April 2, 2014 12:41 pm

In the corporate world, the goal is to strive, not simply survive. Leading entrepreneurs depend on a core set of guidelines to help them reach this objective. Some of them may seem deceptively simple, but all of them are important as you either move your start-up into growth mode or strive to sustain your existing business.  Below are some top entrepreneur tips from leading minds of business. 

1.       Love What You Do

Business leaders are the driving force behind a company’s success. They must have vision and drive and enthusiasm—and who has enthusiasm for something about which they feel only lackluster. Entrepreneurs must maintain their optimism, through good times and bad. If you are passionate about you do, there is a better than likely chance your motivation will remain strong.

 2.       Customer Is King

Who pays your bills? Your clients. Who is the thus the most important stakeholder in your business? You got it, the customer. Strive to create an atmosphere in which the customer is recognized as the key player in your success. It takes a lot of work to win a client. Everyone in the company needs to understand their role in keeping those clients and delivering a successful customer service experience.

 3.       Quality Is Queen

If customers drive your business, quality service and products are what keep them coming back. Stand behind your product and make sure it is the best. People will pay for quality and will appreciate it. Your staff will love you for it. Constantly improve what you do and put into place quality control measures, not only for profitability, but for reputation management. Be the company everyone wants to work with because you are just that good.

 4.       Hire Smart

Any successful entrepreneur will tell you a key to his success was a product of the people with whom he surrounds himself. You may know a lot, but you can’t know everything. As the boss, you shouldn’t need to have your finger in every pie, every second of the day. Hire people as smart—if not smarter—than you, and surround yourself with staff whose knowledge and education fill in the gaps of your own experience. Give them a vested interest in the success of your enterprise. If you have hired the right people, you will see the results.

 5.       Money Management

The life of an entrepreneur isn’t easy. You work hard for every dollar that comes in. Cash flow builds inventory, pays for services, promotes and markets your company, maintains equipment, and pays for staff. Make sure your money isn’t flying out the door on expenses that don’t directly increase your profits.

 6.       Image Is Everything

Who wants to work with a jerk? It only takes a moment to create a first impression; don’t you want it to be a good one? Some of the world’s largest companies have based their business success on being great to work with and nice guys to boot. Maintain attention to detail, be precise in your communication, apologize when you are wrong, and strive to do better. 

 7.       Expert Advice

Become known as an expert in what you do. When you have a problem in need of a solution, you look to the person or company that can give you the most accurate and straightforward assistance, people who are known as the best in the field. Be that company. The more experience your business gains, the more you learn, and the more your expertise grows. It’s a beautiful cycle.

 8.       Learn from Mistakes—Fast

Mistakes are a fact of life. Everyone makes them, even smart entrepreneurs. The key is to recognize them, take your lumps, learn your lesson, and put into place safeguards so they never happen again. The only thing worse than an error is making the same one twice, especially if it negatively affects your bottom line or corporate reputation.

9.       Follow-Up, Follow-Up, Then Follow-Up Again

Contact, follow through, and follow up with clients, leads, and business partners helps to cultivate and maintain relationships. This leads to stronger sales and better service. Once the sale has been made, follow up again to make sure the client is satisfied. In a time when every lead is precious, positive word of mouth and repeat clients are golden.

 What are some entrepreneur tips that have worked for you and your business? Share them below!

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