One of the most common terms in the high-tech world is “serial entrepreneur.” These are the people who just left one venture and, without taking a breath, moved on to their next one. Thanks to the extensive experience and knowledge they have accumulated, they are able to consistently establish start-up companies and sell them for tens – even hundreds – of millions of dollars.
These entrepreneurs have developed a method that proves itself time and again, so they know exactly what to do to establish their next start-up. However, sometimes even serial entrepreneurs fail and are forced to close their companies. That said, this scenario is uncommon compared to entrepreneurs at the outset of their first venture.
In this article, I will review the 10 components you need to focus on in order to succeed as an entrepreneur:
1. The Team
The first and most fundamental element that investors look at is human resources. Take into account that your partnership is no different than a marriage, and these are the people with whom you are going to be spending many hours of your time, so it is highly advisable that you and your partners get along well. It is very important to define roles clearly so that everyone knows their area of responsibility.
2. Intellectual Property
If you and your team are considering registering a patent or other protection for the technology you have developed, don’t hesitate. A patent is your company’s most significant asset. In 20 years time, when the patent expires, there will already be an alternative product or service that’s much more advanced than what you are offering today. Therefore, it is advisable always to stay up to date and have a finger on the pulse of what’s happening around you. If you want to remain relevant, you need to examine how the company fits into the direction the market is taking.
3. Competitive Advantage
First of all, you must perform in-depth market research to determine who your competitors are and what they have to offer. Then, focus on what the company does best and what its added value is for customers. The best way to do this, even before you build your work model, is to go out and talk with as many potential customers as possible, understand what their real needs are and how you can provide them with the service or product they need.
4. Business Model
At the end of the day, you’re in this to make a living. Once you have identified the needs of your potential customers, you need to brainstorm with your whole team and identify the best, most effective way to maximize company profits. Most investors will demand that you demonstrate a source of income that is as stable as possible.
5. Go To Market Plan
After you’ve succeeded in building a sophisticated business model, it’s important to determine ahead of time the strategy you wish to use for capturing the market. How you plan to attract customers to the company? Who are your customers? What market segment you are targeting (developing countries/first-world countries)? What is your strategy for international market penetration? Are there are any regulatory restrictions in certain countries you wish to reach?
6. Clear Milestones
It is very important to set both short- and long-term goals and objectives. Determine the stages of development you’d like to see in the company in the next few months, your top priority at present, and what the company should focus on the near future. At the end of each period, assess whether you met the objectives and goals you had set. Similarly, you should set goals for the more distant future, that is, where you see the company five years from now.
7. Business Plan
You’re probably asking yourself what the difference is between a business plan and a business model. Well, after you’ve managed to raise funds for your venture, what is your next step? It is very important to plan carefully and map out an exact plan of what you are going to do with the money. It is important to prepare this plan before you raise the capital so you can assess the amount you need to raise (sometimes raising an amount that is too high can harm the company, let alone raising an amount that is too low).
8. Experienced Mentors And Consultants
Today, entrepreneurs with no prior experience have a very hard time setting up a successful start-up without the guiding hand of the serial entrepreneurs, whose experience plays a crucial role in acquaintance with the market and prediction of market trends. Therefore, at every step of the way, it is very important to consult with and obtain the guidance of experienced mentors, and build a Board of Directors that is as strong, smart, and experienced as possible.
The secret to a successful venture is to work in a field that you love. You need to wake up every day with dedication and a relentless passion for your work (the army taught us to be single-minded and driven), and exhibit unbending resolve around your employees and your team. At all times, you should be thinking about how you can improve your company and make it better so that it offers even more value to its customers.
Some say timing is everything. Sometimes there are products that are ahead of their time. A great example of this is the Israeli company “Better Place,” which was a fantastic idea, just ahead of its time. Therefore, you must be as objective as possible and ask yourself whether right now is the right timing to pursue your venture. Of course, a little luck never hurts.
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