“Real world MBA: 20 entrepreneurial lessons” is an article adapted from a talk given by Lextech CEO and chief geek Alex Bratton at an event hosted by Choose DuPage’s Rev3 Innovation Center at Northern Illinois University. This is part four of a four part series, a recap of the three previous posts. Read part one, part two, and part three here.
Starting a business is an exciting adventure! Creativity and innovation flow freely. The idea of constructing a new product or service is at the forefront, and the possibilities are endless. However, with anything that is good, there can be stumbling blocks.
The previous installments of this four part series detailed thoughts on the correct mindset to have if you are thinking about heading down the entrepreneurial road. It provided tips, personal experiences, and hard lessons learned. Here are a few highlights to remember.
It’s all about the people around you: It’s vital to surround yourself with people that will empower you and your organization. In other words, pick the right partners. Thoroughly vet your initial team. Utilize trial relationships and induce stress when possible to see how a potential colleague reacts. Free yourself and your business from toxicity. When you invest in finding the correct leadership, you’re actually investing in the future of your company.
Find a mentor: Realize the magnitude of someone else’s knowledge. It is notable to build a relationship with someone who is trustworthy and experienced. Also, a mentor can support you and your goals in more ways than simply instilling words of wisdom – he can serve as as sounding board and a role model.
Nail down your sales channel: In order to be successful at selling your product, you need to know how you’re going to sell it. Before you even start production, determine who your target audience is and how you are going to reach them. See if you can develop a partnership with other organizations selling to the same market. It will be worth your time to first figure out a marketing plan of action than jumping straight into blindly selling your product.
There will be times when building your business is overwhelming or seems daunting. Keeping in mind the above advice helps cut through obstacles and restores structure to what you want to accomplish. You have the vision, and it’s going to be great.
Do you have any questions for Alex that didn’t seem to be covered in this series? For the more experienced entrepreneurs out there, what do you wish someone had told you when starting out?