This article originally appeared on Channel Partners’ Web site. Click here for the original.
By Michael Feuer
“Be your own boss.” It’s a version of the American Dream that most people have fantasized about. Unfortunately, to many would-be entrepreneurs, getting past the dreaming phase and into the doing phase seems insurmountable — especially in a shaky economy where quitting your day job seems foolhardy and funding seems scarcer than, well, pay raises and affordable health insurance.
In reality, the iron is not just hot, it’s smoking. And if you don’t strike now, someone else just might beat you to it.
The perfect time to make your move is when everyone else is afraid to. It’s a lot like investing in the stock market — once everyone else starts jumping on the bandwagon, you’ve missed the window.
The truth is, entrepreneurial success isn’t rocket science. It requires a great idea, the chutzpah to pull the trigger, and the determination and discipline to create and stack the building blocks needed to get from point A to point B — and from point B all the way to Z.
Once you’ve made the decision to take your stalled startup idea off the shelf, blow away the dust and move it into the marketplace, you’ll need to know what to do — and, just as importantly, what not to do. Here are nine tested and true tips and insights for getting the job done right.
1. You’ll need to rule your startup like a benevolent dictator. It’s not as scary as it sounds. The “benevolent” part means always putting the entity, the employees, and, most importantly, the customer, first. In other words, you’re focused foremost on doing the right thing for the right reasons, for all stakeholders. The “dictator” piece simply means that somebody in a new venture (i.e., you) has to recognize when debate, conversation and analysis can’t take you any farther. At that time you have to decide, “We’re taking this fork in the road, for better or worse, and it’s on my head.”
Being the benevolent dictator provides the critical leadership necessary to take an idea and transform it into reality as fast as possible. Remember, beating the competition is never easy. Someone has to be willing to make the important decisions when it counts.
2. If you don’t ask, you won’t get. Whether you’re asking an employee to go the extra mile, asking a vendor for a discounted price or pitching a business concept to an investor, you have to be willing to put yourself out there. Though most entrepreneurs don’t like asking others for help, they must learn to live with the process, because it’s a stark reality of growing a company.
Asking is certainly much more difficult than getting; however, it becomes much easier if you can learn how to make a strong presentation and tell your story. Attention, interest, desire and action are the key elements of selling — you can ask for or tell just about anything as long as you do so honestly and spell out the good, the bad and the ugly.