The entrepreneurial spirit helped establish the United States and make it grow into the world’s largest and most prosperous economy. Many college graduates seek to create new enterprises across virtually all economic areas, but the numbers show that most start-ups do not succeed. Some timely advice might help to reverse that trend.
The best way to learn is from the mistakes and successes of other people. With that in mind, venture capitalist and entrepreneur John Steuart identified five lessons that young entrepreneurs should remember to improve their chances of successful founding ventures.
1. Obtain Truly Supportive Investors
You need capital to launch a successful enterprise, so you need investors. Your investors must fully support your entrepreneurial venture’s mission and underlying purpose.
Giving you an initial infusion of capital to help get started is a big assist in showing initial support. You need your financial support to continue until your enterprise has reached a financially sustainable point and can pay off any debts while funding its ongoing obligations.
2. Develop Important Skills Before Founding an Enterprise
Founding a business or another venture requires various skills and demands your time. Experienced entrepreneurs have learned to manage their business affairs more efficiently than their younger counterparts. They also have developed considerable skills, such as managing people, working with capital, and planning for success, that younger people often lack.
You can develop your critical entrepreneurial skills by co-founding small businesses and working as a team to learn and become a seasoned entrepreneur. When you have acquired and developed your entrepreneurial skills, you stand a better chance of succeeding with your enterprise.
3. Learn How to Manage Capital
Managing capital requires knowledge of taxes, payrolls, debt management, and acquiring the materials needed to succeed. John Steuart says you have to know how to manage your financial resources effectively to give your enterprise the best chance of success.
4. Become Effective and Motivational Communicators
Communication is critical to succeeding in business. You must communicate with investors and other stakeholders. You have to communicate with workers and managers. You also have to communicate with business partners who make it possible for your enterprise to continue. Mastering speaking, personal interaction, and written communication can help you to become more successful.
5. Be Prepared to Stay Very Busy
You must be very good at time management to successfully find a business. If you are ill-prepared to put in the time, you cannot meet the often significant demands that require you to pay close attention to your business to grow and succeed.
John Douglas Steuart is the co-founder of Claremont Creek Ventures, Cybergold, and Savvy Properties and a member of UC Berkeley’s advisory council for the Berkeley Entrepreneurs’ Forum at the university’s Lester Center.