Thursday, September 18, 2014

How to succeed as an entrepreneur

On March 4, a group of female business owners and professionals learnt about entrepreneurial best practices at a seminar hosted by Mompreneurs Middle East, a B2B platform that connects women entrepreneurs.
The event, titled The Five Necessary Steps to Succeed in Owning Your Own Business, featured a presentation by Bernard Safatli, corporate trainer at Matrix Training Solutions, where he imparted business advice and shared key characteristics of successful entrepreneurs.
Below is an outline of the steps to effectively run a business:
1) Balance your strategic and tactical approaches
Safatli says that there are three types of entrepreneurs: strategic, tactical and a combination of both. A strategic entrepreneur sees the bigger picture and works smarter, while a tactical one is focused on the specifics and works harder. The ideal entrepreneur is good at both the strategic and tactical levels. “These are people who are able to see the big picture and know exactly what they need in their company. At the same time, they are able to make the procedures and policies, and execute them with piercing effectiveness,” he says.
2) Be genuine, authentic and knowledgeable
“Whether you are a one-person show or you have staff, it is valuable for your employees to know everything about your business,” says Safatli. “It is also important for you to create a core story, which needs to be genuine and creative, and have an effective way to communicate it to your clients.”
The core story can be around why you launched your business or what your company represents, he adds. Having a story can help build a connection with your customers and clients.
3) Focus on your wellbeing
“This is something all successful entrepreneurs do. They believe wellbeing is more important than anything else, and if they are good at the core, everything else will be amazing as well.”
Successful entrepreneurs tend to have the following traits in common, he says:
a) Aligning values to what they do
b) Taking out some “me” time
c) Organising their thoughts in the morning
d) Having the ability to manage their emotions
4) Target your dream 100
“The dream 100 are those clients who you’d love to have,” says Safatli. Once you have identified those dream clients, you need to pursue them persistently, he adds. “For instance, you need to call them once a week, every week, for a year. Every time you get information, you should write down what you learned from that call to [be prepared] for the next one.”
Find innovative ways to connect with them, he adds. The use of direct mail and small, thoughtful gifts can give potential clients something to remember you by.
5) Employ successful marketing tactics
“Approximately three years ago, there was a big study on ten of the biggest corporations in the world, which included PepsiCo, Johnson & Johnson and Procter & Gamble,” he says. One of the questions asked was: “What are the marketing tactics these companies use that make them so successful? [It was discovered that] every one of these companies are doing a set of things at a strategic and tactical level, because they are the most important.”
These are the “seven musts” of marketing:
1) Personal contact
2) Direct mail
3) Internet
4) Brochure, company literature
5) Advertising
6) Public relations
7) Educating clients/affiliates

Mompreners meet public speaking event

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