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Do you want to set up a new entrepreneurship and do not know where to begin? I can help you...

It often happens that we have potentially great ideas, but when we think of everything that needs to be done to carry them out, we are no longer enthusiastic, we are overwhelmed by the task, we feel lost and maybe a little depressed because we cannot do it or know how to continue, What would be the next step? How can I carry out this idea, transform it into a entrepreneurship and achieve success with my product?

Has it happened to you? Have you asked yourself those questions before? I can tell you how to carry out your entrepreneurship and transform it into a great adventure.

I recommend you to see my LinkedIn profile to know who I am, what I did and why I think I can help you. However, almost all you need to know is that I have been an entrepreneur for more than 25 years.

Back in 1993, when I created my first systems consulting company, together with a friend from college, both of us just graduated as system engineers, I did practically everything there is to do. However, we were able to carry on the company and achieve some success and reputation in the local market, which allowed us to be where we are now (I am writing these lines in my studio located on a 13th floor overlooking the Mediterranean, and I do not say this with pedantry, but so you know I did it and I can help you to get it too).

Sometimes I think it would have been great to walk that road again with everything I know now about it. However, maybe that would make me today someone else and not who I am, because I firmly believe that we are the sum of our learning and our experiences.

I began by saying that I did everything I should not do in my first entrepreneurship. In short, what I did wrong was, among other things:

  • Creating the company without a perfectly clear idea of what would differentiate us from the rest (why did we think we would be better or at least that we had a good opportunity to compete?).

  • Registering the company as a Limited Liability Company (LLC), which involved a series of expenses that we had no idea how to deal with.

  • Not having a business plan (what on earth would that be?).

  • Starting the entrepreneurship without having a single client (literally, not even one) but with monthly and recurrent expenses (I really do not know how we subsisted).

  • As we did not know what was best, we decided to do everything (developing systems, selling hardware and giving courses) and, obviously, the one that covers a lot, little squeezes: we were not very good at anything.

  • None of us had any idea of business management, marketing or sales techniques.

As a mitigating, I have to clarify that at that time I was just 23 years old. Now that I think about it, we had no chance to last even 6 months. However, against all odds, we subsisted. Surely you will ask why or how we did it.

The reason was that we had some of the fundamental requirements to be an entrepreneur: open mind, flexibility to adapt, speed of movement and unlimited energy/enthusiasm.

We understood right away that something was not right, we focused on what we did best: developing software. We differentiated ourselves from the rest, providing a personalized and high quality service at a fraction of the cost of the market average (we could do it because we were the ones who did all the work). That interested the largest consultants and we began to be known. Businesses grew and we began the next stage: expanding.

This next stage did not lack difficulties, since we had no experience or a guide to follow, but this is another topic. I am going to give you now a series of tips that I would have valued very much back then, which you should take as a general guide, not as a step-by-step manual.

 

1.- Create a Business Plan

Let’s assume that you already have a more or less clear idea of the product or service you want to develop. The next step would be to write a business plan. You will wonder why.

You write a business plan for several reasons: to present the idea to potential partners or investors, to obtain a bank loan, etc.

However, the reason why you should do it is to make your idea clear and explore all the important aspects of the potential business. You will find models of business plans on the web. If the model is more or less good, it will force you to analyze each and every one of the edges of the business.

 

2.- First things first: Marketing

Only two things sell: a very good product or a very good marketing. In fact, with a good marketing campaign, even bad products are sold, which does not happen the other way around.

SIf you are developing a new product or service, it will hardly be initially the best in the market and, even if it were, if nobody knows it, nobody will buy it.

Over the years, many people sought my advice for the development of a new product or service and, after telling me their idea and technically how they were going to do it, I asked them, did you think about how you are going to sell it? Who is your client? What problem are you solving him? How are you going to do for him to discover that your product exists? What would be the sale price, is it competitive?

They always kept thinking and minimizing that aspect because, as many others, they concentrate on the technical or operative part of the idea, believing that it will then sell itself because they are building something extraordinary. I’m sorry to say it’s never so simple. Even the big ones (Airbnb, Facebook, etc.), invested a lot of money in marketing before being known and achieving success.

 

My advice: look for a partner who is an expert in marketing and who loves your product, who gives you great ideas and is as enthusiastic as you. Or, alternatively, seek capital to hire a good marketing agency.

 

3.- One step at a time

You always have to move forward, but do not rush, do not try to climb up three steps together, because the most likely is that you’ll fall.

First, build a prototype of the product, then launch it into the market as a beta or find someone who is interested in trying it and give it to you free of charge in exchange for helping you to improve it. Do not try to build the perfect product for a first version: nobody does that, it is a waste of time, money and effort.

Only when you have a paid version of your product and some customers, or when you have sold your service to one or two companies, start thinking about creating a company. Begin as a startup, not as a L.L.C. (as I did). Try to spend as little as possible to maximize the results. Do not think a lot of yourself and hire a cellular fleet or rent a flat in the best area of your city, use the capital you have in a smart and discreet way.

 

4.- Invest your time on what’s important

You will wonder what is important. The answer is the same for every entrepreneur, I assure you: that your business grows.

In that sense, the important thing to do is that you get more customers, that your product is more sold. Here we are already entering the field of marketing and there are whole books about it. What you have to understand is that your time is expensive for your company, that only you will be able to recognize the good opportunities, close the best deals or make your product / service become the best of all. Do not let the day to day consume you, that the urgent does not hide what is important.

There are many approaches to address this issue. I prefer the one that has as a dogma to give to receive. That is, you have to discover what you are good at, in what sense you are the best at what is yours, what makes you unique and special: exploit it, give it away without expecting anything in return. Time will reward you.

5.- Learn to delegate

There will come a time when you will no longer be able to take charge of what is important because the administrative, accounting, human resources, support tasks or whichever they are, will require your participation. Do not fall for this trick. Much to your dismay, you’re going to have to start delegating responsibilities.

I know that something done by oneself is not the same as what someone else does. I know, but you will have to accept it, otherwise you will not be able to grow, you will have reached the limit.

The only thing you should never delegate is the control. Never trust that task to anyone. That is, if you have an administrative manager, obviously he will take care of the administration and have responsibilities over his area. That’s fine, but you cannot be totally oblivious to what happens, if not one day you’ll find yourself with an unpleasant surprise and by that time, it will be too late to solve it.

 

6.- Surround yourself with the best

Your company will be as efficient as the people who conform it. Your product will be as good as the team behind it. Try to create a team of extraordinary people and you will achieve equally extraordinary results.

In the same way, you must provide the best tools to help you in your management. Try to make sure your time is always well spent.

 

7.- Enjoy it, for it to make sense

EThis is the last, but in turn, the most important of all the tips. Never forget why you created the company. Why did you develop this incredible product or service (and do not tell it was for making money, because that is a consequence, not a purpose, if so this article is not for you).

You created that product because you had a great idea and it was what you wanted to do. Well, enjoy it!!! If you get to lose that spirit that was the one that prompted you to start with all this, you will not have achieved success, no matter how much money you make.

You should always keep in mind that the important thing is the path, not the goal. If you reach the top, you will discover that the interesting thing was the way traveled to reach it.

 

On the other hand, do not let your project become an obsession. Do not lose sight of what you want from life. For example, if your passion is to practice sports or travel, if you work 7×24, you will not have time for it, so you will not be happy neither, and that will have a negative impact on your company.

Maintaining a balance between your work and leisure time is the formula to become a successful person.

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