Qwik Advice for Entrepreneurial Success

          Over the years many people have asked me, “Can you give me the 3 (or other small number) key factors to be successful as an Entrepreneur?” Well, for me, there are many, many more reasons. My mind can’t boil it down to just a few. So, I put together 50 answers to this question in no order of priority. Many of you are aware of many of these factors. However, in the time pressures of start-ups and growing a business, it is easy to forget about some point that can be useful in the moment. It might be smart for you to distribute this to your people or post it on a bulletin board or make it into a poster or put it next to your computer etc. Also look to add to this list

  1. Set an example from day one that you are a trustworthy company. Spell out what you expect from your employees.
  2. Know your business: product, industry, competition. Knowledge rules.
  3. Look to hire people different than yourself (can be smarter) who speak up and are curious. Incentivize them.
  4. Look for mentors and work hard at building the relationship.
  5. Always watch the cash.
  6. Always pay your bills on time.
  7. Work on your listening skills.
  8. Work on your sales skills and everyone else’s in your company.
  9. Don’t be afraid to give up equity under the right circumstances.
  10. Plan for tomorrow. (Not necessarily elaborate business plans) In planning your strategies, ask why should your prospective customer buy from you?
  11. Create an environment where innovation can flourish.
  12.  Be flexible, except with core values, and don’t be afraid to change course.
  13. Make timely decisions.
  14. Encourage and accept criticism graciously.
  15. The major asset of the company is you. Take care of yourself. Maintain your energy level.
  16. Maintain balance in your life. It doesn’t have to be your family or your company. Play or work, etc.
  17. Insist on quality in your product or service.
  18. Make sure customers’ expectations are met. Under commit and over perform.
  19. Don’t try to do everything yourself. Delegate but with the authority that goes with it.
  20. Success breeds copycats. Don’t take it personally. However, do compete vigorously.
  21. Treat good suppliers like gold.
  22. New product ideas need not be blockbusters.
  23. Don’t let fear of failure hold you back.
  24. Move quickly to fire people you are convinced are bad for your company.
  25. Don’t forget the details.
  26. As company grows, people’s roles change, including yours. Can you/they adapt and what will you do with the people who can’t?
  27.  Profits are good and essential to sustain your business.
  28. Periodically, get out of your comfort zone. It is important to grow personally and your business.
  29. Don’t confuse risk to your business with risk to your ego.
  30. Keep learning: knowledge is power.
  31. Rebound quickly from setbacks.
  32. Give raises to your best employees before they ask.
  33. Treat the little people as if they were big people.
  34. Keep track of your competition, but don’t fear them.
  35. Give back.
  36. Outwork your competition but equally outsmart them.
  37. Change is good: embrace it.
  38. Admit your mistakes and pay for them if appropriate.
  39. Thank you and please go a long way. They are still in the dictionary.
  40. Know what you don’t know and don’t be afraid to admit it.
  41. Never compromise your core values.
  42. The most effective form of advertising is word of mouth.
  43. An initial sale is good but nowhere as valuable as a re-order, which is a vote for your company and its product.
  44. Regularly talk to the users of your product.
  45. Regularly talk to those who sell your product, whether they are on your payroll or not.
  46. Aggressively protect your intellectual properties, but remember it is better to sell someone than sue them. Also calculate the cost of suing emotionally, your time as well as monetarily, with a calm mind.
  47. Keep track of your numbers. You need not be good at math to do so.
  48. Bootstrapping creates healthy habits to your benefit in good as well as in difficult times.
  49. Mission statements are only good if they are strictly adhered to.
  50. Learn how to say No. It can lead to a Yes. It also helps in Parenting.