Studies show that 8 out of 10 businesses don’t fail in the first year. That may be an encouraging number, but that statistic falls pretty sharply after the five-year mark, wherein 4 to 5 businesses out of 10 are more likely to find themselves having to close up shop.
This is why if you are running your own businesses or thinking of starting one, you need to be the best leader and entrepreneur that you can so that you and your team have all the tools you need to beat the overwhelming odds. The good news is that there are plenty of ways to improve your leadership and entrepreneurial skills. Here are some practical tips to become a better businessman or entrepreneur.
Go back to school
There are no two ways about it: If you want more theoretical knowledge, going to school is one of the best ways to do it. People might argue about theoretical knowledge and practical first-hand experience, but it’s a moot point because both are important. They are not mutually exclusive; they can work hand in hand for us to learn what we need to learn. In Singapore, for example, various institutions offer certificate diplomas. If you have never taken up a business course in college, consider earning a SkillsFuture certificate of competency in business.
Some subjects you can learn more about are applied entrepreneurship, marketing, digital warehousing solutions, customer engagement, marketing with data analytics, introduction to managing a business, logistics, supply chain technology, and many others. If there is an area of business you want to learn more about, going back to school might be your best bet.
Shadow successful businessmen
If you know some businessmen or entrepreneurs who have found success in their enterprises, consider shadowing them or asking them to be your mentor. You’d be surprised at how many successful men and women are willing to share what they’ve learned throughout the years. Go to someone you already have an established relationship with, and ask if you can shadow them in their day-to-day comings and goings. If you can attend one of their meetings, observe how your mentor deals with people and problems, and employ some of their best practices. Interview their staff members and ask them what makes their boss an effective team leader.
Gain a keen insight into finance
What do you notice about successful companies that started from the founder’s garage or basement? The media tends to portray their stories in romantic ways, like a rags-to-riches narrative that credits destiny or good timing. The truth is that many of these successful enterprises and ventures started because they had capital—maybe not a huge amount, but enough for the business owner to use properly. If you are financially literate, you already have half the tools you need to succeed. If you have a keen understanding of how finance works, you won’t need a huge amount of capital to start because you would use the resources you have to grow your business in the smartest and most strategic ways.
If you want to be the best businessman or entrepreneur, learn the value of building assets instead of liabilities. To be successful in your business ventures is to understand how to take the money that you have and make it work for you, and not against you.
Utilize your leverage
What assets do you have now that you can use to grow your business? Take note that assets don’t often have to mean money or property; they can also mean the opportunities that fall into your lap. Using your leverage means having the ability to think outside the box to find new opportunities or value in a circumstance or new relationships. To be a successful entrepreneur is to have the ability to constantly find creative ways to create profits no matter what life throws at them. This is why the adage “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade” is great advice for those who want to make it in the world of business.
Have the right attitude
And lastly, it’s important to have the right attitude, motivations, and perspective. Success may mean different things for different people, and only you get to define it for yourself. This is why your company’s values must be ingrained in your company culture and employees, and why you need to lead by example.
Finding success as a businessman is a challenge in this day and age. Increase your odds of succeeding by investing in yourself.