Eight things every entrepreneur should know

  1. They should know the value of their product or service. This means understanding how it benefits the customer and how it compares to competitors. Features are nice but the focus should be on the benefits it provides. A clear understanding of your the value proposition will help guide business decisions and pricing strategies.
  2. Every entrepreneur should know their target market. This means understanding who the product or service is intended for, and what their needs, preferences, and behaviors are. Identifying the target market will help focus marketing efforts and tailor the product or service to meet their needs. What problems does it solve?
  3. They should know their competition. This means conducting market research to understand who the competitors are, what they offer, and how they compare to the product or service. Knowing the competition, what they offer and how they operate, as best as you can suss, will help differentiate the business and identify opportunities for growth.
  4. Every entrepreneur should know their business model. This means understanding how the business generates revenue and profits, and what the key components and drivers of the model are. Having a clear business model will help make informed decisions about how to scale and grow the business. Too many entrepreneurs go into business thinking about how great their idea is without a clear idea of how it will make a profit.
  5. This one is huge: every one of them should know their financials. This means keeping track of the business’s income, expenses, cash flow, and profitability. Knowing the financials will help them make informed decisions about how to allocate resources and manage the business’s financial health. No gut feelings! Data!
  6. Every entrepreneur should know their strengths and weaknesses. This means being honest with oneself about what you’re good at and what you need help with. Identifying strengths and weaknesses will help determine where to focus efforts and where to seek outside assistance. For example, if you have little patience for bookkeeping and filing — both really important aspects of running a business — that’s something you should consider hiring out.
  7. They should know their customers. This means building and maintaining relationships with customers, and gathering feedback to understand their needs and preferences. Knowing the customers will help improve the product or service and build loyalty. Get out of the office and talk to the people you serve. (That includes your employees!)
  8. Every entrepreneur should know their own limitations. This means being aware of the limits of one’s energy levels, financial risk tolerance, motivations. Knowing one’s limitations will help avoid burnout and make the most of available resources.

Image credit: Canvas/Clarke

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