What makes an entrepreneur success? How a business can be succeed? Starting a new business is both a tedious and challenging task. Eachentrepreneur faces a myriad of obstacles before venturing into a newavenue. We bring to you a list of the most important rules to be followed by start-up entrepreneurs that can avoid potential losses:
Relationships with people are key. Business and personal relationships should be cherished. Treat people how you yourself would want to be treated. Always remember that people are the lifeblood and engine room of any business. Never start your business without a clear purpose. Knowing your goals can help you make the right decisions.
Rule #1: Look for disruptive change.
If you’re about to start on a new venture, ask yourself: What isbecoming possible or necessary that wasn’t possible before? Is a newproduct or service able to take over an existing market or create a newmarket? When I co-founded LinkedIn the tech industry was in a deepdepression. I looked at all the opportunities created by the Internetand had the idea that eventually everyone would need a professionalprofile online. The disruption was that people were able to directlyreach the best candidates rather than hoping for responses from alisting in the paper or an ad on a Web site.
Rule #2: Aim big.
Regardless of whether a start-up is targeting a big idea or a smallone, it will still require the same amount of blood, sweat and tears—soaim big! What is “big?” It is a new product or service that creates ordominates a significant market.
Rule #3: Build a network to magnify your company.
People tend to think that behind every great start-up is a singleentrepreneur with a whiz-bang idea. The reality is great companies arebuilt by a number of people with talent who are surrounded by amplifying networks. The most successful entrepreneurs bring in advisors,investors, collaborators and early customer relationships.
Rule #4: Plan for good luck and bad luck.
You should always assume you will have both good luck and bad luckwith your new company. Good luck is not as simple as “it worked out.”Rather, this is when you discover a great opportunity and can quicklyshift to go after it. Bad luck is what happens when your first ideadoesn’t work. It doesn’t mean failure; it means you need to pursue planB.
Rule #5: Maintain flexible persistence.
Very often entrepreneurs are given conflicting advice: “Bepersistent! Stay committed to your vision!” or “Pivot on key data! Knowwhen to change!” The challenge is to follow them both, but know whichadvice is most appropriate for which situation. You must know how tomaintain flexible persistence.
Rule #6: Launch early enough that you are embarrassed by your first product release.
With my first startup, Socialnet.com, it took us nine months tolaunch the first product. That was a disastrous mistake. We wanted tohave all the detailed functionality right away, including socialcontrols to people could decide to connect or not with the people intheir networks. We wanted everyone to “Ooh” and “Aaah” about howterrific the product was. We wasted a bunch of time and it put us months behind on more important problems that needed to be solved, such as how to get our product in the hands of millions of people. From that Ilearned, if you are not embarrassed by your first release, you’velaunched too late!
Rule #7: Aspire, but don’t drink your own Kool-Aid.
Target excellence, but be very careful about blind trust or belief in your theories. It is important to launch as early as you can in orderto learn how your customers use your product or service. It is equallyimportant to identify metrics that tell you if your aspirations andvision are on target. You should also get feedback from your network inorder to iterate or pivot on the target, the product and/or the service. In other words, maintain your aspiration but always look for goodperspective on how you are doing. It is very easy for creativeinnovators to get caught up in their own story rather than learningwhere they should be headed.
Rule #8: Having a great product is important but having great product distribution is more important.
I meet a lot of entrepreneurs who think the best product is the mostimportant thing and that the best product should always win. What a lotof people fail to realize is that without great distribution, theproduct dies. How will you get your product in the hands of millions orhundreds of millions of people?
Rule #9: Pay close attention to culture and hires from the very beginning.
Your first hires set your culture, so make them good ones. Thesefirst people hire the next people and so on. The old wisdom was that you needed people with a decade more of experience in your start-up. Thethings a smart person learned a decade ago won’t help you now – you’redoing things that have never been done before, and the world and thecompetitive landscape are changing at hyper speeds. What you really need are people who can learn fast.
Rule #10: Rules of entrepreneurship are guidelines, not laws of nature.
Do not pay too much attention to rules set by other people.Entrepreneurs are inventors. They are successful when they makesomething work for the very first time. Sometimes in order to makesomething work, you will drive over the guardrail of one of these rules. Entrepreneurs sometimes just make new rules.