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How to succeed as an entrepreneur

These are words from a bore:

I have been running my company for 20 years and now I know how to make it work. I would love to show you some things that will help you succeed too when you start your own business:

Are you with me?
Do you promise to listen?
(Why do I keep pestering you like this? I'll explain shortly).

I get scared when I see all the mistakes that new entrepreneurs make. That's why I want you to avoid making me even more scared:
    I know that people are so incredibly eager to get started with all the things that are fun. There are business cards to be produced, premises to be rented and decorated and fun plans to be forged. It's almost intoxicating- but it's obviously a little scary too. Mostly because you won't know if you'll have a steady income, but you also worry about all the extensive paper work ahead. It's a bit like becoming an adult, even if you start at the age of 45.

Are you still with me?
Good, because now it will get a bit tougher for you if you've only handled the fun parts of being an entrepreneur and pushed aside all the tricky and boring parts of the business.

1. Don't worry. You will make it. Don't be paralyzed by all the work you have ahead of you to get the business up and running. You will soon adapt to the new routines - that's a promise from me who has ran a business for twenty years. I was totally confused during the first six months, but everything will be fine if you just work at it, one step at a time.

2.  Assume that everyone in the whole world ignores you and your business as it is. Everyone is busy with their own lives and it's really no big deal for the rest of us that you are going through this major life changing event to start your own business. We just want to know one thing - why should we give you our money? Make sure that your business idea is so strong, that it becomes easy for you to explain to your customers why you should get their money.
I can't stress this too much, so I'll do it with some extra exclamation marks!!!

3. If you are going to borrow money - be formal at the bank. Bank staff is paid to be boring types who analyze you and especially your business plan in a dry and crass manner. You never apply for a job at a bank because you are someone who wants to be an entrepreneur - you do it because you like to be orderly. It's like dealing with a teacher. Whatever he/she says, they like to educate and organize their students like little bees in a bee hive - and that's because they are (and always have been) bees in the huge bee hive themselves.

4.  Entrepreneurial life has its ups and downs. You must learn that and teach yourself to fight back when times are bad (they will be at times). It doesn't matter what you do in your business - there are no handrails. Running a company is like wandering in the wilderness when you've lost the compass. It's the same for everyone - for me, too.
Don't give up five meters before the finish line. Join a network that will support you and in which you can support others when they need it. Tip: You can find them among other entrepreneurs. Your employees, your friends and your family also care about your health and they will urge you to stop fighting. They don't understand that you want to achieve your dreams and that you're are not afraid that the journey to success may be a little bumpy at times.

5.  Make sure that whatever you intend to sell can be sold where you plan to sell it. Never open a store just because there are premises to be had in your area. Never start a business based on an idea of ​​what you would think would be fun to work with – it's the customers who must enjoy your products/services, not you. YOU never really start a business for your own sake - you start it for the customers' sake. If customers like what you sell, you have a business. Look for customers who want to pay for what you want to offer. Be realistic - pretend that it's your best friend who is going to start the company and that it's you who will lend him/her the money.

About the author

Stefan Ekberg has worked in marketing for small business for 20 years and has written around 30 books on how small business owners can market themselves with limited resources. . In 2012 Stefan was nominated as Entrepreneur of the Year in Stockholm.

230 000 prescribes to his free newsletter "The 5 minute marketer"
Every week some 230,000 prescribers gets his free newsletter about 5 minute marketing.

"The 5 minute marketer" - the book
You run a small business and you want to get ahead of the competition, but how can you give resources to marketing when you're short on time and the budget is tight? The solution is here! The 5-Minute Marketer is packed with 395 tried-and-tested ways to market your business in 5 minutes or less.