Entrepreneurship is the art of finding profitable solutions to problems. Every successful entrepreneur, every successful businessperson has been someone who's been able to identify a problem and come up with a solution to it before somebody else did. If you want to start a business, read these five tactics for finding entrepreneurial success:
- Find a need and fill it. When Ross Perot was working for IBM, he saw that his customers who were buying IBM computers needed help processing their data. He went to IBM with this idea, and they said they weren't interested, so he started his own business. He eventually sold it out for $2.8 billion dollars. He found a need and he filled it.
- Find a problem and solve it. A secretary working for a small company began mixing flour with nail varnish in order to white out the mistakes she was making in her typing. Pretty soon, her friends in the same office asked if she could make some for them. So she began mixing it at her kitchen table. Then, people in other offices started asking for it, and she eventually quit her business and worked full time creating what is today called Liquid Paper. A few years ago, she sold her company to Gillette Corporation for $47 million.
- Look for solutions. Find a way to supply a product or a service better, cheaper, faster or easier. Kemmons Wilson saw that there was a need for hotels that could accommodate families that were traveling, and he started Holiday Inns. And Holiday Inns has now become one of the most successful hotel chains in the world.
- Focus on your customer. Become obsessed with your customer. Fixated on your customer. Think of what your customer wants, what your customer needs, what your customer will pay for, what your customer's problems are. Thomas J. Watson, the founder of IBM, built his company on this principle. See yourself as working for the customer.
- Invest sweat equity in your business. Most great fortunes in America were started with an idea and with personal effort and were started with the sale of personal services. This is called sweat equity. In other words, instead of cash equity, put in sweat equity. Put in the sweat of your brow to begin your business. Once you've come up with a product or an idea, start to invest your time, talent and energy instead of your money, to get started.
Here are two things you can do immediately to put these tactics into action:
- First, find a need and fill it. Look around you and search for needs that people have for products or services that are not being met. One small idea is enough to start you on the way to business success.
- Second, find a problem and solve it. Look around you for problems that you or other people have that are not yet being solved. Look for solutions that nobody has thought of and give them a try. One good solution could change the direction of your life.
Brian Tracy is the "Success Secrets" coach at Entrepreneur.comand one of America's leading authoritieson entrepreneurial development. He's produced more than 300 audio and video learning programs that cover the entire spectrum of human and corporate performance through his company, Brian Tracy International.