*This article was written and edited by Tracey Spicer’s mentee Nicole Iliagoueva
While there are many entrepreneurs out there, not everyone ends up being successful. Luckily, we’ve compiled some foundational tips and tricks to help you build your business idea into a profitable reality, and really navigate your way through the often tumultuous but ultimately rewarding world of being an entrepreneur.
Start with a Business Plan
With most things, often the hardest part is to actually start. Like how do you prevent your brilliant idea from wasting away on a sticky note? What can you do to give it legs? Before starting a business, it’s critical to first make a business plan. In order to give your business a chance at longevity, you need to pre-plan fail-safes so that when something goes wrong – which it inevitably will – you and your team will be prepared with how to respond. The best entrepreneurs are well-equipped like that, because having multiple plans allows you to stay ahead of the game and push the business forward. As part of your business plan, it’s also of the utmost importance to think about your goals and what gap in the market you’re trying to fill. Identifying those things will force you to realise why you’re pursuing your business in the first place. Reminding yourself of your answers and even tailoring as you go along will also motivate you to keep going.
As your business grows, so should you. There will always be new developments in your chosen industry and upskilling and keeping up with the latest trends will help you adapt yourself and your business, so that it not only survives but thrives. Entrepreneurs will wear many hats in their career – particularly at the start when they don’t have much of a team – so it’s up to you to put yourself out there, learn new things, and if you’re not in an environment where you feel like you’re growing, find ways to create new challenges.
Build Long-Term Relationships
A large part of forging a career path as an entrepreneur is fostering meaningful industry relationships. Networking is an essential part of running a business, as it can open doors for you and provide insights into your competition. Putting yourself out there by attending networking events can give your business exposure and also help you gain support from key industry figures who could then pass your name on to others. So really, networking can never be a bad thing, in fact it can be quite fun, especially when you’ve got a drink in hand.
Finding a Mentor
As a result of building relationships, you can also find someone you admire to be your mentor. Having a mentor, whether that be a previous teacher, or someone in the business world that you’d like to emulate, is one of the best ways to learn about everything that goes into being a successful entrepreneur. By having someone to confide in and bounce ideas off, you’ll be able to gain a useful perspective and see things with clear eyes, which is something we often need. Having that extra support come from someone who believes in you and your work will also boost your morale and perhaps be one of the reasons why your business becomes successful. And don’t you forget it.
Tracey Spicer, Co-Founder at Women in Media Australia
Australia’s Tracey Spicer AM has spent her life shining a light in dark places, reporting on issues of inequality and social justice. A 30 year veteran of the media sector, the national newsreader used her profile to highlight workplace discrimination and harassment, good girl syndrome, and the beauty myth. The broadcaster, author and advocate travelled to India, Bangladesh, Kenya and Uganda to produce and present documentaries on women’s rights. Tracey also volunteers with several nonprofit organisations that are dedicated to improving the lives of women and girls at home and around the world.