Five qualities of successful entrepreneurs
There are many factors that contribute to a small business either being a success, or a failure. There’s no denying that things such as timing and luck play a role in determining whether or not a business will go places, but the type of person leading the way has the most significant influence on how things play out.
If you’re going to succeed as an entrepreneur, you’re going to have to be open-minded. Getting a fledgling business off the ground takes time with many lessons learned along the way, so it’s vital that you remain open and receptive, and most importantly, flexible. You need to be able to expect the unexpected and deal with situations that you didn’t anticipate having to deal with. At the same time, you have to be constantly learning and absorbing as many best practices as possible. Lastly, it’s the open-minded entrepreneurs who are never afraid to ask for advice and learn from their mistakes.
Strive to be an expert
A successful entrepreneur will always strive to be the best and a leader in his/her field. Familiarising yourself with the inner workings of your specific industry will give you valuable insight into its history, markets and make-up. This information will give you the knowledge and awareness you need to see how your business can make an impact on the industry and how it can move forward. The longer you stay in a particular field, the more understanding you will glean which in the long run, will only benefit you and your business. Over that time, you will also form and strengthen relationships which will support you in your future business endeavours.
The mark of a truly great entrepreneur is one who is always thinking and generating new ideas. Resting on one’s laurels is never an option and successful small business owners are constantly thinking of new and exciting ways to grow and improve their businesses. They never allow themselves to become stagnant and they make a concerted effort to stay up to date and in the know about everything that relates to their business, and beyond.
As with most things in life, you need a plan. Successful entrepreneurs have the ability to be forward-thinking – they are constantly planning for the things ahead. It’s almost like they have a mental checklist that they use to tick things off as they get done. This gives them the direction they need to succeed. They have an idea of where they want to be and goals they wish to achieve, and it’s these things that they choose to focus on every day. All the hard work they put in is all in the name of achieving these goals and being able to tick another thing off the list.
At the heart of every successful small business is undoubtedly a healthy dose of passion. All successful entrepreneurs are highly driven and committed to achieving greatness within their fields. In the world of entrepreneurship, there’s no room for half-heartedness – it’s all or nothing. You need to be passionate about what you do because when the tough times come (and they will), it’s that passion and dedication that will get you through. Mild enthusiasm is just not enough. The love for your business is what will give you the necessary motivation to succeed.
Of course all entrepreneurs are different but it’s these few pivotal qualities that are the ingredients to success in the business world, particularly in the small business world.
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Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship: Changing the lives of South African entrepreneurs
If hopeful entrepreneurs are to reach their full potential and achieve their business dreams, they need to receive adequate guidance, nurturing and of course, opportunities. South Africa is no stranger to producing top-quality business men and women, and with the number of entrepreneurs entering the scene increasing year after year, the economy is receiving a much-needed boost.
If hopeful entrepreneurs are to reach their full potential and achieve their business dreams, they need to receive adequate guidance, nurturing and of course, opportunities. South Africa is no stranger to producing top-quality business men and women, and with the number of entrepreneurs entering the scene increasing year after year, the economy is receiving a much-needed boost. Aspiring entrepreneurs need all the help they can get and this is something that Sir Richard Branson and his team recognise. The Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship is an organisation that is changing the lives of entrepreneurs across the country – find out how.
An initiative of Virgin Unite (a non-profit organisation founded within the Virgin Group), the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship was founded in 2005 in the heart of South Africa’s business hub, Johannesburg. From the beginning, the organisation has been committed to providing would-be entrepreneurs with small businesses the opportunities, skills and the inspiration they need to become truly successful in their industries. Business is often seen as a “force for good” and a means of stimulating the economy – it’s not so much about the money as it is about people trying to make a difference in the lives of their loved ones, contributing to society in a positive way, as well as cementing their positions as the future business leaders of our country.
What’s on offer?
The centre offers programmes that aim to help entrepreneurs scale and develop successful, sustainable businesses. Whilst it does not offer funding, it does provide elements that are equally as important. Access to the following is offered:
- Knowledge: The Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship considers itself to be a knowledge hub, delivering training and mentorship, as well as developing minds through the wealth of information that is made available.
- Resources: Provides entrepreneurs with the necessary portals that will connect them to the finances and professional services they require to grow their businesses.
- Markets: Many entrepreneurs need a platform on which they can showcase what they have to offer and as a result, gain access to procurement opportunities. They need market exposure and the centre helps with this.
- Networks: Connecting with local and international business communities and industry networks is key in order for entrepreneurs to become successful, and the centre helps to provide the necessary channels that make this possible.
The Foundation Course introduces entrepreneurs to the basics. They are taught how to identify the right market, customer and product, plus they are provided with the tools that ensure effective strategising and planning. This is limited to 25 participants. The Advanced Course is offered to those who successfully completed the Foundation Course (limited to just 20 participants) and delves deeper into the inner-workings of running a small business, with particular focus on the idea of “value”. A six-month mentorship programme is then offered upon completion, during which entrepreneurs are paired with suitable mentors who continue to provide guidance and advice as they progress on their journeys. The best part: all training is free (although transport and accommodation costs are the responsibility of the participants).
Plans to expand
Currently, there is only the Gauteng centre but there are plans to expand to other parts of the country in the upcoming months. This will allow the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship to continue to spread its magic further afield and therefore change even more lives.
The centre is partly funded by Virgin Unite, with the remainder being covered by corporate business leaders and investors from across the globe. It’s always on the lookout for new mentors who are qualified and wish to offer their assistance to this valuable cause. There are also volunteer opportunities available if you are keen to get involved in another way.Any and all help is greatly appreciated.
The Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship is an organisation that considers entrepreneurs to be the lifeblood of a booming economy and therefore believes (and prides itself on) in playing a vital role in developing their success. South African entrepreneurs are going places, but are sure to go even further with the help of initiatives such as this one.
Sage One also believes in offering budding entrepreneurs assistance on their journeys to success. Watch these informative videos and discover exactly how Sage One can make a difference in your business life.
You may also be interested in reading: Top female entrepreneurs in South Africa OR
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Robin Sharma on leadership I Career advice
Recently South Africa saw Robin Sharma back in South Africa for another mind blowing and inspirational leadership event. Needless to say it was sold out and everyone left the event, ready to make a change and to step up his or her game for a new business-doing perspective. Whether you attended this event and want to develop your leadership skills further, or just missed out but still keen to enhance your knowledge, here are a couple of leadership courses and alternative programs to make use of.
Recently South Africa saw Robin Sharma back in South Africa for another mind blowing and inspirational leadership event.
Needless to say it was sold out and everyone left the event, ready to make a change and to step up his or her game for a new business-doing perspective.
Whether you attended this event and want to develop your leadership skills further, or just missed out but still keen to enhance your knowledge, here are a couple of leadership courses and alternative programs to make use of:
Gordon Institute of Business Science
Close to Sandton’s business hub, The University of Pretoria is a leading a business school in the heart of Illovo. Ranging from short courses to certificate programs, one can study and enhance in social entrepreneurship, management development, thought leadership, networking and so much more.
Social events like Tomorrow Entrepreneur
10th July, OPEN hosted the first of many inspirational and informative Tomorrow Entrepreneur events.
Free of charge a person can book their seat and enjoy an evening with 5 key speakers that will give inside information, talk about their experiences and advise on how South Africa is progressing while in the meantime encouraging you as a young entrepreneur or small business owner to take that step and make the change.
Never underestimate the need for good public speaking
As a leader, you need to come across strong, confident and make people want to hear what you have to say.
Monash offers a 3-day course, training the new speaker to be able to provide guidance for his or her new employees, how to be more productive in your business through effective communication and most important how to invoke the leader in you.
The African Leadership Academy
The African Leadership Academy for young entrepreneurs or students., allows you to take a gap, reevaluate your position in your career or future career and study speciality leadershop courses. You can attend for a year or meet with them and organise a customizable program that fits your lifestyle.
Business big shots share the best advice they were ever given
Many successful business leaders are the first to admit that it’s the sound advice they received from their mentors, fellow entrepreneurs, friends and family that helped get them where they are today. There’s a common misconception that when starting and growing your own business, you have to do it alone, but this couldn’t be further from the truth.
Many successful business leaders are the first to admit that it’s the sound advice they received from their mentors, fellow entrepreneurs, friends and family that helped get them where they are today. There’s a common misconception that when starting and growing your own business, you have to do it alone, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. The only way you’re going to accomplish your business goals, is with help from others, especially when that assistance comes in the form of sage advice from someone else who has perhaps been there before you. Even the simplest advice can go a long way and no one knows that better than some of the most successful business people in the world. They share with us some of the best advice they were ever given along the way to greatness.
Anthony Lolli – Founder and CEO of Raid Realty
The first thing you think of in the morning and the last thing you think of at night is either the cause of your career happiness or the cause of your career pain. If it’s pain, focus on changing that.
It’s important to love what you do, because without passion, you’re bound to fail in your entrepreneurial endeavours. If you’re unhappy about what you’re doing, make a change. Focus on changing the things you don’t love about your career and making your business dreams comes true.
Jack Bosch – Author of Forever Cash
Hire or engage with people who are smarter and more capable in their respective areas than you are. After setting some rules and guidelines, just let them do it. It’s a skill to be able to work with people who are completely different from you, but it pays off when they are able to do what they love and you are [able] to focus on your strengths.
It’s not only important to get some help when it comes to getting your small business off the ground and growing it, but a large portion of that help should preferably come in the form of a reliable and capable team. Hiring the right people is the key to your business’s success as they are the ones responsible for carrying the business. You need the best people possible on your side and this very often means employing people whose strengths lie in other areas to yours.
Phil Rooke – CEO of Spreadshirt
Remain focused on the customer, and the rest of business will fall in line. This customer-centric focus is the truest compass for navigating the road to scale up for business success, and maintains a continual focus on the customer despite market distractions. It is the real secret to continual growth and success.
As a small business owner it’s vital that you make the customer your priority. At the end of the day, you are providing a service or product that need to be tailored according to their intended target market. If you’re not giving people what they want and need, then the chances are that your business will not survive. Stay on top of the latest trends within your specific industry and be sure to get regular feedback from clients so that you can adapt and improve what you have to offer so as to better suit the people you intend to serve.
Jose Li – Founder and CEO of 71lbs
Learn to give up trying to control everything. Being a great leader is about influence and listening to those around you. These are attributes rarely taught in school or training, but most often the ones that define how successful of a leader you are.
Being able to listen to those around you is the mark of a great leader. It’s not possible to have the answer to all your problems and to know everything, so listening to your employees as well as experts in your chosen field can only help you manage things more easily. Successful leaders are those who know how to lead, but also know when to stay quiet and just listen.
Sir Richard Branson – Founder of the Virgin Group
The best advice I ever received? Simple: Have no regrets. Who gave me the advice? Mum’s the word.
Deciding to start your own business is a risk but one that is most rewarding should you succeed. In business and in most areas of life, having regrets can end up being destructive so we should avoid them at all costs. If you have a good idea and big dreams, you never know where they’ll take you if you don’t try. Take chances – you may be pleasantly surprised. And remember, very often, mom knows best.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
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Things entrepreneurs should know before starting a business
Starting a business is no easy feat. There are plenty of things to consider before taking the plunge and moving from just having an idea, to having an idea that supports an entire organisation. While there are, of course, aspects like employees and their salaries to sort out, it’s of utmost importance to make sure the business has a number of foundations in place in order to ensure smooth sailing.
Starting a business is no easy feat. There are plenty of things to consider before taking the plunge and moving from just having an idea, to having an idea that supports an entire organisation. While there are, of course, aspects like employees and their salaries to sort out, it’s of utmost importance to make sure the business has a number of foundations in place in order to ensure smooth sailing. Take a look at five things you, as an entrepreneur, should know before starting a business.
Understand the legalities
Any business needs to abide by the rules of the country. In order to do this, you need to fully understand all of the legalities that come with running a business. This can involve anything from being SARS compliant (easily achieved through systems such as Sage Payroll), to knowing exactly what the legal minimum wage or maximum working hours per week are. The more you know, the better, as it could save you from finding yourself in hot water from time to time.
Trademark your business’s name
While you’ve probably had a name in mind since the very early stages of your business, you need to make sure it’s not trademarked and registered to someone else. For a business still in its infancy, you need to be sure that no one else has the same name as you, as any legal implications could possibly result in the downfall of the business.
Source the best possible accountant
While it often takes time to find someone who is the right fit for a business, it is extremely important to have someone who can manage your books properly from the very beginning. Having this resource in place will afford you the opportunity of being able to determine whether or not you are turning a profit, as well as whether you can cover all overheads.
Define your growth path
Before you even open your doors, you need to know exactly what your anticipated growth path is. This means taking the time to set targets or milestones for yourself. For example, by the 12-month mark, you want to have sold a certain number of products. Having these goals in place gives you something to work towards – and that’s never a bad thing.
Trust your gut
This may sound like a bit of a cliché, but trusting your gut is key. After all, it’s what’s gotten you so far to begin with. Trust your gut when it comes to your business, whether it be in aspects such as hiring new talent or something as small as deciding on the wall colours of your office. Trusting your gut is likely to carry you further than you anticipate, and it will give you peace of mind as well.
Before you even start your business, consider the aspects above. As an entrepreneur, they can be key in helping you establish an efficient business model that will carry your establishment onwards and upwards.
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Women rule the world: South African female entrepreneurs making their mark in business
Everything is possible. Impossible just takes a little longer.” – Wendy Ackerman, Non-Executive Director of Pick N Pay Holdings Limited Earlier this year, we wrote a post about some of South Africa’s top female entrepreneurs and with Women’s Day just around the corner, we thought we’d honour some additional stellar female entrepreneurs making their mark on the world of business.
“Everything is possible. Impossible just takes a little longer.” – Wendy Ackerman, Non-Executive Director of Pick N Pay Holdings Limited
Earlier this year, we wrote a post about some of South Africa’s top female entrepreneurs and with Women’s Day just around the corner, we thought we’d honour some additional stellar female entrepreneurs making their mark on the world of business. South Africa is no stranger to producing impressive entrepreneurial talent, particularly when it comes to women. There are many powerful female leaders across a variety of industries, each bringing with them their own unique brand of intelligence, determination, creativity and strength, with just the right amount of fighting spirit. Building a business from the ground up is no simple task, but the following women prove time and time again that if you want something badly enough, with hard work and drive, almost anything and everything is achievable.
Esmaré Weideman – CEO of Media24
After graduating cum laude with her BComm degree from Stellenbosch University, Esmaré Weideman embarked on her journey at Media24, taking up the role of trainee reporter atDie Burger. Over the years, she worked her way up the ladder, becoming the Editor in Chief of some of the company’s most popular and biggest selling magazines, namely Huisgenoot,DRUM and YOU, the last for which she was the youngest-ever editor. 2011 became Weideman’s golden year, when she assumed the position of CEO, becoming the first woman in the company’s history to receive this promotion. Since then, she has worked tirelessly to establish Media24 as one of the leading digital media companies in the whole of Africa and to bring in exciting and lucrative new business. In 2012, Weideman was a finalist in the Media Woman of the Decade Award – a nod to her true dedication to the media industry.
Michelle Okafor – Founder of Michelle Okafor African Designs
Following a visit to see her husband’s family in Nigeria in 2009, Michelle Okafor found herself completely taken by the beautiful, bright and eye-catching fabrics she saw all around her in the West African country. Feeling inspired, she returned to South Africa, determined to create exquisite pieces for everyday wear using the fabrics she had seen. She continued to work in her day job as a travel agent for 18 months, during which time she imported fabrics and sourced the best designers and seamstresses she could find – all important aspects for laying the ground work for her new venture. By the end of 2012, she began working on Michelle Okafor African Designs full time, and as they say, the rest is history. Today, her unique and colourful designs can be found in a number of boutiques, as well as on her online store, and include everything from dresses to jackets, shoes and accessories. Her vision to marry traditional African culture with urbanity can be seen clearly in every item, making Michelle Okafor African Designs perfect for the modern, powerful woman of today.
Wendy Luhabe – Co-Founder of Wiphold and Chairwoman of the Women Private Equity Fund
Bringing with her a wealth of knowledge and expertise, over the years Wendy Luhabe has been fiercely committed to empowering women in business and championing their economic emancipation. Bridging the Gap, Luhabe’s human resources and recruitment firm, was started in 1991, followed by Luhabe co-founding the Women Investment Portfolio Holdings (Wiphold) in 1994. She remained its President until 2000, and a year later, it became the first women-owned company to be listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE). She then went on to become the chancellor of the University of Johannesburg. Luhabe is dedicated to helping women in communities across the country develop themselves and their businesses, offering the necessary guidance and advice they require to thrive.
Nicky Newton-King – CEO of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange
What started out as a legal task dealing with insider training soon developed into a long-standing relationship between Nicky Newton-King and the JSE. Trained as a lawyer, Newton-King holds three law degrees and was one of the primary drafters of the Insider Trading Act. She served as the Deputy CEO under Russell Loubser for nine years before being named CEO of the JSE in 2012, making her the first woman to hold this position. On top of performing this prestigious role, Newton-King is also a member of the Financial Markets Advisory Board. In 2003, Newton-King was named South Africa’s Business Woman of the Year, an outstanding accolade that only validated her hard work and commitment to the business sector.
This Women’s Day, we salute the tenacious, strong and successful South African women who continue to make their mark on the business world and to bring their unique entrepreneurial flavour to an every-expanding industry.
If you’re a female entrepreneur in the making, let Sage One be by your side as you divide and conquer – because after all, every effective woman deserves effective software backing her as she makes her special mark.
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Who says you can’t be a momtrepreneur?
In this day and age, moms can have it all. There is no longer a need to choose between having a career and having kids – you can have both. This is especially true since the introduction of online business software has made running your own business much easier. There are plenty momtrepreneurs out there, all making a name for themselves as they find the perfect balance between motherhood and business responsibilities.
In this day and age, moms can have it all. There is no longer a need to choose between having a career and having kids – you can have both. This is especially true since the introduction of online business software has made running your own business much easier. There are plenty momtrepreneurs out there, all making a name for themselves as they find the perfect balance between motherhood and business responsibilities. Take a look at some of the most famous momtrepreneurs below and use these fierce, fabulous women as reminders of the fact that you can have your cake and eat it.
The former Spice Girl and mother of four has pioneered a fashion empire under a self-titled label. On top of being one of the most respected names in the fashion industry, Victoria Beckham has also written a book, won several global entrepreneurial awards and sold record-breaking numbers of albums when she was still a part of the iconic girl group.
A far cry from The Simple Life days, Nicole Richie has transformed into a top-shelf author, fashion designer and blogger. Over the years, she managed to reposition her own personal brand completely and she continues to break boundaries with her quirky designs and bold hair colours, all while raising her two children, Harlow and Sparrow.
With one of the most recognisable faces in the world, Jessica Alba took a break from acting for a few years in order to concentrate on starting her own business, The Honest Company. As a mother to two toddlers, she realised how important it was for products like diapers and baby soap to be as natural as possible, so she set about sourcing good quality, fair trade materials and manufacturing sustainable, environmentally-friendly supplies for babies.
Being a mom doesn’t have to mean the end of your dream of pioneering your own start-up company or small business. In fact, if anything, your little darlings are likely to help motivate you even more, and you’re likely to find yourself wanting to succeed not just for yourself, but for them as well. So if you’re looking to channel your inner Jessica Alba, Nicole Richie or Victoria Beckham, remember that you can do it all – you just simply have to go for it.
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Humble beginnings: Successful businesses that started in a garage
Many well-known, hugely successful businesses of today started out small and very often, far away from a corporate office. In fact, there are multiple multi-billion dollar empires that began as a great idea somewhere other than within the four walls of an office. From humble beginnings to world-wide fame, here are some brands that were launched in the most unlikely of places: a garage,
Many well-known, hugely successful businesses of today started out small and very often, far away from a corporate office. In fact, there are multiple multi-billion dollar empires that began as a great idea somewhere other than within the four walls of an office. From humble beginnings to world-wide fame, here are some brands that were launched in the most unlikely of places: a garage.
Many must have been shocked when Jeff Bezos, one of the youngest vice presidents of a successful Wall Street investment firm, decided to up and leave, relocating to Seattle, Washington. Bezos believed that there was an untapped online retail market within the book industry and so he began to develop the software that would ultimately allow him to break into this market… in his garage. He launched Amazon.com in 1995 and today it is the world’s largest online retailer.
Fun Fact: Bezos held business meetings at the nearby Barnes and Noble bookshop, and that’s where many of his first deals were made.
Toy manufacturing giant Mattel was also born in a garage, but this time, in southern California. Harold “Matt” Matson, together with Ruth and Elliot Handler, made picture frames in a garage as a side project, with Elliot using the scraps to build dollhouse furniture. Ruth is said to have first taken a suitcase-full to a shop on Wiltshire Boulevard and before they knew it, they were manufacturing a range of toys and business was booming. Mattel has grown to become one of the most recognisable toy brands ever.
Fun Fact: Ruth created the first Barbie doll in 1959, named after her daughter, Barbara.
Walt Disney Co.
The largest animation and media conglomerate in the world began in Walt Disney’s uncle, Robert’s, garage in 1923, just 45 minutes away from today’s Disneyland Park in Anaheim, California. Then known as The Disney Brothers Studio, Robert and his brother Roy filmed the Alice Comedies, something that would go on to be the inspiration behind the much-loved Disney classic, Alice in Wonderland. Soon after moving to a bigger lot not far from there, the brothers signed a deal with Universal Studios to distribute the Alice Comedies, kicking off Disney’s reign as one of the most powerful companies in history.
Fun fact: Disney’s French family name was originally D’Isigny before being Anglicised toDisney.
Probably one of the most well-known of humble beginnings, Apple was founded in a small garage in California, the garage belonging to the parents of Steve Jobs, to be exact. The Apple Computer Company was founded in 1976, with co-founder Steve Wozniak building Apple’s first PC. From its first big order of 50 computers at a cost of $500 each, the company went from strength to strength, becoming one of the most valuable brands of today.
Fun fact: Today the Silicon Valley home is listed as a historic property of the city.
Everything has a beginning and, in some cases, some of the world’s most popular and prevalent brands have had particularly humble ones. The thing to remember here is that it really doesn’t matter where or how a great idea comes to be – what matters is that it’s great to begin with.
You may also be interested in reading: Keeping the Legacy Alive – Family run businesses that continue to go from strength to strength
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Late Bloomers: It’s never too late to succeed in business
There seems to be a common misconception today, particularly among 20-somethings, that if you haven’t made it “big” by the time you’re 30, you’re practically doomed when it comes to finding career happiness. However, the reality is that success doesn’t have an age limit on it and at the end of the day, very often all you need is a great idea and a bucket-full of passion to give you the best chance of becoming a successful entrepreneur.
There seems to be a common misconception today, particularly among 20-somethings, that if you haven’t made it “big” by the time you’re 30, you’re practically doomed when it comes to finding career happiness. However, the reality is that success doesn’t have an age limit on it and at the end of the day, very often all you need is a great idea and a bucket-full of passion to give you the best chance of becoming a successful entrepreneur. We take a look some “late bloomers” who only really came into their own later on in life, yet that didn’t stop them from taking the world by storm – in fact in many ways, it just made the victory that much sweeter.
Vera Wang – Fashion designer
Wang wanted to be a professional figure-skater but when she failed to make the Olympic team, she made her way into the fashion industry. After being promoted to the role of Senior Fashion Editor for Vogue at the age of 23, she went on to hold the position for 15 years, before moving on to become Design Director for accessories at Ralph Lauren. Finding a surprisingly small selection of bridal wear available for her own wedding, Wang ended up sketching her own design and having it tailored by a dressmaker – this marked the start of her fashion designing career. She opened her first bridal boutique, Vera Wang Bridal House Ltd., on Madison Avenue in 1990 with the financial backing of her father – she was 41 years old. Today, Wang is easily the most prominent bridal wear designer in the US, but her repertoire has expanded to include couture, ready-to-wear clothing as well as fragrances.
Ray Kroc – Founder of the McDonald’s Corporation
At the age of 52, after years of selling milkshake mixers, Ray Kroc turned his attention to two brothers who had bought eight of his Multi-Mixers for their drive-through business. Impressed by their set-up and believing that they were on to something great, he became their new franchising agent and opened the first McDonald’s restaurant in Illinois. Business boomed right from the start with Kroc forming more and more franchises across the country, however the McDonald brothers were keen to keep their empire small. Unsatisfied with this, Kroc eventually bought the business from them for $2.7 million, growing it into the fast-food franchise giant it is today.
Grandma Moses – Folk Artist
Anna Mary Robertson Moses had always had many creative hobbies that included quilting and embroidery. She used her talents to decorate her home but it wasn’t until the age of 76 that she began to paint. Embroidery became too painful with her developing arthritis, so she took to the brush, as suggested to her by her sister. She painted scenes of rural life, omitting features of modern life from her landscapes, selling them for $3-$5. Her first solo exhibition took place in 1940 and for the next 20 years, her works were exhibited across America and Europe, many of which were reproduced on fabrics, Hallmark cards and ceramics. She passed away at the ripe-old age of 101 and is remembered as one of America’s most prolific artists. Her highest-selling work fetched an astounding $1.2 million.
Harland Sanders a.k.a Colonel Sanders – Founder of KFC
After hopping from one job to the next for most of his life, from farmer to insurance agent and railroad fireman, Harland Sanders used his first social security cheque to fund his new food-chain venture in 1952: Kentucky Fried Chicken. Originally, Sanders sold his famous fried chicken from the roadside restaurant at his service station, but he soon saw the potential for developing a franchise, opening the first restaurant in Utah. He was 62 years old when he founded the franchise and a mere 12 years later, he sold the hugely successful company for a then-whopping $2 million. Today, KFC is one of the world’s most recognised and beloved fast-food chains, with the Colonel’s name and images still being used as symbols of the business.
These are just a handful of the success stories out there of people who, despite their age, went on to become hugely successful in their chosen fields. So often the key to prosperity and successful entrepreneurship is simply just to do it – it doesn’t matter whether you’re young or old. Sometimes it takes a little longer for you to find your passion or cultivate a brilliant idea, but when all’s said and done, what really matters is that you do something with that passion or idea in the end.
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Habits of successful entrepreneurs
Behind every great entrepreneur, there’s invariably a great attitude. Starting your own business isn’t easy, but truly successful entrepreneurs display similar habits that seem to help them overcome the obstacles they face and become amazing at what they do. Contrary to what you may think, entrepreneurs don’t necessarily set out to get rich.
Behind every great entrepreneur, there’s invariably a great attitude. Starting your own business isn’t easy, but truly successful entrepreneurs display similar habits that seem to help them overcome the obstacles they face and become amazing at what they do. Contrary to what you may think, entrepreneurs don’t necessarily set out to get rich. Of course making money is good, but it ends up simply becoming a sweet by-product of a business with the vision of making a difference. See how many of the following habits you already possess and how many you could possibly adopt.
The focus is always on what the customer needs
It’s all good and well having a brilliant idea, but it’s no use if there’s no market for it. If you can identify a gap in the market and then come up with a product or service to fill that gap, then you’ll be off to a much better start. It’s about being in tune with what peopleneed and then giving it to them. That way, there’ll be no convincing necessary – customers will come to you.
The company is built on a solid team
Big ideas tend to start small and grow big, and this is true of most start-ups and small businesses as well. Successful entrepreneurs will always have a vision of growing a team that consists of experts and committed individuals who will help take the business onwards and upwards. Once there’s a solid team in place, things will hopefully be more effectively managed and more time will be freed up so that you can really focus on the things you need to.
You may pay your employees well and offer them great benefits, but all that seems to become meaningless when there’s a lack of respect shown towards them. Truly successful entrepreneurs ensure they treat everyone (employees, vendors etc) with respect and dignity – this is ultimately the basis for strong relationships. It’s important to reward and value those people who are as dedicated to your business as you are, because after all, without them, there’d be no business.
YOU are your biggest motivation
Your desire to start your own business and run it successfully usually comes from a deep desire to prove something to yourself. There’s a stronger need to prove to yourself that you can do it, than a need to prove others wrong. That burning passion, determination and drive you have should come from somewhere inside you and from the belief you have in yourself and in your idea. It’s not about pleasing the skeptics.
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