11 Supportive Tips for Starting a New Entrepreneurial Venture

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What is one tip you'd offer an entrepreneur starting up a new venture?

To help entrepreneurs looking to start a new business venture, we asked business professionals and leaders this question for their insights. From taking back your time to asking for help, there are several things to consider when starting a new business.

Here are 11 supportive tips for starting a new entrepreneurial venture:

  • Take Back Your Time
  • Think Long-Term
  • Ask for Help
  • Strive for Two-Dimensional Clarity
  • Solve Problems for the Most People Possible
  • Have a Hard Cut Off Time for Starting + Finishing
  • Hone In On Your 'Why'
  • Find an "A" Team
  • Try Different Sales & Marketing Strategies
  • Skip the Analysis Paralysis and Start Today
  • Find a Business Mentor

Take Back Your Time

It's easy to feel that there are not enough hours in the day to complete all necessary tasks. To avoid letting the day get away from you, create specific time blocks related to each segment of the business. For example, set an hour aside on Monday morning dedicated to marketing strategy. The next two hours can be focused on crafting pitches for investors. Tailor your calendar to prioritize what's most pressing. Then, use the time blocks to deeply focus on what's at hand rather than switching quickly from task to task.

Claire Routh, Markitors

Think Long-Term

It's easy to get wrapped up in wanting your new venture to be a huge success, immediately. Oftentimes, the loudest entrepreneurs and start-up gurus are the ones pushing a get-rich-quick narrative to business ventures, which I haven't found to be realistic for the masses. Building a business takes time and endurance, and you need to see it as a long-term race versus a sprint to success.

Kristine Thorndyke, Test Prep Nerds

Ask for Help

The worst thing you could do would be to assume that you’re in this venture alone. Others have been in your shoes, and they have expertise and advice they are hungry to share. Make use of all of the business networking resources around you and online. It doesn’t matter what the issue is: There’s someone willing and able to help. 

Allan Switalski, LendThrive

Strive for Two-Dimensional Clarity

You may set on an entrepreneurship journey, driven by willpower to change the world around you or you could have a very strong attachment to an idea or you could be inspired by someone's business success. Irrespective of the trigger, the effect of motivation or inspiration is usually short-lived. As an entrepreneur, you need sustainable, never-ending inspiration. For that, you should rather focus on gaining two-dimensional clarity. The first dimension is about “Why” which is your emotional drive for doing something you want to do. The second dimension is about “What for” which is your drive that moves you towards a purpose that you hope to achieve. You need to master both dimensions as an entrepreneur. Once you have a sense of clarity, you already have the fuel to do what you need to succeed. Search for that clarity first because it is the new superpower in the VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity) business world.

Dr Raman K. Attri, XpertX Research

Solve Problems for the Most People Possible

One of the best pieces of advice I received when we started our company was to make sure you are solving a problem not only for yourself but for as many people as possible. It's critical to do customer discovery with a wide range of clients and prospects before you begin to develop your solution. While we are very interested in feedback on our concepts, we often learn the most by asking, "what are the main friction points" you are currently dealing with. Doing this early research can more clearly see the features clients are looking for and better define the benefits we want our systems to deliver. Once we have this information, we build prototypes to share with our clients and gather more feedback through many cycles of testing. All of this upfront work raises the likelihood that you will develop solutions that thrill your clients.

Eric Kaye, Kayezen

Have a Hard Cut Off Time for Starting + Finishing

As an entrepreneur, it can be very easy to work day and night without any break or interruption in the day. However, this kind of work rate should not be encouraged. Indeed, around-the-clock work leads to increased stress, decreased creativity, and an inability to practice optimal self care. For these reasons, consider implementing a hard cut off time for starting and finishing your day. Specifically, I recommend not touching your phone or email before 8AM EST, and not touching any device after 7PM EST.

This will allow you to stay in the moment, recharge your batteries, and gain new perspectives. Say goodbye to "grind culture" and hello to "balanced culture" today.

Lucas Nudel, Pride Balace

Hone In On Your 'Why'

Make sure you’re 150% confident in your ‘why.’ What need or pain point is your product or service solving? Who is it for, and why is now the right time? These questions can be challenging, but you need to be ready to answer them before you launch a business. If you don’t take the time to be thoughtful and strategic about the bigger picture, you won’t be ready to confidently sell your product. These questions will help you hone in on exactly what you’re doing.

Hector Gutierrez, JOI

Find an "A" Team

I was getting advice from a friend for my company, I’ll call him Tom. I went to Tom with a different startup idea, and a different team, probably 10 years ago. He told me, “Nancy, you have an A idea, but you have a C team.” Tom went on… “If you came to me with an A team, but a C idea I’d invest, but I won’t invest with this team.” I was shocked! I thought my previous team was solid and super talented. Tom pointed to the resumes/bios in the pitch deck and showed me the specific people and areas of his concern. I disagreed and was certain I’d prove him wrong about my co-founders. 

Two weeks later, just as Tom had predicted, my co-founder left me high and dry to take a job with another start-up, and with him went the skill set that was critical for the company's success. I had invested so much time working on that project only to have it implode with the loss of one person. However, this failure allowed me to find the A team that I needed to make my company successful!

Nancy Belcher, Winona

Try Different Sales & Marketing Strategies

Try a different sales or marketing strategy as soon as it becomes apparent the original one isn’t working. Building up a new venture into a successful business takes time, agility, and innovation. Don’t let early setbacks or momentary failures discourage you, change the course if your first stab at it isn't working. Above all, be open to taking calculated risks. A bold move in one direction or another can make all the difference.

Lily Yu, Oak Springs Realty

Skip the Analysis Paralysis and Start Today

So many entrepreneurs plan and plan and plan until life gets in the way or the opportunity is lost. While a little planning is important, it is more important to jump in, get started on the opportunity and then adjust your business as you learn more or the opportunity changes.

No planning will fully prepare you for what lies ahead in your entrepreneurial journey. (I never thought I'd design and fabricate robots!)  But if you get started with your passion in place and your eyes open to the greater situation, you can adjust, react and grow to the challenge that lies ahead. Don't delay by burying yourself in a proforma; what you start and what you end up with will most likely be very different anyway!

David Wachs, Handwrytten

Find a Business Mentor

Someone who has experience and is knowledgeable about the field you would like to enter can provide valuable input when you are at the beginning stages of a new business. By enlisting the help of someone who has been there before, you can avoid common pitfalls and start your business with confidence.

As a good place to start, I would recommend reaching out to your local SCORE chapter. SCORE is the nation's largest network of volunteer, expert business mentors and has over 300 offices across the US. Their business mentors are all highly qualified and there are mentors available for all major industries. It is a free service that any person looking to start a new venture should look into.

Britney Khuu, Hair Tie Hub

 

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