Do You Have What it Takes to Be a Tech Entrepreneur?

Dec 12, 2019

Did you know that having a fear of public speaking can have a significant negative impact on your career? In fact, those who fear being a public speaker make 10% less on average than those who don’t.

If you spend your time browsing tech entrepreneur blogs and reading books about such titans like Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos, chances are you dream of being a tech entrepreneur yourself.

Of course, the reality is that most startup entrepreneurs will not go on to become rich celebrities. And reading every tech entrepreneur blog out there won’t change this.

This is not to say that you shouldn’t reach for the stars as an entrepreneur. Whatever your passion is, you should pursue it with all your heart to achieve the best that’s possible for your happiness.

But those are the critical key words: passion and happiness.

Like any automobile, a startup can’t run on fumes for very long. You’ve got to have lots of “gas in your tank” to keep your business going through the tough times: inspiration and passion. Those may sound like airy-fairy words, but if you’ve ever tried accomplishing the impossible, you know their importance.

Building a business, getting rich, and taking over the world take enormous energy and conviction. Not only must you legitimately love what you’re doing (or at least why you’re doing it), you must also be 100% convinced that you can succeed — and that it will be worth it.

Of course, there will always be those people who seem capable of pushing them through difficult times with nothing but their ego to drive them. But these are the exception, not the rule. So before you get up from reading tech entrepreneur blogs and books, ask yourself the following questions to better decide if tech entrepreneurship is really where you belong.

Do you have a passion?

Too many people who get into entrepreneurship have only one thing driving them: the desire to escape a job they hate. They feel like they’re trapped inside their cubicle, and they want out. The problem with these people is that they aren’t inspired by any particular product or service idea. Without a specific, tangible dream, they won’t be able to uncover what they do want.

Being a tech startup entrepreneur is like being a professional artist. You can be a hobbyist while you work your day job, but if you want to go full-time, you have to be completely dedicated to the dream. It’s not a backup plan or a job alternative. It’s a completely new, radical, no-holds-barred lifestyle. As Wayne Sermon from Imagine Dragons has said, “You don’t do music, unless you have to do music.”

If all you want is a steady paycheck that doesn’t require you to work the same awful job every day, then there are other ideas that will get you there faster. Investing or building a lifestyle business might both be effective means for getting your freedom.

If you want to be free, don’t become a tech entrepreneur. Like musicians, you only get into tech if you have to do tech: because you have a burning desire to make an idea a reality.

Can you handle the entrepreneurship lifestyle?

There are really only two qualifications for getting started as an entrepreneur. The first is having the passion. This will get you through any roadblock. The second is a willingness to put up with the discomfort.

Starting a business is hard, and tech business may be the hardest there is. That doesn’t mean it won’t be enjoyable. If it’s right for you, you’ll find it incredibly exciting. But it’s also incredibly taxing.

If you need streaming services, organic food, and featherbeds in order to feel comfortable, entrepreneurship is not for you. If you can deal with anything in pursuit of a dream, then it might be a good fit.

This is step one for how to become a tech entrepreneur. This should help you realize what’s right for you.

entrepreneur tips

Understanding Entrepreneurship And The Mistakes To Avoid

Dec 7, 2019

Ask random people on the street whether they are entirely happy with their jobs. Most probably you will get you one, almost unanimous, answer from most. A resounding “No!”

A good number of your interviewees will try to sound optimistic. However, the bottom line is that most people, especially Millenials, find a nine-to-five job dreary. It turns out that job satisfaction has more to it than a good salary. It may be convenient being able to pay your bills on time but merely working to pay your bills is draining.

Furthermore, having money to splash around does little to help attain an ideal work-life balance. The goal of this article is, therefore, to present entrepreneurship as an alternative to employment. It should avail useful entrepreneur tips to anyone with a genuine interest in starting a business.

Common Entrepreneur Mistakes

Becoming an entrepreneur and starting a business can seem like an easy way out when you are part of the employed workforce. However, starting a business has never been a bed of roses.

entrepreneur tips

A recent study conducted by a major U.S. bank has revealed the real situation surrounding modern-day entrepreneurial ventures. Over 82% of small and medium-sized business startups fail within the first few months due to cash flow problems. However, this outcome should not impede your resolve to become an entrepreneur. The entrepreneur tips discussed below will help you avoid some entrepreneurial mistakes that have led many to failure.

1. Competitor Blindness

Except in very rare and exceptional cases, there is a painful reality that entrepreneurs fail to accept when it comes to business ideas. This is the fact that in most cases, there already exists a company or business that has applied the same concept or solution to the problem you’re trying to solve.

Unfortunately, many entrepreneurs have blindly believed that their product or service is unique or infinitely better than existing offerings. Sadly though, these two assumptions have been the most significant contributors to startup failure.

One way you can avoid this common entrepreneurial mistake is by carrying out thorough and comprehensive research on your intended product or service. You can obtain loads of valuable entrepreneur tips on entrepreneurship blogs, startup podcasts, and other online resources. Be sure to also carry out actual street-level research for a comprehensive picture of market potential.

2. Starting Big

Another common mistake made by startup business owners is the unwillingness to begin at the most basic level in their chosen niche. For example, if you have an improved shoe design idea, then the most basic level for your venture is creating and selling just a single pair. You get to learn a lot from just prototyping one shoe, outsourcing its manufacture and then getting a customer willing to buy it. Unfortunately, most entrepreneurs begin by taking jumbo loans to invest in shoe-making machinery.

A successful startup is not founded on money alone but actual, sometimes physical, hard work.

3. Impractical Marketing Strategies

The digital age necessitates that a business embrace technology from the get-go. This means creating a website for the business, coming up with a blog, being active on social media, and so forth.

All this might be convenient for a tech entrepreneur, but it can be overkill when starting out in some business niches. For example, if your product is confectionery, then physically marketing your product at local events is a practical way to attain a viable customer base. As your business grows, you can then opt to make use of online marketing platforms.

4. Lack of Backup Cash

Establishing financial backup comes last in this list of top entrepreneur tips. A startup business will face an initial period of high day-to-day running costs before it begins generating any revenue. These costs will include rent, workers’ payroll, paying suppliers, and many other critical expenses. This is why you need to set up an account exclusively dedicated to meeting the daily monetary obligations of your business. Once your business breaks even, you can then allocate the resources in your backup account to expansion and other business aspects.

In Conclusion

Entrepreneurship remains the only route for those who want to realize true freedom, both in their work and their social life. If you are in this category of free-spirited people, then this article could act as a guide for your entrepreneurial ambition.

tech entrepreneur

Diversity In Entrepreneurship: Why It’s Important And How You Can Promote It

Dec 4, 2019

When you were an aspiring entrepreneur, you probably had a role model you looked up to. Whether it is was a parent, coach, or an established business person, this person likely motivated you to become the entrepreneur you are today. If you’ve been looking for ways to return the favor and become a role model yourself, check out these quick entrepreneur tips on how you can promote diversity in the world of tech entrepreneurship.

Why Diversity Is Important

Thinking that diversity is just a number in your business’s hiring statistics is a mistake. Having a diverse team can lead to higher levels of team creativity, more innovative ideas, and a healthier work culture. By having people from different backgrounds and different experiences, you will also be able to capture more of the market and avoid marketing pitfalls. Take luxury fashion house Dolce & Gabbana for example. In 2018 they aired an ad in China that portrayed a Chinese woman having difficulty eating pizza and spaghetti with chopsticks. This ad offended many Chinese people and even caused Dolce & Gabbana to cancel their upcoming Shanghai fashion show. If their marketing team had been more diverse, however, this could have been prevented with additional insights from Chinese employees.

tech entrepreneur

How Diversity Promotes Innovation

In addition to helping you avoid making common entrepreneur mistakes, diversity can help tech entrepreneurs create more innovative ideas. People from different backgrounds can look at the same problem and collaborate on how to attack it. This can also help you find consumer patterns you might otherwise overlook by pulling from multiple perspectives.

How To Promote Diversity In Tech Entrepreneurship

The very first thing you need to do is delete the phrase “a voice for the voiceless” from your vocabulary. If you consider yourself to be a strong public speaker, this is especially important because, generally, people aren’t being honest when they use the phrase. When advocating for diversity, it is important to let marginalized people speak their truth. Use your voice to amplify their perspective, not to override their existence.

According to data from Kauffman, 40% of new entrepreneurs in the U.S. are now women. So if you’re trying to promote entrepreneurship in young women, for example, your audience will be better served if they hear about this topic from a woman who is killing the entrepreneurship game. If you’re looking to provide resources to underprivileged communities, consider talking to the people who live in that community before making any decisions.

How to Conquer Your Fear of Public Speaking

Nov 14, 2019

As a tech entrepreneur, it’s common to have some sort of anxiety tied to the thought of public speaking. In fact, three out of four individuals suffer from speech anxiety. It can feel crippling but with dedication and much practice, anyone can improve.

Effective communication can lead to new opportunities and professional connections. For a tech entrepreneur, this holds especially true. Thankfully, there are several ways to ease your nerves before delivering a speech to a small or large crowd. With consistent practice, you can become a strong public speaker in no time.

Find a Local Meetup Group:

It’s a great idea to get familiar with local meetup groups that focus on public speaking. You can attend and observe at first, then eventually work your way up to presenting something. Interest groups are a great way to improve in a supportive environment.

Let Family and Friends Critique You

If starting your journey presenting to total strangers scares you, that’s okay; try to practice speaking in front of family or friends instead. Choose attentive loved ones so you can gather insightful feedback. If gathering a large group is nearly impossible for you, then prepare a speech and video record yourself. Acknowledge your strengths and weaknesses without judging yourself too harshly. Use that feedback to improve with each recording. Be sure to take note of anything that can be distracting for the viewer.

Prepare Strong Talking Points

Begin by discussing topics that you’re most passionate about. The audience will resonate with your authenticity and be able to instantly connect with you. It’s important to develop strong talking points in your speech that you can be confident in. Consider creative ways to apply what inspires you and motivates you. This is a great time for the digital entrepreneurs to dig deep and utilize their many available resources.

Practice, Practice, and More Practice!

Rehearse your speech until it becomes familiar. Don’t be afraid to make any necessary modifications. If you’re uncomfortable with something — or just can’t seem to grasp the delivery — move a few sentences around or omit it altogether. Revisions can help drastically improve the flow of your speech. Knowing that you’re capable of delivering your speech can help to ease anxiousness on your big day.

Don’t Let a Mistake Define Your Speech

Don’t get hung up on any hiccups or mistakes when you give your presentation. Remember that the audience is human, too. Not even paid international speakers always have a perfect delivery. Stay focused on successfully delivering your message while you have the audience’s attention. A great speech can’t be ruined by a mistake unless you allow it to be, so muscle through it! You can acknowledge your mistake in a joking manner if you feel it’ll help you comfortably move forward.

As a tech entrepreneur, you’ve already overcome various obstacles. For more advice on how to become a tech entrepreneur, rely on Rafferty Pendery today.

Avoiding Entrepreneur Mistakes: Help Your Business Thrive with These Tips

Nov 11, 2019

It is easier than ever to start a business, but it is a challenge to manage a company and take it to the next level. Reports show that of all the small businesses that started in 2014, only 80% made it to 2015. This is because many startup entrepreneurs do not know how to avoid dangerous mistakes.

Entrepreneur mistakes can affect your business tremendously, so much so, that you might end up closing up shop in the span of a couple of years. Therefore, it is vital to know the tips for avoiding entrepreneur mistakes. These tips apply in all fields, including the tech one. If you want to be a successful tech entrepreneur, you need to have strategies for avoiding entrepreneur mistakes. Here are tips that will give you a guide on how to succeed as a tech entrepreneur.

Become a Successful Public Speaker

Most people in the world are not technology gurus. Therefore, you need to be a successful public speaker to help people understand the idea that you are bringing to the market. Many unsuccessful business founders in the tech industry concentrate on bringing their idea to the market instead of ensuring that their products are understood by their consumers.

Learning top skills from an international public speaker is a great way to make sure that your content is accepted globally. Ensure your presentations include demonstrations, pictures, and notes so your listeners can follow along.

Other aspects of becoming an international speaker include maintaining eye contact, using humor, and using stories to explain your product. This will increase your rate of customer acquisition, which is a win for any startup.

Ask for Help

Another tip to avoiding entrepreneur mistakes is by not trying to do everything by yourself. This is because you will get less done before releasing the product to the public. Ask for help from marketers, graphic designers, social media influencers, and investors.

Working with a group helps you get the best part of the business started, which is a relaxing step for a business founder. This also includes finding a business partner who will help you handle finances and managing employees. Having a tech entrepreneur partner helps you get off the burden of figuring out everything on your own.

Hire the Right People

Hiring qualified tech experts is important when you are a tech entrepreneur. Unfortunately, a strong resume doesn’t mean that a potential hire is the right fit for your company. Employing the right people means that you need to take time during the hiring process. You can always hire part-timers at first and sign contracts later if they pass the trial stages.

Forget the Microwave Generation Idea

The microwave generation has given people the illusion of becoming successful overnight. Likewise, most entrepreneur mistakes are linked to wanting success within a few months, and if it does not happen, many startups usually close their companies. You should be patient and understand that it will get better if you’re willing to put in the time and energy.

Avoiding entrepreneur mistakes is essential when you are starting a business in the tech industry. For more information about avoiding entrepreneur mistakes and starting your business off on the right foot, rely on Rafferty Pendery today.

international public speaker

Top Tips for Becoming and International Public Speaker

Nov 8, 2019

As far as common entrepreneur mistakes go, failing to develop yourself as a public speaker is near the top. Lawyers, in particular, have a high propensity towards speaking anxiety. Between 58% and 64% of lawyers are introverts and this could be costing them money.

This is because those who are paid the most are often the best at communicating. And when you’re trying to make it as an entrepreneur or paid international speaker, your ability to communicate effectively is especially important.

To help you become or excel as an international public speaker, read the following tips.

Know Your Audience

Anytime you’re speaking before an audience, there’s usually a specific reason. You should always know who you are speaking to and what they expect or need out of the presentation. If you’re hosting a corporate event, teach and inspire them. It’s imperative to understand the demographics of your audience as an international public speaker.

Rehearse, Rehearse, and Rehearse Again

Things only become muscle memory if you practice them relentlessly. Anytime you have a big speech scheduled, it’s incredibly important that you practice every single day leading up to the date. Prepare your goals and content well in advance. The great thing is, you can practice just about anywhere: in the car, on a jog, or on the plane as you fly to your speaking destination.

international public speaker

Choose a Style That Works for You (and Stick With It)

It’s true that different events will call for a different style or approach. In some cases, something as basic as reading a prepared speech is acceptable. But if you wish to make it big as an international public speaker, it’s important to find your groove and stay in it. Figure out what makes you tick as a communicator and play to your strengths. Develop a vibrant brand so anyone catching even a glimpse of your presentation recognizes your unique flare.

Always Test the Sound Equipment

Few things are more frustrating (or terrifying, in some cases) as last-minute technical issues. To avoid this potential for stress, always conduct a last-minute sound check before the event starts. Make sure all audio and visual setups function ahead of time. And always make sure to have backup systems in place in case the main systems fail.

Welcome Every Opportunity to Speak

Great international public speakers don’t become great by talking to their mirrors (although speaking in front of a mirror is excellent for practicing). The best speakers practice in public by accepting every possible opportunity to speak. If your boss asks you to make a brief presentation, say yes. If your friend invites you to speak at her wedding, agree to do it. Take every chance that comes your way to speak to an audience.

Consider Slowing Down

Everyone expects the speaker to be a little bit nervous when they walk onto a stage, but few things are such a dead giveaway of inner nervousness than racing through your words. If you want to leave a meaningful impact on your listeners, err towards speaking too slowly rather than speaking too fast. This is partly because you want them to understand you and it’s hard to speak clearly and quickly at the same time. But besides that, taking your time with your words gives each statement more weight than it would have if you seemed nervous or in a hurry.

Make Eye Contact

This is one of the most important tips on this list and it always applies, no matter how large or small your audience may be. During your presentation, make eye contact with as many people as possible. This establishes a valuable connection with your audience and makes audience members feel as if you’re speaking directly to them. Be careful to not just exclusively make eye contact with the people in the front row. Show the back rows some attention, too.

Take Long Pauses

Just as you should make it a point to speak slowly and clearly, you should also make long pauses now and then. In fact, make them longer than you feel may be appropriate. This has an incredible impact on emphasizing important points. It also allows you to connect with the emotions of your audience members.

From slowing down during your presentations to taking up any opportunity to speak, these are some of the best tips for speakers.

Top Tips for Becoming a Tech Entrepreneur

Nov 1, 2019

If you’re wondering how to become a tech entrepreneur, but you’re worried that it’s too late to start — think again.

Countless people wonder how to become a tech entrepreneur in the face of adversity. You fear that the age of billion-dollar startups is behind us, and the world is destined to be run by the major corporations those original startups have become. Or maybe you just think you don’t have enough technical know-how to avoid common entrepreneur mistakes and succeed.

You’re about to see how to become a tech entrepreneur, no matter where you are or how you see yourself right now. Keep reading to learn more.

Develop a Great Idea

Obviously, coming up with a great idea is the first step in how to succeed as a tech entrepreneur. If you think that all the valuable ideas are already taken, you couldn’t be more wrong. After all, what is a valuable idea?

A valuable idea is a specialized idea. And everyone, including you, is a specialist on something.

So, coming up with a winning idea for your area of expertise is largely a matter of solving an old problem in a new way. If you have thought of a way to do something cheaper, faster, or more effectively than anyone else is doing now, then you are on to developing something great.

Talk About It

Many people who get started in tech entrepreneurship think they have to keep their big idea to themselves or else someone will steal it. Spoiler alert: they won’t. Not because people don’t want valuable ideas, but because most people are too scared to act on ideas at all.

Instead, you should try to talk about your idea at every opportunity. Don’t just gush about it. Really explain it to anyone who will listen, and see how they react. If their eyes light up and they respond with something like, “Wow, that’s a neat idea!” this is a good sign.

Even better, try to share your idea with people who ask good questions and see things from new angles. As you share your big idea with more people, you may end up finding a business partner or tech expert who can help you bring your idea to life.

Start Small

This statement is often the bane of entrepreneurship dreams, but it shouldn’t be: don’t be afraid to start small.

Did you know that 69% of all entrepreneurs in the United States started their businesses from inside their homes? Likewise, you should strongly consider establishing yourself in whatever headquarters you have available to you rather than springing for an independent building.

When you start out, just focus on refining the idea. The business infrastructure has to be built around a great idea to last.

Get Funding

When you have clarified and refined your idea, it’s time to think about getting funding.

Instead of trying to get investor funding right out of the gate, you may be better off getting your parents, friends, or loved ones to back your idea at first. Use your own money, too. Avoid expensive sources of credit, such as credit cards, whose high interest makes them impractical for most business ventures.

The best thing about using your own money and that of your personal acquaintances is that you’ll have skin in the game. When it’s personal like that, you can’t afford to back out, so you will be incentivized to succeed.

Now you know the basics for how to become a tech entrepreneur. You have a lot to learn, but it’s sure to be an exciting and rewarding journey.

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.