Chad Everett Harris Outlines 6 Important Tips for First-Time Entrepreneurs
The hardest part of launching a business is just getting started. Owning a business is a dream come true for many people as it allows them to make decisions, gain independence, and devote their time to a project they truly care about. However, some individuals allow the fear of failure to stand between them and achieving their goals. According to a survey published in the Los Angeles Times, fear of failure plagued 31% of roughly 1080 respondents and was the number one reason individuals do not set goals or try new things. If you take the right measures and plan ahead, starting a business can be the most satisfying and fulfilling experience of your life.
Chad Everett Harris is a successful serial entrepreneur with more than thirty years of experience in the green industry as well as construction, retail, and e-commerce sectors. Harris shares six tips he believes first-time entrepreneurs tend to overlook when starting a new venture.
1. Do Something You Love
You have likely heard the phrase, ‘life is too short not to do what you love.’ A lot of the time, people choose to pursue passion projects but end up targeting a niche that is too small or try to sell a product that is irrelevant. Harris believes the balance lies in finding something you love that will also yield great profits. He notes that when you are passionate about your job, you are likely to take a keen interest in every aspect of the business, which will increase your odds of success. At the same time, you will not mind all the trials, tribulations, and long-hours that are necessary in the early days to keep the business afloat.
2. Know Your Competition
A unique selling proposition (USP) is a statement of why customers should purchase from you over your competitors. Individuals that lack industry experience often overlook USPs when launching their first business venture. Instead of focusing on ways to be better than the competition, some companies try to copy what others are doing and imitate their success. However, imitation will never earn you first place amongst consumers. As a result, Chad E. Harris says to identify what differentiates your product or service from other brands. Once you have found what sets your company apart from others, you can market yourself as being the best at what you do.
3. Work With Good People
A business is nothing without the people that help bring your dream to reality. While you may be the visionary leader, you need a diverse team of highly competent individuals to assist with product development, advertising, marketing, finances, and more. Teams that are made up of people with varying skill sets and habits of thinking can lead to enhanced performance and increased creativity. Additionally, research on inclusive decision-making using Cloverpop software indicates that inclusive teams made better decisions up to 87% of the time, made decisions twice as fast as other teams, and delivered 60% better results. Consequently, Harris suggests focusing on creating a diverse team that will improve synergy and collaboration.
4. Understand Your Customers
Knowing who your customers are is critical to every successful business venture. First and foremost, make sure there is a market for your product or service. A niche market is defined as a narrow group of customers that are looking for highly specific product or benefits. On the other hand, ‘mass market’ refers to goods and services that are sold on a large scale to a substantial number of end-users. Typically, new businesses will focus on building a niche market to serve an over-looked audience and garner customer loyalty. Chad Harris asserts that it is important to know who your customers are, what they are buying, and why they are buying it. The more you know about your clients, the easier it will be to market and sell your products and services.
5. Keep Track of Your Finances
The number one reason inexperienced entrepreneurs fail is due to financial difficulties. According to a recent study by the U.S. Bank, 82% of the time, businesses fail because of poor cash flow management or an inadequate understanding of cash flow. In short, you need to make sure you are monitoring your income and expenses to ensure you do not run out of money. Chad Harris suggests reducing overhead costs if you can. For example, if you are spending too much money on renting out office space, consider sharing one or going entirely virtual. The easiest way to manage your finances is if you cannot afford an accountant is through online accounting software like QuickBooks or a simple excel spreadsheet.
6. Learn From Your Mistakes
Another reason first-time entrepreneurs are not successful is that they give up at the first sign of failure. While most people assume failure is inherently bad, this could not be farther from the truth. The biggest mistakes often help us determine where we went wrong and how we can improve the next time around. Harris does not believe in holding onto one’s failures. Some of today’s wealthiest entrepreneurs were once told that their ideas would not ‘stick’ several times before they ended up proving their critics wrong. If you genuinely believe in your product or service and you have done your market research, then you owe it to yourself to try again.
Keep in mind that you will not experience success overnight. It takes hard work, patience, and diligence to build a profitable endeavor. Harris hopes that these tips will help you find peace-of-mind and give you the confidence you need to take the first steps in launching your business.