It’s no secret that being an entrepreneur is one of the hardest jobs around. Sleepless nights, endless networking, hunting for funding, and figuring out the best marketing strategy on an oftentimes small budget can all take its toll.
But more than being a job, entrepreneurship is also a passion— one that comes at great cost but also results in even better returns.
Deciding to start your own business isn’t easy, and the data proves it. According to a Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, 45% of entrepreneurs said they were stressed.
If you find that managing your business is taking its toll, here are some helpful tips that you can use to navigate the world of modern business.
Plan for the Worst Case
It might seem counterproductive to focus on the negatives when you’re trying to achieve success, but planning for the worst case can actually be very helpful for entrepreneurs. Of course, every business person wants to see their company thrive, but it’s essential that you prepare for the bad days as well as the good.
Forbes Under 30 member Tori Utley writes that examining the worst case scenario can help you better prepare for it, and might even help you prevent it.
Consider Your Risks
If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a million times— entrepreneurship is all about taking risks. But this doesn’t mean you have to blindly bet it all on one thing and lose all your investment in the process.
Entrepreneurial risk-taking is calculated. Writer and former entrepreneur Larry Walton suggests that there are different types of risks, some of which are calculable and some of which are ambiguous.
But one thing that ties it all together is that taking risks is a differentiator— whether they pan out or not, you’re sure to stand out from the crowd. Plus failure, which is always a possibility, might even open the door to new opportunities.
Think About Longevity
One thing you’ll need to do as an entrepreneur is to be forward-looking, in all aspects of your business. Rather than thinking about small, short-term successes, you should be thinking about the long game— how can your business last through the years?
What are strategies you can take to help achieve that most effectively? Take your marketing campaigns, for example. Triadex Services suggests that methods like direct mail marketing have a longer “shelf life” than other techniques, for a cheaper price.
By encouraging your market to think about your company continuously through this and similar methods, you increase brand recognition and help secure your market for the long run.
Prioritize Your Time
If there’s a precious resource out there for entrepreneurs, it’s time. It may be tempting to start micromanaging everything and working all hours of the day, but it’s just not sustainable.
Learn to prioritize— what needs work now? What can wait for later? If you find that your current schedule just isn’t cutting it, we’ve written a simple guide on ‘5 Ways to Have More Time in Your Day’.
Cutting out time wasters, multitasking, and identifying gap time that can be used more productively are just a few of the ways you can make the most of your 24 hours.
Study Your Data
The traditional view of successful entrepreneurs is that they have an instinct for finding success, but any real entrepreneur will tell you that that isn’t so.
It’s all hard work, and in the modern era especially “going by your gut” might not be enough to cut it. Entrepreneurs today need data in order to make informed decisions about their business.
Growth Acceleration Partners CEO Joyce Durst says that data analytics is essential because it helps you see what’s happening in real time, or close to it. It also helps you find problems and solutions that might not have been apparent on the surface level.
In the information age, data is gold— so learn how to use it.