5 Pillars Of Entrepreneurship

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Thousands of words have been written about the path and the journey of entrepreneurship, but taking the advice of people who have walked the same path—with all its ups and downs—is priceless. These five pillars of entrepreneurship are based on what I’ve learned from my own failures and successes.


1. Don’t follow the giants.

Don’t follow the giants and international brands. What they have and do shouldn’t be used as a tactic for startup companies. A startup’s runway (how many months your business can keep operating before it’s out of money) is much shorter, so following the giants or going in one-on-one is a lost game. Startup strategies must be different, and founders must adopt the mindset of “you can’t reach everything at once.”

A startup company’s goal should be to enter the market, gain strength, gain footprint and beyond that, structure a natural audience—and you can’t do this following the same steps as the giants. Look for a market gap—a space, a neutral zone—where you can penetrate. Even if you don’t create something new, you can add your own touch. The market nearly always accepts new startups, wherever you are delivering, so it’s about how you grow and the quality you want to offer.

                Read also: 5 key Strategies To Start A Business


2. Create multiple channels.

One of the biggest issues is delivering your product or service via one platform or commercial arm. Selling through an online platform is good business when you see it from the outside. If you are starting small and want to sell worldwide, you can grow, but keep in mind that it’s a monopoly game—because many platforms are dominant and powerful, they can decide whether they want to change your brand. Your brand is at their complete disposal. They are in control.

Strive to create your own space first and get stable consumer engagement. After that, you can start adding the third-party space where you can grow your volume. This way, even if the third party decides to cut you off, your business will still be intact.


3. Build a foundation and capitalize on it.

As entrepreneurs, we are ambitious. We want expansion and growth after seeing any sign of success. But often, unsupported growth and expansion are followed by a dramatic fall and sometimes a total collapse. You must expand only after establishing a solid ground. Aim to capitalize on your gains, but first, take the time to think about your achievements and how to keep going in the same direction. Always create a strong foundation and pillars on which you can rely—and always stay away from the “fast-track path.”


4. Build your A-team.

Going it solo or as a one-person show isn’t likely to lead to success. You can be the brand ambassador and the face of the company, but without a proper team behind every department, with proper delegation, you can fail very easily.

The British business magnate Richard Branson is a great example, having relied on talented individuals to help establish and run all of the companies that make up the Virgin Group. Branson once said, “Many people think that an entrepreneur is someone who operates alone, overcoming challenges and bringing his idea to market through sheer force of personality. This is completely inaccurate. Few entrepreneurs—scratch that: almost no one—ever achieved anything worthwhile without help. To be successful in business, you need to connect and collaborate and delegate.”


5. Build the brand face.

After building a firm team and establishing your solid ground, focus on the social aspect of building the brand—humanizing your business. Don’t be afraid to renounce the management part of your business once your team is firmly established. Focus your time on being the face of the brand. There are always new companies that can enter your channels and easily take your market share by offering better quality and prices; only your character can prevent that.

It is important for consumers to associate a face and a personality with your brand. They appreciate knowing the story, and they want to trust the face behind the product. This gives them a better way of connecting with you and generates more engagement and interest. People often don’t like abstract things; we prefer to associate a human face with a brand so we can observe and appreciate its growth.


Final Thoughts

Along the journey of entrepreneurship, you’ll face many challenges and obstacles—from cashflow challenges to too much involvement in operations to being in crisis mode. As a startup, focus on these five pillars and build the solid foundation from which you will propel. And as a startup, always act like a yacht, not a cruise ship. This way, you’ll have the speed and maneuverability to reach your destination.


Read also: Sources of Funds for Entrepreneurs


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