I love entrepreneurs, they are the ones take action when most just have dreams. Unfortunately, 9 out of 10 will fail in business. I get asked about 2 or 3 times a week for some form of mentorship or advice from new entrepreneurs. Of course, I try to help whenever I can, which is at least a 15-minute phone call. I would like to summarize 5 things every entrepreneur must do to be successful.5. Know your industry.[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="640"]
Pets.com. Huge investment now worth nothing. Reference: bad decision.[/caption]Don't open a restaurant without ever working in one. You must know the business you're in before you get started otherwise you're going to be in for a long tough ride. I've seen many people with a good idea with little to no knowledge of how the business even works and every single one of them has failed. You still have a chance to survive but it's slim to none when you have to risk thousands of dollars and hours to learn everything. Mark Zuckerburg wrote software for fun before he created Facebook. L learned this lesson the hard way and almost ruined Grunt Style when we started and it cost me 2 years in the startup. I knew nothing about clothing or marketing, but I did know web development and some graphic arts which helped us limp along before I understood the industry.4. Fail fast.[caption id="attachment_692" align="alignnone" width="604"]
The billboard. What a bad choice that seemed brilliant at the time. The lesson was to keep the risk short instead of dragging out failure on a year-long contract.[/caption]You're going to make mistakes, guaranteed. If you're smart, you'll figure out what it is and get out of it fast. An example would be a billboard that I purchased time on when we first launched. I thought a GruntStyle.com billboard 2 miles from the entrance of Fort Benning, GA was fool-proof. Well, it did nearly nothing except cost us $1,000 a month which I couldn't afford. If I knew what I was doing, I would have tested it for a month, maybe 3 before I make a commitment with money I don't have. Test always. Promote winners, kill the losers. The faster you fail the faster you can succeed.3. No friends no family. [caption id="attachment_1649" align="aligncenter" width="680"]
Chances are things can go wrong, and when they do you can lose your friends, family and a whole lot of money. (Ref: Family Guy, FOX)[/caption]I'm not saying this doesn't work, I'm just saying that this is very rare. Anytime you involve money with friends or family things get complicated, especially when things go bad, and they will. You don't want to be out of a friendship and money at the same time. Early on in Grunt Style, I asked a few friends to join and they did. After a couple months, two of them realized they couldn't put in the effort that I was and respectfully bowed out. The other friend stayed on for a few more months before we started to perform poorly and I ended up buying him out, it wasn't a pretty process though and I lost one of my best friends.It's tempting to hire friends and family but it rarely if ever worth the headache. Rule of thumb is, if you can't fire them, don't hire them.2. You're not the best.[caption id="attachment_1650" align="aligncenter" width="680"]
There's always a master who you can learn from. Do what they do if you want to be successful.[/caption]Don't be cocky, be humble. You don't know what you're doing, at least compared to someone who is successfully doing it. Learn from them. If you think you can walk into a business that you've never done before and outperform everyone right away because, well, you're you, you are going to be out of business or money very quickly. Don't let your pride get in the way of learning from others with more experience.1. Sell.[caption id="attachment_690" align="aligncenter" width="680"]
GruntStyle.com founder Daniel Alarik with his wife in 2012 selling at their first trade show in Las Vegas.[/caption]There is no such thing as a perfect product, so as long as your product is good, sell it. At least 80% of your time should be in some form of sales. You need to be in front of people directly telling them to buy your product, either in person or online. If you are too afraid to sell your product then you shouldn't be in business. Remember, if you're not selling your product then you're not in business, you're just busy.Read more professional articles here.