The recent report released by the Department of Statistics Singapore show that while the number of business entities formed each year is increasing, so does the number of business entities filing for closure. In 2014, there was a total of 77,379 business entities formed while 40,901 enterprises ceased business operations. Aside from sheer hard work, starting a business in Singapore requires strong will and sufficient guidance from industry experts to mitigate the chances of business failure.
Like any other venture, most business owners go through missteps and errors before they nail the perfect formula in running a business. For many entrepreneurs, the difference between giving up and pushing through the hard times is seeking advice from successful individuals who have experienced and overcame tough challenges in running a business.
If you are in need of inspiration in starting a business, read through this curated list of expert tips and opinions from successful startup business owners.
Never be too comfortable
In the early stages of a business, being confident helps a lot, but business owners should also be aware that being too complacent in business is the enemy. Sara Rotman, the founder of MODCo, an agency that handles campaigns of designer brands like Vera Wang, says that staying hungry and being a bit scared at the beginning will enable startup business owners to push themselves further.
Focus on the strength of your business
In a competitive business landscape, it is highly important to know your company’s unique selling proposition and focus on it. In an interview, Marcus Lemonis, CEO of Camping World, regards being unique as a very important factor since knowing your niche will give you the chance to be an agent of change. Thereby, letting your business grow while making a difference.
Do not hesitate to seek for expert knowledge
Asking for help does not necessarily equate to being insecure, especially when it comes to business. There are moments, especially for new business owners, where relying on someone more experienced and more knowledgeable on a specific field can significantly increase a company’s chance to succeed.
Thalej Vasishta of the Paragon Group strongly vouches for seeking expert opinion during a company’s early stages. He stated that business owners should surround themselves with mentors because pursuing help from experts can cut down years in business development, since these experts are giving advice based on firsthand experience.
Widen your network
All professionals, especially startup business owners, should make a habit of considering all types of interaction as an opportunity to expand their networks. You should always remember that who you are as an individual is the average of five people whom you frequently make contact with.
In this lifetime, there are a five types of individuals that you will encounter—your family, your friends, uppers, downers, and influencers. As John Stonecipher of Guidance Aviation Inc. puts it, you should make it a habit to surround yourself with the best types of people and give every one of them an opportunity to shine and do what they do best.
In other words, the key to networking successfully is to know how and when to leverage each type of connection that you have with influencers and individuals.
Know your mistakes and learn from them
When it comes to launching a business, committing various types of mistakes is acceptable. What is not acceptable is when mistakes are committed without learning from it. Chris Runyan, President of the gaming retail store GameXChange, advises startup entrepreneurs to actually commit mistakes as fast as they can in order to accelerate the learning experience and apply these key learnings to their businesses.
While most business tips focus on how to do things right, there are times that analyzing what went wrong immensely helps in gaining more insights and nailing the perfect formula for a business to work.
Never give up
Last, but definitely not the least, perseverance is the key. Determination is necessary especially when you are setting up a company in Singapore, or in other highly competitive business landscapes. There will be difficult times when problems seem to keep pouring in. As a startup entrepreneur, you should always be physically, mentally, and emotionally ready to face these issues.
James Gross, the co-founder of Percolate, once stated that startup business ventures sometimes cannot find the perfect product or market fit, and these companies give up before they find it. The only way to avoid this type of downfall is to never back down.
Going through a number of tips and advice may not be enough to gear you towards successfully launching a business. At the end of the day, what matters is your firsthand experience and how you react towards roadblocks as you go along the way. However, knowing how other entrepreneurs succeeded will also help prepare you in a way for the different types of battle that you will be facing while launching your business.