Dream of starting a new business in 2013 or driving your business to the next level? Turn your reverie into reality with these excerpts from Bringing Out The Entrepreneur In You by Nanz Chong-Komo.
Compiled by Yong Yung Shin
Put Your Optimism To Action
When you have persuaded yourself to start a business, speak about it to selected people whom you trust. As you share, you are sharpening your ideas, refining the process and strengthening your convictions at the same time. Sharing positively about your business agenda results in propelling yourself forward by attracting opportunities and positive reactions.
The power of networking
Networking is the process of building and—far more importantly—maintaining contacts that you meet at events and social forums that you participate in. There is power when you add a personal touch as you introduce your business.
Networking is not a race to collect as many phone numbers or email addresses as possible. An effective network requires active interaction and regular communication. Behind every name card in the stack on your desk is a network friend. Spend quality time to know who they are, their habits and lifestyles. By finding out what phase of life they are in and questioning how you can be the one to meet their needs, you will be on your way to building a successful and active network.
Have a marketing strategy
No business owner should simply wait for customers to come in. Marketing must be the starting point for all businesses, not a reactive component nor a remedy for a troubled business. Some strategies to consider:
• Marketing through experience. The best kind of marketing is where your customers have a new and irresistible experience through your product, i.e. Apple.
• Marketing by creating desire for your brand, i.e. Apple, Chanel and Nike.
• Marketing by competitive pricing, i.e. Walmart, Costco, Giant.
• Marketing by word-of-mouth. Just ask your mother about her favorite hair salon.
• Marketing by product differentiation. Apple wins at this game: “This changes everything,” is its memorable tagline for the iPad.
Anticipate the worst case scenario
While you should always be optimistic, you have to ensure that you have a buffer in case the business flails. This would include maintaining a reserve cashflow at the very least. Do not be naïve and expect only a smooth ride in business. Being able to anticipate situations will enable you to steer your company in the right direction when you are faced with operational obstacles.
Every entrepreneur must realize that when he starts a business, he needs to make sacrifices. Being disciplined does not mean just saying “no” to a day out with your loved ones. What it really means is that you need to finish up your work and tend to issues immediately without procrastinating, so that you can bring your kids to birthday parties or head to the beach with your family.
Don’t forget to have fun
We are not wired for work alone. We have been created for deep relationships and quality recreation. Without renewing ourselves by cultivating meaningful relationships and engaging in much-needed recreation on a regular basis, an entrepreneur will become an edgy, boring, robotic person. Whether you are out enjoying a sport like mountain hiking, meeting friends over coffee or just enjoying music, there are lots of ways to have fun.
Get Bringing Out The Entrepreneur In You and Chong-Komo’s latest book, Overcome at The Ink Room. Buy any two of her books for a special price of S$39.