Tips for New Entrepreneurs

How Greetly founder directly asks his customers for features and feedback to quickly build a beloved visitor management system.

Originally published by Capital Gazette. Reposted with permission.

Getting the right start can be vital in business. If you are new to business, you do not have many of your own experiences to draw upon, but can still look to the experiences of others. The business owners before you have made almost every mistake there is to make - look to their top tips to avoid the same hard lessons.

1. Challenge Yourself

Greg Olson, Founder of Growl Agency shares: "Hope is for the hopeless. Plan it out and make your own results."

As a growing entrepreneur, challenging yourself is the best way to stay motivated and headstrong in the game. It is essential to position yourself as a continuous learner if you plan to be successful in your industry and life -- view business and life, in general, as educational institutions where you're learning new things every day.

Through the process of entrepreneurship, know you will encounter adversity along the way; however, every time you fall, dust yourself off and keep moving. As long as you endure the storm and continue to learn from your failures, they won't last forever. Remember, failure is part of the process, and every successful business has a story to tell.

2. ABL - Always Be Listening

Your customers and prospects and constantly giving you feedback says Dave Milliken, Founder of Greetly Digital Receptionist. Sometimes the feedback is direct, like asking for features or telling you why they did or did not buy. More often though it is indirect and they only communicate via their actions, product usage, customer support requests, and general responsiveness when you communicate with them. Great entrepreneurs are able to combine direct and indirect feedback to determine the unstated needs that will maximize product/market fit.

3. Don't Overthink It

Starting a business from scratch is indeed a daunting task, and it can be paralyzing. Debbie McMurtry of points out: "The best way to start is just to do something. The momentum will carry you: Just start!" Don't relent in your effort. Put in the hard work, and in no time, you'll see the light at the end of the tunnel. Keep in mind that creating a business requires dedication, creativity, commitment, and persistence.

While each entrepreneurial journey is very different, much can be learned from the generation before. The challenges and opportunities are countless. Hopefully these tips will ease your path!

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