Posted on 2014-Oct-02
The most successful authors always seem to more like businesswomen/men and less like artists. Joanna Penn has a great new book about author entrepreneurship as well that can help you.
Today, I was invited to speak to a group of young entrepreneurs. I’m not a particular fan of lofty discussions about changing the world, so I attempted to add a dose of reality. Hope my 16 tips aren’t too pretentious, and I assure you that I still learn new things every day. Perhaps some of these tips might be useful to you in your publishing pursuits.
- Most entrepreneurs are workaholics. If you’re not, you may want to consider another line of work.
- Be cautious about taking advice from other people who are not your customers. Those who can’t actually run a business always seem to dish out lots of bad advice.
- If possible, avoid any contractual obligations or receiving investment early on. There may be enough strings attached to hang yourself!
- Recognize that plans change often in the early days. Don’t be afraid to change your business model when you are new and lean. Working on the wrong thing can be very detrimental to a new business.
- Even if you are a one-person business, organize the tasks of your business into clearly defined departments. This will be important when you expand.
- Develop procedures for every task at your business. This will ensure you deliver a consistent product to your customers and will help prevent crisis management.
- Whether you are business-to-business or a business-to-consumer company, you must provide a valuable product or service in a consistent and predictable way.
- Understand your market segment, not marketing.
- Gimmicky marketing techniques will bankrupt you quickly. Discover a way to provide valuable insight and information to your target market segment in a low-cost manner (blogs, newsletter, social media, etc.)
- For bureaucratic and administrative requirements, develop a reliable system that is “good enough” and legal. Spend as little time on it as possible.
- Hiring staff is a big step. Remember that they do not share the same passion as you do for your business. Treat them with respect and do not overwork them. Don’t become a toxic boss or a screamer.
- Never, never, never have an intimate or preferential relation with one of your subordinates. This will completely destroy the morale of your entire workforce (guaranteed!).
- When you make a mistake or your product is flawed, take immediate steps to correct and apologize profusely. This works every time.
- Remember your customers are your livelihood. Treat them with the utmost respect and do what you can to help them. However, don’t promise something you can’t deliver.
- Learn the art of saying no.
- Your job is to make money. Once you understand that everything sort of falls into place.
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