So you’re an entrepreneur. Congratulations — 48% of Americans are drawn to the idea of owning their own company, but only a fraction will ever take the leap forward and see what profits are potentially theirs. As you may have realized, however, owning a businesses can be more difficult than what people idealistically assume when they borrow $50,000 to open their first hairdresser, or a company that sells clothing online. Everything from the hiring process to payroll to marketing can result in unexpected snafus — and every little problem can potentially snowball into a larger one that threatens to undermine your business.
If you’re trying to keep your company moving, but having a little trouble, you may want to key in to evidence from ABC’s Shark Tank. It might be a reality show, but it still holds a ton of useful advice for any would-be entrepreneur looking for an extra toe-hold to rest on. Here are three key quotes from those multi-million dollar entrepreneurs, and what you can learn from them.
1. “A goal without a timeline is just a dream.” – Robert Herjavec
This is great advice for entrepreneurs in all types of industries. You might open your own business because you’re drawn to the idea of following your true passion, whether that’s football or writing. You need, though, to have concrete goals for your business — otherwise it will fall apart more quickly than you can imagine. Define in set terms how much you expect to make, how much you expect to pay in expenses, and what your goals are for future growth.
2. “Too often we oversell ourselves on the quality of the idea, service, or product. We don’t provide an honest assessment of how we fit in the market, why customers will buy from us, and at what price.” … Mark Cuban
In light of statistics on why 50% of startup businesses fail within their first four years of operation, Cuban’s advice hits home. According to Statistic Brain, some of the top driving causes behind these failures include no knowledge of pricing, emotional pricing, and no knowledge of suppliers. It’s easy to convince yourself that your product is the product to change them all. But in reality, if you’re not realistic about how your business is being run, you’re going to fall flat before long.
3. “The biggest mistake entrepreneurs can make is trying to do everything themselves.” – Kevin O’Leary
This is a great point, and goes against the common belief that you’re best off doing everything yourself to make sure it’s done right. Hire qualified employees who will work with you as a team to get your business where it needs to be. Don’t settle for mediocre — look for the best sales people available even if it means paying a little more. They’re going to be the face of your product. Use executive recruitment firms when you need to ensure that the employees you’re hiring will be great at what they do. Not everyone who’s excited about a career in sales is necessarily going to sell your product the best, and a recruitment firm can help separate out the right hires for your company.
Would you talk to a recruitment firm about getting the right employee for your business? Let us know in the comments.