By Flori Roberts
You believe in yourself. You have ideas and dreams. Use these convictions to create a rewarding and fulfilling business life, where you are the boss. During the agonies and ecstasies of starting my own company, I learned these “rules of entrepreneurship” the hard way…on the job! Perhaps it can help those of you who are just beginning, to start on the right track and to avoid the road blocks along the way.
You probably need a break from the complexity of starting a business. Here is some fundamental business advice—simple, straight forward and easy to implement.
1. Find a need—be ahead of your time.
Find a niche where the Giants won’t bother to go.
2. Identify your market and learn all about it.
You have to know everything about your business at the start.
3. Prepare a business plan…yes you have to.
No bank will take you seriously without a plan for profits.
4. Have adequate financing to start and to stay.
Success does not happen overnight, so be sure you’re financially fit.
5. Pay for the best professional advice.
Lawyers, accountants, insurers do work on an as needed, fee basis.
6. Keep your overhead low and your standards high.
Work from home or at a low cost, convenient location.
7. Establish a clearly defined distribution network.
Whatever your product or service, how will you present and sell it?
8. Be creative—your new idea does count.
Depend on marketing strategies rather than costly advertising to grow.
9. Seek and hire the most qualified people.
From the first employee, look for someone who knows more than you.
10. Know your competition and work to win.
Be persistent, focused and flexible…anything can happen.
11. Learn from the success and failure of others.
Read, watch trends, and observe what is “hot” in your industry.
12. Use technology as a tool for building your business.
From computers to telecommunications to the Web-use them all.
13. Don’t be sensitive and don’t take it personally.
Be prepared for rejection, but never give up your dream.
14. Never underestimate the power of passion.
You will need to take risks and believe when no one else does.
Starting a business requires discipline and discipline requires rules. You may want to follow my “rules of entrepreneurship” or create your own set of rules. But you must clearly identify your goals and live by them. Use them as a road map to your success. Good luck!
Flori Roberts is creative advisor to The Roberts Group, a cosmetics sales and marketing company. Roberts co-founded Flori Roberts Cosmetics and Dermablend Corrective Cosmetics. As an entrepreneur, she launched and grew two businesses to multi-million dollar proportions.