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领导力

想创业,需要先想清楚这几个问题

Gordon Tredgold 2016年09月06日

如果你打算创业,请阅读这篇文章,或许可能帮你少走弯路。

担任《财富》美国100强公司的高级副总裁、为全球4.8万名终端用户提供IT服务并不是件容易的事情。工作时间长、压力大,而且还会遇到挑剔的客户。即便如此,如果将其与创业相比,这些都不算什么。

以下是我希望自己能够在创业之前了解的10件事情,因为它们本可以更好地帮助我度过创业期间较为重要的前几年。

1. 不要创造新产品,专注于解决问题

42%的新推出产品都会失败,因为这类产品没有需求。事实就是如此,其中的42%都是无人问津的, 原因在于你的产品没人要。

因此,避免尝试开发新的高大上产品,而是寻找有待解决的问题。只要有问题,就会有需求。

2. 打消一夜成功的念头。

即便是那些成名周期最短的公司,例如亚马逊和雅虎,它们至少经历了3年的时间才获得世人认可,而大部分公司真正获得成功是在10年之后。因此,如果你的目标是成为下一位初创界的亿万富翁,那么请做好打持久战的准备。

3. 专注于自己的强项而不是软肋。

你的成功源于你的强项,因此务必将主要精力放在这一领域。我们都有软肋,我们可以通过外包这些领域或聘请专人来解决这一问题。在弱点上耗费过多的精力必然会减少你在强项领域的投入,而且不利于时间的充分利用。

4. 组建一支正确的团队。

我们不可能在所有事情上都亲力亲为,我们需要帮助,但是我们应确保获取有益的帮助。29%的初创公司的失败原因在于其团队出了问题。因此,请务必花时间对所需的团队进行评估,然后聘请你能够得到的最佳人选。

5. 如果干不下去了,尽早放弃。

失败是创业的一个环节,人们不仅应把它看作意料之中的事情,而且还应制定相应的计划。应对创业失败最佳的方法就是尽快地关闭企业。最不明智的一种做法是,在企业行将就木时依然拖泥带水,一心希望业务能发生好转。人们必须迅速地意识到,哪些是可行的,哪些是行不通的,需要立即叫停。

6. 弄清楚自己的价值主张。

如果你自己都不知道自己的价值主张是什么,那么你的产品基本上也就没有销路,因为人们并不知道你卖的到底是什么。你的价值主张越简单,越明确,那么人们也更容易做出购买产品决定。

7. 了解你的客户。

很多企业家,包括我在内,都无法对其理想客户做出明确的定义,这一点让我感到十分惊讶。如果你无法回答这个简单的问题,那么营销便很难开展。定义越明确,公司的营销就越具有针对性和成效,而且销量也会大涨。

8. 并不是所有客户都是合适的客户。

“客户永远是正确的”这句话对大家来说耳熟能详,尽管这句话本身没什么问题,但我们更有必要知道,“并非所有的客户都是适合你的客户。”如果疲于应对这些令人头疼的客户降低了企业利润或你对他们的付出超过其贡献时,请大胆地摒弃这些客户。就像产品和公司有良莠一样,客户也有好坏之分。我们应意识到,放弃这些客户没什么大不了,我们应专心寻找那些合适的客户。

9. 以前车为鉴。

错误是非常好的学习机遇,但是我们吸取教训的来源并不一定都是自己所犯的错误。80%的初创企业都会失败,因此人们应研究它们失败的原因,并确保采取必要的措施来避免重蹈覆辙。此举能节省很多时间和金钱,缓解大量的压力。

10. 销售业绩是企业存在的前提。

销售就像是氧气,没有它,人就会死亡,道理就是这么简单。人们很容易陷入产品设计、营销、策划、招聘、品牌定位等等事务,但是,我们必须记住,开企业是为了赚钱,要赚钱就得有销售业绩。企业不会因为某些好的理念、产品或服务而自行发展壮大。

尽管上述这些内容如今看起来是如此之浅显,但当我开始创业时却对其知之甚少。25年的企业工作经验并不足以让你成为一名创业者,掌握上述内容本可以为我节省很多的时间和精力,也可以帮助自己的企业获得更快的发展。

你在第一次创业的时候最希望知道的是什么?(财富中文网)

译者:李翔

校对:詹妮

Working as a senior vice president for a Fortune 100 company and running IT Services for 48,000 end-users on a global scale was a tough job. It was long hours, lots of pressure and difficult customers. But, even so it was nothing compared to joining the ranks of the entrepreneurs and starting my own business.

Here are 10 things I wish I had known before I started as it would have helped me be better prepared for the important first few years of my entrepreneurial life.

1. Don’t create new products, solve problems.

Forty-two percent of product launches fail because there is no need for the product. That’s right 42 percent fail because nobody wants the product.

So instead of trying to develop new and wonderful products to look for problems to solve. Where there’s a problem, there is a need.

2. Forget about being an overnight success.

Even the companies regarded as the quickest overnight successes, Amazon AMZN 0.19% and Yahoo YHOO 0.42% , took at least three years to get there, and the majority of companies take up to 10 years to really make it. So if you’re the goal is to be the next billionaire start-up owner then you need to be prepared for a long haul.

3. Focus on your strengths, not your weaknesses.

Your success is going to come from your strengths so make sure the majority of your time is focused in that area. We all have weaknesses, but either outsources those areas or hire someone to take care of it for you. Focusing on your weaknesses takes you away from what you’re best at and is not a good use of your time.

4. Get the right team around you.

We can’t do it all on our own; we need help, but we need to make sure we get the right help. Twenty-nine percent of start-ups that fail do so because they had the wrong team in place. So take the necessary time to evaluate the team that you need and then hire the best people you can.

5. If you’re going to fail, fail quickly.

Failure is all part of the process, not only should you expect it, but you should plan for it. The best approach for failure is to fail quickly, adapt and try again. One of the worst things we can do is to fail slowly, desperately hoping that things will turn around. You need to learn quickly what’s working and what’s not that needs to be stopped.

6. Understand your value proposition.

If you don’t understand your value proposition you make it practically impossible for people to buy from you, because they don’t know what it is, you’re selling. The simpler and clearer you can keep, this easier it will for people to decide that they need your services.

7. Know your customer.

I am amazed at how many entrepreneurs struggle with defining who their ideal customer is, myself included. If you don’t know the answer to this simple question, it makes marketing practically impossible. The tighter you can define this the more targeted and successful your marketing can be, and it will lead to more sales.

8. Not every customer is right for you.

We’ve all heard the saying the “customer is always right”, and while that’s good to know, it’s more important to know is that “not every customer is the right customer.” We should not be afraid to fire customers where the hassle of dealing with them diminishes the profitability or where the effort involved outweighs the benefits. Just like there are bad products and companies, there are also bad customers and we need to learn that it’s okay to let them go and to focus on finding the right customers.

9. Learn from the mistakes of others.、

Mistakes are great learning opportunities, but we don’t necessarily need to make them all in order to learn from them. Eighty percent of start-ups fail, so study what caused them to fail and make sure you take the necessary steps to avoid falling into the same traps, it could save a lot of time, money and stress.

10. No sales, no business.

Sales are like oxygen, and without them, we die it’s that simple. It’s so very easy to get caught up in product design, marketing, planning, recruitment, branding, etc., etc., but we need to remember we are in business to make money and to make money we need sales. Business don’t develop themselves just because we have some great ideas, products or services.

While many of these things seem so obvious now, that wasn’t the case when I started.

Working for 25 years in a corporate environment wasn’t the best preparation for being an entrepreneur and understanding these things would have saved a lot of time and effort and would have helped me progress much quicker.

What do you wish that you had known when you first started out?

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