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1. Be different
Being an entrepreneur means taking risks to build something that will improve the lives of the people in your market. You have to be different to stand out. No one is going to pay attention to a company that is doing the same thing as another company. You don’t need to have a physical product or app to make it big. Pete Cashmore started Mashable when he was 19. Today, his website is one of the leading technology sites on the web.
2. Don’t be afraid to change everything
Change is necessary and nowhere can this advice be more important than in business. Don’t be afraid to change your company or products to pursue an angle that will help you realize your goals. Dennis Crowley, Foursquare’s founder, had to adjust the app in the way that people used it.
3. Know when to stop planning and start doing
What sets entrepreneurs from the dreamers is doing. There is a time to plan and a time to do. Don’t overcomplicate matters. Start shipping as fast as you can and tweak your product as your market consumers it. Eric Ries outlines this notion well in the Lean Startup book.
4. If something doesn’t work, stop
No matter how much effort and finances you pump into your business, sometimes things will just not work out. Don’t be afraid to stop a product or even close down your company. Learn from your mistakes and move on. Don’t waste your time and resources hoping things will change when it is clear they wouldn’t.
5. Looks matter
Design is everything and this is what sets brands with similar products apart. Think about design right from your product to your marketing materials. Having your office, shop, brochure, logo or website looking good will give you the much needed boost in the beginning.
6. Learn how to follow up
No man is an island and so is no business. Relationship building is important especially when you are just starting up. You want to be on the good books of suppliers, industry influencers, product evangelists and so on. This can provide you with the publicity you need for your business to take off.
7. Always be learning
Don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone and learn new things. Take insight from other businesses and apply it to your situation. Tweak the information you get to fit your business and challenges.
8. Be confident in your product
Cyrus Massoumi, the founder of ZocDoc (the doctor-appointment scheduling site) went door-to-door hawking the product and was kicked by security guards out because he seemed not confident in his offer.