prices and rigid check-out times of hotels. Make sure your startup idea solves a problem that everyday people have and you’ve crossed the first hurdle to a successful business.
- Can I handle failure? Whether you like it or not, the chances are that your startup will fail. This will probably lead you to making poor, short-sighted decisions in the early stages. Even if it succeeds, there will be a lot of things you did wrong in the process. Make sure you are able to handle failure, because in order to be great, we must be prepared to fail greatly as well.
- Who will buy and why? Getting a target market is another large obstacle in the way of startups. If you don’t establish at the start, the group of people who will be willing to part with money for the goods or services you provide, then your business is in trouble even before it’s begun. Outside your family and your circle of very close friends, no one will be interested in what you are selling if it adds no value to them.
- Who are your mentors? There will always be someone, somewhere who has done some version or variation of what you are trying to do. Whether or not they succeeded, they will definitely have some nuggets to share with you that will be invaluable to your startup. Many successful entrepreneurs find at least one such mentor.
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- How will I stay motivated? Almost every success story has some failure somewhere along the line. It is in the picking up of oneself and persevering that determine a successful outcome. Leaving a failing venture is always the easier option. Successful entrepreneurs find what keeps them motivated and use it to push forward even when prospects are bleak. Surround yourself with people who will always encourage you and be sources of motivation when you need it.
Note that not everyone will have the same answers to these questions – nor should they. Your answers are your own, but make sure you keep them brutally honest. Painting a fine, false picture will be a hindrance, not a help when you start on your entrepreneurial journey.