tips for entrepreneurs

Essential Tips for Entrepreneurs

Oct 17, 2019

Being a new or aspiring entrepreneur can be simultaneously exciting and nerve-wracking. On the one hand, you’re taking enormous risks by being in business for yourself. On the other, you’re opening up yourself to incredible possibilities the majority of the population only dreams about.

To help you navigate the startup landscape successfully, here are some important tips for entrepreneurs.

Look for Wide Market Opportunity

You’re probably starting a business because you’re either very passionate or very knowledgeable about something. And that’s a great place to start! If you aren’t doing something you feel motivated to do, chances are good that you’ll give up too early. It’s been said that if you start a business doing something you love you’ll never have to work another day in your life (and it’s almost true).

But it’s not quite enough that you’re interested in what you do. You’ve also got to choose a business that the existing market wants to support.

To that end, you’ll want to research carefully before committing to a business idea. Investors typically only invest in an idea if they foresee a big market opportunity and it can be very difficult to promote something that doesn’t fit into an existing category. Make sure the business you start is one that has the potential to grow into something extraordinary.

Constantly Watch Your Finances

When you’re building a business, money is both your best friend and your worst enemy. You’ve got to have enough of it to do the things you’re there to do, but if you run out or have too little, nothing works right. Inadequate funding and improper use of resources are two of the most common entrepreneur mistakes.

To avoid money problems as much as possible, it’s imperative that you stay on top of your expenses, income, and balance sheet. Maintain a low overhead and spend as little as you can get away with. Live on a shoestring budget until you have significant revenue flowing in.

Develop an Elevator Pitch

This is undoubtedly one of the most important tips for entrepreneurs. Whether you’re pitching your company to investors or pitching your services to the public, you’ve got to have a pitch.

On this note, research indicates that what you say to an audience — whether an audience of one or one thousand — matters far less than how you say it. In fact, only about 7% of a message’s effectiveness comes from its content. The other 93% comes from your voice and body language.

With that in mind, you should write different elevator pitches for the different scenarios you find yourself using them in. Come up with a succinct and engaging story about what your startup does and how it came to be. Focus on the problem it’s there to solve. Suggest and articulate your mission, goals, and reason for being. Try to keep the whole pitch under 30 seconds, with a longer presentation ready at all times to share with prospective investors and clients.

Learn to be a Public Speaker

Being able to communicate effectively can mean the difference between your success and your failure as a startup entrepreneur.

Communication is at the heart of all business, making this one of the most critical tips for entrepreneurs. Whether you’re rousing your employees for a challenge, convincing investors to give you a chance, or selling your product directly to consumers, you don’t have to be a paid international speaker to benefit from public speaking.

Learn Marketing (and Never Stop Doing It)

Entrepreneurs tend to be creative people and often they feel like marketing themselves is about “selling out” or tarnishing their integrity in some way.

First of all, that isn’t true. Marketing and sales are both very respectable fields that have been given an unfortunate reputation by a few “sleazy salesmen.”

Second, if you aren’t marketing, you aren’t in business. It’s that simple.

As an entrepreneur, you have to be constantly attracting, building, and educating your audience. Granted, not all marketing tactics are necessary all the time. Depending on your business and the market you’re in, the style of marketing you’ll need to do will vary greatly.

Starting your own business is both one of the scariest and one of the most wonderful experiences you will ever have. To make sure it’s less scary and more wonderful, keep these tips for entrepreneurs in mind as you go forward.

entrepreneur blog

How to Craft an Entrepreneur Blog That Will Make a Difference

Oct 14, 2019

People with a fear of public speaking, on average, end up earning 10% less than those who don’t fear public speaking. Thus, any avenue allowing you to flex your public speaking muscle is an opportunity for career advancement.

In today’s world, blogging is a means to become a digital public speaker. If you are thinking of developing an entrepreneur blog, here are a few tips to help you fortify it.

1. Are You Ready to Sustain an Entrepreneur Blog?

Starting an entrepreneur blog is an easy thing in today’s world. With the impact other entrepreneurs have had on the world with their content, it can be easy to get into a frenzy over developing your blog. But are you able to sustain it once it’s up?

At the end of the day, the fire to drive your entrepreneurship blog must be primarily intrinsic. If you only rely on external motivation to keep you going, you will run out of steam. Therefore, you need to ask yourself how much time you can spare for blogging. Will it be a daily, weekly, biweekly, monthly, or a once in a while affair?

In addition, you have to create ways to learn and grow your business skills to keep giving your users helpful content. Consistency in output and quality are the two pillars for a blog that will inspire others along their entrepreneurship journey.

2. Deliver a Compelling Message

Whenever you are speaking with the public, you have to craft a message that will resonate with them. After all, isn’t your aim as a public speaker to add value to the lives of others?

With this in mind, you need to have a granular understanding of who your readers will be. Creating a reader persona will help you answer critical questions that drive the needs, aspirations, and desires of those who will be following your blog. Some of the elements a reader persona will help you identify include:

  • The kind of information your target audience will be looking for online
  • The challenges your target readers face in their daily business operations and lives
  • What unique insight, skill or experience you have that can meet your target audience’s needs

The more thorough your understanding of the people you are targeting with your entrepreneur blog, the more valuable your content will be.

3. Niche It Up

A compelling business blog is one that speaks to a particular set of people engaged in a specific area of operations. For example, if you desire to get a tech entrepreneurship blog going, you have to stick to that sphere of activities. A rule of thumb when picking a niche for your blog is to look at what you can confidently speak on.

Remember that a blog essentially turns you into a digital international public speaker. Your entrepreneurial followers will be looking for solutions they can execute in their operations for tangible results. Thus, you need to select a niche where you possess actionable domain expertise you can transfer to your audience.

If you are having trouble thinking about the best niche, ask yourself what areas of business you are passionate about. Blogging on a section of the business world close to your heart will help you be consistent in sharing about something that matters to you. Your audience will invariably pick up on this and respect your authenticity.

Another way to identify a niche you can target is to think of what others regularly ask you about. For example, do you have friends and colleagues peppering you with questions about the business end of technology? That is tangible feedback that you can deliver valuable tech entrepreneur advice to others.

Whatever niche you settle on, let your gauge for success be whether you are solving your readers’ problems and adding value to their lives.

Build a Lasting Business Blog

The fear of public speaking can hurt your career prospects. To overcome it, you should develop an entrepreneur blog. A blog will assist you in influencing the business world while helping you groom your public speaking skills.

What Career Paths Are Available for the Digital Entrepreneur?

Oct 9, 2019

What is a “digital entrepreneur?” Entrepreneurship has existed since the free market system evolved in the late 1700s. Entrepreneurship allowed individuals to build businesses where goods and services were distributed based on supply and demand rather than monopolistic practices, feudal systems, protectionist laws, and exclusionary guilds.

Similarly, digital computers have existed for nearly 80 years; programmable computers were invented during World War II to crack encryption codes and calculate ballistic trajectories for artillery.

Given this history, what do we mean by a digital entrepreneur? For purposes of this article, a digital entrepreneur requires something more than a free market and a digital programmable computer. The digital entrepreneur requires the Internet. Thus, the digital entrepreneur is someone who uses computer networks as a communication medium to deliver, solicit, or promote the digital entrepreneur’s goods or services. Using this definition, here are five career paths for the digital entrepreneur to consider:

Produce Content

Although 75% of people suffer from speech anxiety, it seems like the other 25% have YouTube channels. A large segment of digital entrepreneurs are in the content business. However, this statement should not be limited to makeup videos and toy unboxings. Digital content can cover a wide variety of topics, ranging from “how to start a business” and “how to become a public speaker” to “how to change your oil.” Also, digital content is not limited to YouTube and Facebook videos. Online content also includes:

  • E-books, blogs, and articles
  • Music
  • Podcasts
  • Educational materials
  • Games
  • Movies and video series

Of course, there are two challenges for the digital entrepreneur who creates content. First, you must develop a distribution model. Second, you must create a business model to monetize the content.

Produce Technological Solutions

This discussion separates content, which is primarily non-functional, from technological solutions, which are functional. In this context, technological solutions include:

  • Desktop and enterprise software
  • Mobile apps
  • Databases
  • Web-based and cloud applications

Essentially, if you create something that someone can use to solve a problem, whether that problem is mapping out a travel route or completing a tax return, then you are a tech entrepreneur.

Sell Physical Goods

In the mid- to late-1990s, the world experienced the Dotcom Boom as the World Wide Web brought e-commerce into people’s homes. This was followed in 2000 by the Dotcom Bust. How did this happen?

The Dotcom Boom was fueled by “tech companies” that were not actually tech companies. Rather, they were retail companies that were given the valuation of a tech company. This overvaluation of plain vanilla retail companies inflated a valuation bubble that had to eventually burst.

With the benefit of hindsight, it becomes apparent that online retailers are not so different from brick and mortar retailers. Clearly, online retailers can reach a broader audience. However, online retailers are still susceptible to the same entrepreneur mistakes as brick and mortar retailers. Specifically, online retailers must have a way to distinguish themselves in the online marketplace just as brick and mortar retailers must have a way to distinguish themselves in the brick and mortar marketplace. Without this competitive advantage, your dream of being an online retail entrepreneur may be doomed from the start.

Sell Services

Think back to all the things that were either impossible or had to be done manually before the Internet. Now, streaming movies and TV are on track to supplant physical media. Digital marketplaces have eliminated the need for classified ads. Dating websites have irreversibly altered how we meet the people we may eventually marry. Real estate listing websites not only give us information about homes for sale, but minute details about everything you would want to know about the area including comps, schools, climate, and traffic.

Again, the challenge to the digital entrepreneur is to find a way to monetize these digital services. Specifically, you have to identify the value you provide that encourages people to pay for the services.

Support Digital Entrepreneurs

Digital entrepreneurs need support to make their businesses successful. Those who provide services to digital entrepreneurs are, themselves, digital entrepreneurs. For example, PR agencies specializing in online reputation management and accountants specializing in sales tax compliance for online retailers play essential roles in the digital economy.

Digital entrepreneurs, like all entrepreneurs, must identify opportunities, then execute a well-thought-out plan to take advantage of them.

Do you want to become a digital entrepreneur? Think about these career paths when you want your skills to shine.

tech entrepreneur

5 Reasons Women Should Try Entrepreneurship

Oct 7, 2019

Female entrepreneurship and female-owned businesses are among the fastest-growing segments of the economy. According to data from Kauffman, women make up 40% of new entrepreneurs in the U.S. and the number of new businesses owned by women is increasing at twice the rate of those owned by men. There are many reasons for this.

Some of this reflects a general shift in the economy with large companies hiring contractors rather than employees. In fact, as many as 20% of workers are now contractors rather than employees. Moreover, businesses have recognized the efficiencies of outsourcing some functions, such as payroll, that were formerly handled in-house.

However, there are other, more personal reasons for women to try entrepreneurship. Here are five of them:

Address Inequities

It is an unfortunate fact that women are paid less than men for the same work. There are many social and economic reasons for this inequity but women are paid less even when pay is normalized according to hours worked, education, and experience. Similarly, women tend to be hampered in their advancement. The CEOs of the largest companies are disproportionately male.

One way women can address these inequities is starting their own businesses. This allows market forces, rather than a supervisor, to decide the entrepreneur’s value. Moreover, advancement and growth will be determined by the merits of the business instead of the gender of the entrepreneur.

Maintain Life Balance

Over 60% of caregivers are women and over half of these caregivers are employed. Whether they are caring for elderly relatives or young children, these women have to balance their work life and home responsibilities. Although one of the most common entrepreneur mistakes is to assume that you will work less when you are your own boss, it is true that most entrepreneurs have more control and flexibility in their work life.

Technology plays a large part in this level of control and flexibility. Common entrepreneur tips include using mobile devices and wireless Internet access to make yourself available to your employees, customers, and business partners when you are unable to be present in person. However, many make themselves available on a set schedule. A set schedule allows you to meet your personal responsibilities as a caretaker for others and yourself. The flexibility of being an entrepreneur allows you to take care of yourself both physically and mentally so that you are at your best when running your business.

tech entrepreneur

Work Collaboratively

Women overwhelmingly choose to work collaboratively rather than working solo. Again, there are likely many social and psychological reasons for this.

Women entrepreneurs can satisfy this tendency in two ways.

  1. A business’s culture flows from the top down. A boss who is more collaborative and encourages collaboration creates a corporate culture of collaboration rather than competition among her employees. A collaborative environment is more creative, less stressful, and more productive. Tech entrepreneurs have recognized this for decades, incorporating collaborative tools into their product development process.
  2. A business that can work with other businesses and customers is more likely to find or invent creative solutions to problems than a business that has a “my way or the highway” attitude. Tech entrepreneurs, in particular, benefit from employees’ ability to find creative solutions to customers’ problems.

Creativity

Entrepreneurship encourages and rewards creativity. Very few, if any, entrepreneurs start a business to do things exactly the same way as their competitors. One could go so far as to say that step one of “how to start a business” is to figure out what your competitive advantages are. If you are a tech entrepreneur, maybe it is new technology, better personnel, or less expensive products.

Established businesses and their legacy approaches can stifle the creativity of their employees. By becoming an entrepreneur, women can work with the people they choose and approach the business the way they want.

Encourage Other Women

Whether it is through hiring women or by providing entrepreneur tips to budding women entrepreneurs, entrepreneurship provides a pathway for encouraging other women. Tech entrepreneurs, in particular, are largely male. Women tech entrepreneurs can provide a role model for other women to emulate.

Women entrepreneurship is growing by leaps and bounds for many reasons including overcoming inequities, working creatively and collaboratively, and encouraging other women.

common entrepreneur mistakes

5 Common Entrepreneur Mistakes to Avoid

Sep 17, 2019

According to a study conducted by U.S. Bank, 82% of businesses that don’t work out fail because of cash flow problems.

Starting anything from scratch is never easy, and businesses are a lot harder than most other things to get right. As an entrepreneur, you won’t be able to avoid all common entrepreneur mistakes. It’s just a fact of life. But making a mistake isn’t the end of the world, that’s how good entrepreneurs learn and grow into eventual successes.

However, once you get started, you really can’t afford to go on making blunders indefinitely. You’ve got to work smart, as well as hard, and that means avoiding entrepreneur mistakes when you can.

The following are five entrepreneur tips for avoiding common entrepreneur mistakes.

1. Choosing the Wrong Cofounder

If you’re starting a business on a small scale, you don’t technically need a cofounder. However, it is worth noting that of all businesses worth over a billion dollars, a mere fraction started with only one founder. So having the right cofounder can dramatically increase your odds of major success.

On the other hand, having the wrong cofounder can have the exact opposite effect. First and foremost, a cofounder should be mentally and emotionally compatible with you. What are your key skills? What will you be contributing to the partnership? Now, what are your weaknesses? Who can you hire or partner with who can fill in your blind spots and balance out your strengths?

2. Being a Know-it-All

This is one of the most important tips for entrepreneurs trying to avoid common entrepreneur mistakes. You should never be a know-it-all when it comes to business. Why is that? Quite simply, it will be detrimental to your success.

You can never “know it all” when it comes to business, even if you’re the best in your field. Someone will always be there to outdistance you if you don’t stay on your guard, and there’s always someone who understands something better than you do. By assuming you have all the answers already, not only do you make your business susceptible to being taken over by newer, more free-thinking competitors, but you alienate yourself from those who could be teaching you how to stay ahead.

It’s the first rule of success: be teachable. Because if you aren’t teachable, you’ll never succeed. Even if you somehow do, it won’t last long.

3. Expecting Customers to Find You

Some budding entrepreneurs have a “build it and they will come” mentality. They think that just because they’ve started a business, whether it’s a brick-and-mortar store or a website, people are bound to check it out.

However, you’re setting yourself up for failure if you start your business this way. There are a lot of businesses out there and a lot of new ones being started every day. What are the chances that masses of potential customers are going to notice when yours open its doors?

In truth, the chances are slim. Unless you’ve made sure your target audience knows about your business and why they should care, you won’t see much traffic right away.

Marketing isn’t the most popular skill in the world, but you’ve got to be good at it to be an entrepreneur.

4. Getting Too Obsessed Over Competitors

Being successful as an entrepreneur is about more than worrying about your competition. While you should be mindful of your competitors and what they’re doing, you want to be focused on the unique value you’re contributing to the world, regardless of what other businesses are doing. It’s better to prioritize what makes you different than to constantly try to beat the competition.

5. Hiring the Wrong Employees

Too often business owners hire people not based on actual capability, but on whether they like them or not. And while you should definitely try to hire people you’ll get along with, that should never be your only reason for hiring someone.

Your company’s success depends on the competence of your employees. Would it make sense for your business to only hire your relatives and friends? Or are you just trying to secure or maintain their favor? Would that applicant you’re considering actually do the job well, or are you only considering him because you feel like he’s a nice guy and deserves it?

And there you have it — five of the most common entrepreneur mistakes to avoid.

public speaker

4 Ways to Excel as a Public Speaker

Sep 12, 2019

Did you know that lawyers, of whom up to 64% are introverts, tend to experience speaking anxiety?

That may come as a surprise, as we all think of lawyers as excellent public speakers. But it’s just one more indicator that powerful speakers aren’t born that way; they train themselves to speak with precision and impact.

Below you’ll find four proven tips for entrepreneurs to excel as a public speaker.

1. Don’t Imitate Your Favorite Speakers

Every artist has an idol, and every up-and-coming speaker has a specific person whose speaking prowess they particularly admire. However, it’s all too easy to let this admiration for our favorite speakers turn into mimicking them when we should be finding our own voice, style, and niche.

What we fail to realize is that the thing we find most fascinating about a speaker is not the way they speak. It’s not in the way they carry themselves or how they address a room. We’re drawn to powerful speakers because of the authenticity.

And by patterning your style after that of another speaker, you’re losing your own authenticity. And if you think no one will notice, think again. Sincerity and genuineness aren’t qualities we can easily describe, but we definitely know it when they aren’t there.

So by all means, learn from your favorite international public speakers. Study their movements, their manner, and the way they speak, if you want to. But let these insights about great speakers inspire you to develop your own presence, your own voice, and your own message. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you can act someone else’s part better than your own.

2. Practice Mindfulness in Public

If you get on stage and you aren’t 100% present with your audience, they’ll start to notice. Your eyes might wander at random. Your facial expressions might be delayed by a split second. Things like this are signs that you’re stuck inside your head and you aren’t really focused on your audience, the room, or the purpose of your presentation.

On the other hand, your audience members can read facial expressions in as little as seventeen milliseconds and they can tell you’re distracted or nervous.

Instead of trying to ignore distracting thoughts or squelch feelings of nervousness, channel that nervous energy into your speech by focusing completely on the moment. Be present. Be mindful of your audience and how they’re responding to your words.

One way to get over being stuck in your head is to practice mindfulness, especially when you’re in public. Try focusing on your breath while you’re surrounded by distractions. Notice the colors, shapes, and faces in your environment when you’re out and about.

3. Accept the Discomfort and Negative Feelings

Feeling uncomfortable or negative is a natural part of life and it can be especially frequent and distracting when you’re a public speaker. But if we dwell on those feelings, we risk letting them hinder our performance.

It also doesn’t help to try and ignore or resist the negative feelings when they come. If anything, that just tends to make them more forceful. Instead, just accept the negativity and discomfort when it shows up. Recognize that we’re all subject to unpleasant feelings once in a while, and even though you face them more than most people would because of the intensity of your profession, they will pass.

4. Be Conversational

When you’re talking to a friend about a subject you’re interested in, it’s easy to go on for hours without even knowing it. In conversation, your message has a natural flow to it because you aren’t trying to impress your friend. You’re just trying to convey an idea that you love.

You should approach your audience in a similar manner. If you’re trying to give a formulated speech according to a strict system, it’s likely to come out feeling stilted and unnatural, and you’ll be more prone to mistakes. However, if you approach your audience with warmth, love, and a desire to convey your idea with passion and clarity, your speech will flow with a naturalness and ease that will surprise everyone. It may even surprise you.

Follow these tips and you could become a highly paid international speaker.

tech entrepreneur partner

Simple Guidelines for Picking the Right Business Partner

Sep 10, 2019

The possibility of failure is a nightmare that chases every entrepreneur. In 2014 alone, this fear became real for 80% of all small businesses owners. Many reasons can make a small business flounder in its first, third, or even fifth year. Financial challenges, lack of a differentiated value proposition and even unforeseen disasters like floods contribute to the downfall.

Conflict between business partners is another often-cited reason for companies to close their doors. Due to this fact, you need to be extra vigilant when looking for a tech entrepreneur partner. Here are some attributes you should weigh before making a decision.

1. Financial Stability

Whenever entrepreneurs are in the middle of finding a business partner, they can get hung up on who brings money to the table. While capitalizing the business is a critical matter that needs due consideration, it is not as mission-critical as the financial health of your potential business partner.

If your potential tech entrepreneur partner is in the middle of a financial crisis it may be worth re-considering their suitability. A partner who is struggling to make ends meet may not give your startup the sole focus it needs to survive in its infancy. Worse still, if at any point they find themselves with their backs pressed to the wall they might be susceptible to financial fraud to survive.

Another aspect of assessing this trait is whether their financial crisis is due to a character issue. A potential partner who can’t manage their personal finances will most likely mishandle company finances as well since it calls for the same kind of discipline.

tech entrepreneur partner

2. Complementing Strengths

You and your potential tech entrepreneur partner ought to be strong in the area where the other is weak for your firm to thrive. One of the cardinal tips for entrepreneurs in the tech arena is to pair up as a technical and a non-technical founder. If you are a computer whiz, then you need a partner who thrives at business development and marketing. The reverse also applies.

Part of the reason why you need a business partner who’s strong in the areas you’re weak in is to help you focus. Launching a startup is extremely tough and any distraction can sink the business. When you’re able to plow all your tech entrepreneur resources into what you do best, your firm’s odds of survival shoot up. During tough times a partner will help you remain objective in your weak areas so that you can ultimately pull through.

3. Value Alignment

Many business wrangles come about due to a fundamental difference in how partners see the world and approach it. When you are scouting for a tech entrepreneur partner you must zero in on whether you share similar values relating to the firm. Your goals and theirs have to complement each other for you to work in unison. If you find that there is a danger of having widely varying goals then assess whether there is a common point that can align your interests.

If your potential partner is a personal friend or family member, then you need to avoid one of the most common entrepreneur mistakes: glossing over your alignment. Just because there is a preceding personal relationship does not necessarily mean that it makes for good business relations.

Another tip for the tech entrepreneur looking to partner up is to not have ambiguous responsibilities. You need to clearly define every partner’s responsibilities and key deliverables on paper. That clarity will help run the business with minimal friction due to crossed boundaries and inaction.

Don’t Fall for the Wrong Tech Entrepreneur Partner

Small businesses fail for many reasons and one of them is partner misalignment. There are critical benefits to working with a business partner but only if you pair with the right one. Focus on interpersonal and capacity-related traits to identify the best tech entrepreneur partner for your business.

How to NOT Sink Your Startup

Sep 6, 2019

Starting a business is a terrifying yet exciting journey that 69% of entrepreneurs in the United States embark on from their homes. As a tech entrepreneur, finding and solving a problem with technology is exhilarating and fulfilling. The excitement, however, does not exempt you from making mistakes, even if you’re the founder of your own business. Everyone experiences missteps along the way, but for a fledgling business, each new error might be your last.

As the founder, your decisions will place your startup in a losing or winning direction. Thus, you must learn from those who have gone before you in order to avoid costly mistakes. Here’s what you should avoid in order to succeed as a tech entrepreneur.

1. Premature Expansion

Every entrepreneur who starts a business ultimately wants to see it grow. But for a tech entrepreneur, knowing when it’s the right time to grow their business is a mission-critical element. It has been said that more companies die from indigestion than starvation. What this means is that ill-timed growth will kill your firm faster than a lack of adequate business. If you make the mistake of growing too early, you will tie up your finances and complicate your operations faster than you can resolve them.

To avoid making this mistake, focus your resources on only the essential aspects of growing your startup. Until you find optimal product/market fit, hold off on scaling in order to sidestep one of the most common entrepreneur mistakes.

2. Not Having the Right Co-Founder

A technology business calls for a strong founding team. The tech entrepreneurs you rely on must complement your skills and vice versa. Start by identifying your strong suits and bring on a co-founder who is strong in areas where you have trouble. For example, it is common to find a business-savvy entrepreneur to open your shop and work out important financial complications. This allows you to do what you do best: develop new products for your clients.

Ask for referrals and take your time building relationships that can lead to a co-founding arrangement.

3. Hiring the Wrong Team Members

No startup can hope to get off the ground without the right team to back them up. In today’s market, there is a relatively abundant level of technical talent you can tap. However, one of the most critical entrepreneur jobs you’ll face is hiring a great team.

Studies show that employees who feel that “they belong” tend to be 12 times more productive than those who don’t share the sentiment. Look only for potential team members who relate to your startup’s mission, culture, and core values. Talent is essential but does not prioritize it over their capacity to fit into the firm’s culture.

4. Inflexibility

One of the oft-repeated entrepreneur mistakes when starting out is becoming too attached to your first business model. Your first model is rarely the one that will bring victory to the business, and you will end up iterating several times before you find the right system that works for you. Thus, you need to be flexible in pivoting when the market’s feedback indicates the necessity. If you can’t respond to customer needs and align your firm accordingly, you will fail as a tech entrepreneur.

Avoid Commonplace Tech Entrepreneur Errors When You Want to Thrive

As a founder, your early decisions will place the company on a winning or losing path. Thus, you need to identify the typical errors entrepreneurs in your position have made to avoid plunging your firm into the dark. When you’re ready to get your startup off the ground, rely on the experience of Rafferty Pendery for guidance.

5 Tips for Avoiding Mistakes as an Entrepreneur

Aug 19, 2019

Entrepreneurship is both an art and a science. While there is no single recipe for success as a tech entrepreneur, there are many ways to fail. Here are five tips for entrepreneurs for avoiding entrepreneur mistakes:

Seek Out Help

Very few entrepreneurs can do it all. For every Bill Gates, there is a Paul Allen and a Steve Ballmer. For every Steve Jobs, there is a Steve Wozniak. In addition to these co-visionaries, there are teams of professionals to support and assist the tech entrepreneur in building a tech company. Attorneys, accountants, and consultants provide tech entrepreneur resources that can make the difference between a successful business and just another failed startup.

Similarly, investors and venture capitalists can not only provide working capital but can also provide tech entrepreneur resources. Whether those resources come in the form of networking contacts or sales leads, advice based on other tech businesses they have been involved with, or just a friendly ear to listen, tech entrepreneur partners can be an indispensable source of experience for a new business.

Experts can also be a source of tech entrepreneur resources. Conferences, seminars, webinars, and trade shows can be a valuable source for networking and business advice. While tech entrepreneurs are not necessarily known for being humble, most successful tech entrepreneurs know what they do not know and find a way to fill that knowledge gap before it inhibits their business.

Have a Plan

To paraphrase a famous author about military strategy, “no plan survives first contact with the enemy.” His point was not that plans are pointless. Rather, he was advising that a battle plan must be constantly updated with new strategic decisions as situations arise.

Business plans are similar in the sense that they provide a road map to reach the next goal. But, once that goal is reached, the business plan must be updated to reflect the business’s current condition.

For example, a tech entrepreneur may plan to take on investors to finance a business expansion, then use the profits from the business expansion to buy out the investors and return to a sole proprietorship. However, once the business has expanded, the tech entrepreneur may find that the initial plan is no longer feasible because the expanded business requires more employees and more working capital than the entrepreneur can handle without investors. In this example, the tech entrepreneur must update the business plan to reflect the new condition of the business.

Polish Your Presentation

While it would be glib to reduce every tech entrepreneur to a salesperson, the modern entrepreneur must be able to communicate his or her vision effectively. Venture capitalists and investors have many, many businesses competing for their investment. Having a clear presentation can make the difference between closing the deal and foundering. In fact, communications researchers have found that presentation style (55% non-verbal cues and 38% voice) may be more influential in creating an effective presentation than the subject matter (7%). Again, coaches and consultants can be valuable tech entrepreneur resources in developing a presentation style that works for you.

Delegate Authority

As a tech entrepreneur, your business is like your baby. However, micromanaging a business is inefficient and can lead to resentment among partners and employees. Learning to delegate authority spreads the responsibility for success throughout the business. Partners and employees will be happier having a role in the business’s success and you will have more time to focus on entrepreneurship – building the business and its product and service offerings – rather than being distracted by the day to day operations.

Monetize

One of the common mistakes that tech entrepreneurs make is that they are so enamored with the technology they have developed, that they forget to make money. This is not to say that tech entrepreneurs need to be greedy. To the contrary, some of the coolest technologies has been dedicated to social justice, corporate governance, and environmental improvement. Moreover, many tech businesses contribute financially to worthy causes. However, as a tech entrepreneur, you are running a business that your customers, employees, and partners are counting on. No tech entrepreneur wants to be in the unenviable position of having to lay off employees.

In sum, there are many tech entrepreneur resources, including business partners, consultants, and employees, who can help tech entrepreneurs avoid common mistakes.

tech entrepreneur advice

4 Pieces Of Tech Entrepreneur Advice You Need To Read

Aug 14, 2019

Running a business takes a lot of hard work and being a tech entrepreneur is no different. Between creating business plans and finding a business partner or investor, it can seem like you’re always dropping the ball. Keep reading for tech entrepreneur advice that can help you grow your business.

Create A Business Plan and Stick With It

Creating a business plan should be one of the first things a tech entrepreneur does before starting a business. You will need a plan to effectively run your business and to seek investment or venture capital for your business. It’s important that once you create a business plan, you stick with it but still allow for changes in the process. Being flexible is a key trait of successful tech entrepreneurs.

Wake Up Early and Be Flexible In Your Day

It’s no secret that succeeding as a tech entrepreneur includes waking up early. Good tech entrepreneur advice is to wake up before the sun rises to get the most out of your day. You don’t have to get started on work right away; rather, you may use this time to work out, read the news, or take your dog for a walk. It’s also important to be flexible in your day. Things come up as an entrepreneur and you want to be in a position that you can drop what you’re doing to put out any fires that pop up.

Find A Business Partner That Complements You

A business partner can help you manage aspects of the business with which you may not be familiar. Finding a business partner can be a challenging task because you want to find someone qualified for the position. You also want a business partner that can complement your work ethic and personality traits. If you work better under pressure of deadlines, having a business partner that likes to stay ahead of them may help your organization grow.

tech entrepreneur advice

Face Your Fears and Be Persistent

Starting a business is hard work and it can be daunting. You often have to wear multiple hats, even when you have a business partner, and it requires you to occasionally do things you don’t enjoy doing. For example, 75% of people have speech anxiety. If you need to make a pitch to investors, you are going to need to brush up on your public speaking skills. This is just one of many instances in which a tech entrepreneur is going to need to face their fears and be persistent with it. As they say, practice makes perfect.

It doesn’t matter if you’re just starting a new venture or if your tech business is already underway, these four pieces of tech entrepreneur advice will help you and your business succeed.

The First Steps To Starting Your Own Business

Aug 8, 2019

According to one study, 82% of people learning how to start a business will fail, due to cash flow problems in their startup.

That’s a pretty big deal. It means that if you plan and launch your startup in a way that will avoid cash flow problems in the first place, you’ll have eliminated the single biggest risk in launching a business — dramatically increasing your chance of success.

Whether you want to learn how to start a business to support your travels or creative life, or whether you have a unique product or business idea that you’re passionate about, it’s important to start on the right foot with your business planning. To help you avoid common entrepreneur mistakes, the following entrepreneur tips will help you determine how to start a business.

Conduct Research

Since you’re learning how to start a business, you’ve probably already settled on a business idea you’d like to get into. But before you take off and run with it, you’ve got to compare that idea to what the market wants.

To be successful, a business has to solve a real problem, fulfill a real need, or provide something people genuinely want.

However, for a new business to succeed, it isn’t enough to just offer something the public wants. The public has already been getting what they want, or else doing without it, for a long time. Your job as the business owner is to convince them that your offer is going to be better for them than anyone else’s. It’s not enough to give them another option — you’ve got to give them an option they can’t say no to.

On the surface that may sound daunting, but it’s very doable, as long as you’re willing to do some hard thinking.

You can identify what the market wants by talking to your target customers directly; by starting a blog on your target industry, and building an audience of ideal customers; or just trying different ideas until you come upon one that sticks.

The following are some questions you should try to answer, as you formulate your ideal business idea:

  • Is there a real need for this product or service?
  • Who needs this product or service?
  • Who is my ideal customer?
  • What other businesses are currently providing this product or service, or something similar?
  • How much competition is there for my idea?
  • How will my business idea fit into the existing market? How will it contrast from other options already available?
  • Am I a member of the community I’m trying to sell to? Am I my own biggest fan and customer? Will I enjoy building this product or providing this service long-term?

The last question may be the most overlooked idea for aspiring entrepreneurs, often considered only as an afterthought. It’s important to remember that your business is going to be your full-time job, at least at the beginning. Make sure you’re doing something you’ll genuinely enjoy.

Make a Business Plan

Before you can start building your business, you’ve got to have a plan for what you will do. Your business plan will act as a blueprint, guiding your decisions from startup through initial growth to keep you on track.

A business plan doesn’t have to be complicated. If you’re funding the venture on your own, and it’s just going to be you and perhaps one or two other people working on it part-time, a basic one-page outline of steps to follow is all you need.

If you’re going after investor funding, you will need a traditional business plan to show investors or banks. This type of plan is usually very long, very thorough, and very specific. Business plans of this kind always provide a common set of information that investors always look at before deciding on whether or not to invest in a startup.

Even if your business is going to be simple — a blog that you intend to monetize, for example — it’s still incredibly important to have some kind of written plan. It doesn’t have to be long or complicated. You just need an idea of where you’ll be going and what you’re going to do before you get started.

Armed with these insider tips for entrepreneurs, you’ll be well ahead of the competition when you launch your startup.

tech entrepreneur advice

The Ultimate Guide to Becoming a Better Public Speaker

Aug 6, 2019

For entrepreneurs, public speaking is a vital skill that could make or break your business. An effective speech could greatly boost your sales pitch, motivate your workforce, or efficiently communicate your plans and ideas to concerned parties. A terrible speech, on the other hand, could send the wrong message to potential clients and staff members.

The thought of delivering a speech in public, however, sends shivers down the spines of many entrepreneurs. If you happen to be in this large pool of entrepreneurs who dread public speaking, don’t be discouraged, you’re not alone.

In fact, three out of four individuals get anxious right before or when delivering speeches. Most people would rather walk on a path of burning coal than deliver a 20-minute speech on quarterly returns.

This article is for all those tech entrepreneurs who are brimming with incredible ideas or amazing tech entrepreneur advice but suffer immensely when it comes to delivering speeches. The piece could also help those who need to refine their public speaking skills or those who want to be better when delivering tech entrepreneur advice.

Without further ado, here are a few tips for entrepreneurs to improve their public speeches.

tech entrepreneur advice

It’s All About the Audience

We understand how nerve-wracking it can be before your speech. However, most of us get so caught up in speech preparations that we forget the most important element of the entire speech: the audience.

While how we look, how we stand and the gestures we use will determine how good our speech will be, the overall message and how it is conveyed to the audience is the most important aspect of your speech.

With this in mind, it is important to prioritize your audience above everything else. Doing so will also help take the pressure off of the whole idea of delivering the speech, as you’ll be focused on just one thing.

Practice Makes Perfect

Any successful entrepreneur knows the importance of practicing for a speech beforehand. Consistent practice will help you familiarize yourself with the contents of your speech and greatly boost your confidence.

Delivering your speech in front of your family, close friends, or co-workers is a great way to practice before the actual speech. Ask them to give you feedback and point out areas where your tech entrepreneur advice could improve. With consistent practice, you’ll improve your speech delivery and content in no time.

Get Familiar with the Stage

If you have the chance to inspect your stage before the speech, go for it. Even international public speakers highly recommend getting familiar with your space for a couple of reasons.

First, you’ll have a firm grasp of the surrounding space, including where to stand and how to face your audience. You’ll also understand the layout of the room, including the placement of cables and speakers, so you don’t trip or knock over anything.

Use Informative and Appealing Slides

The digital entrepreneur of today will never deliver a speech without a slideshow presentation to go along with it. If you opt for a presentation, remember to keep your slides as informative, engaging, and visually appealing as possible.

Remember, each bullet should be concise and capture only useful information. For the best presentations, avoid any and all fluff. Consider adding a bit of color and transitions to your slides, so they don’t come off as boring.

Lovely slides that go straight to the point will pique your audience’s interest right off the bat.

Don’t Forget to Breathe

It seems outrageous, but the all too important act of inhaling and exhaling can take a back seat the moment you’re up on stage. Therefore, remember to take short deep breathes before the speech to calm your nerves and maintain the same poise during the speech delivery.

These few tips will have you well on your way to becoming a paid international speaker, or just help you get through your speech. You can also read through our other articles for more useful tech entrepreneur advice.