You know you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur — creativity, ambition, passion. So you’re scanning the business section looking for an opportunity to make your mark, and the news from CNN Money makes your head spin. WhatsApp just sold for $19 billion. Mark Zuckerberg told CNN Money this is new territory; no one has ever achieved a level of success like that. You start dreaming about what you would do with that kind of cash, then you decide you better get serious about updating your business management skills — passion isn’t going to be enough.
Even if you have a product or service that will change the world, you still need a certain set of skills and tools to succeed. Here are some basics to get you started on your great adventure.
The traditional way of driving sales by pushing your message to the consumer is on the way out fast. Today, the market is consumer-driven. It’s essential to understand how customers decide which brands to attach themselves to. Every business degree includes communication courses. Consider taking online courses to update your skills. Stay engaged in social media to test if you’re effectively getting your message across. Encourage feedback from your social network to help you improve.
Research market strategies for connecting with potential customers on social networking sites. You might consider designing a survey to check the feasibility of your product. If you choose to design your own online survey keep these tips in mind:
Write short questions that are easy to read.
For the best result, give 3 to 5 answer options.
Avoid using leading or bias language.
Decide what you want to learn and keep all questions focused on that topic.
Include demographic questions so you capture information about different groups.
Successful managers have a pool of human capital and social capital. Not every manager has a degree; some entrepreneurs partner with people who have a degree in communications, business leadership or marketing or who have decades of experience. Building solid relationships keeps a business venture strong. Your strong suit might be development and your partner can handle making sure the business complies with federal regulations and tax laws.
One way you can develop strong relationships and improve your communication skills is to use digital tools. Check out the UberConference App. UberConference lets you share files and use conferencing features to stay in touch with your human capital. Another great app that keeps you informed and engaged with the latest news and technology is Mention. And Under30Ceo has a full list of apps for entrepreneurs – read the reviews.
Funding Your Enterprise with Passion
If you have more ideas than money, you might need to explore funding sources. There are lots of resources for entrepreneurs from bank loans and credit card accounts to crowd-funding options. Kickstarter has helped fund more than 50,000 projects since they launched in 2009. The Kickstarter website is a great place to both find inspiration and share your passion with others on similar journeys. Check out the competition and potential supporters.