My Solid Advice After 12 Years Of Being An Entrepreneur

ByAzleen Abdul Rahim

The journey is pretty colourful, full of ups and downs. If I were asked to repeat the journey from Day 1, I probably won’t be doing it anymore. Despite that, I must say that it was a remarkable one. 

Now, if you are keen to embark on the entrepreneurship journey, let me share with you some stuff which you may find useful. This could probably work as a guide based on the lessons I’ve learned over 12 years of navigating the entrepreneurial waters. 

Here goes

No physical office is needed to succeed. Why waste money to pay for the rental, which space you do not need? As a matter of fact, you won’t be sitting there most of the time to complete your work. Embrace the reality that gone are the days when success was tethered to a physical location. As a normal human being, we need flexibility, the freedom to operate our business from anywhere in the world. By confining ourselves to the four walls of an office, in the long run, we might go mental. 

Get a virtual address at a prominent location. That’s right. All you need is a virtual address at a prominent location. While physical offices may not be a necessity, projecting a professional image is crucial. Through the power of perception, you’re able to gain credibility and respect from it. An office with a cool address sends a clear message: you are a serious contender in the market and you are not a small player. It is a small investment that can yield substantial returns in terms of brand reputation and customer trust. Ah, one more thing. This virtual office must be able to help you to receive letters and parcels too—just in case.

You only have 3 types of customers: New customers, existing ones and your internal people. Although you can segment your customers further, there are actually three types of customers that you need to focus on. And each of them requires a unique strategy to make them buy what we offer. 

Create meaningful value by solving real problems: This is how to stay relevant. At the heart of every successful business lies a meaningful purpose – the commitment to solve real-world problems faced by your target audience. Seek to understand the pain points of your customers, empathise with their struggles, and offer innovative solutions that make a tangible difference in their lives. Once they know that your product can solve their problems, they will definitely come back for more.

Get a website. Did you know that a website is more than a mere online presence? That’s right. It is a place where you can centralise all your content, make your brand searchable on Google and generate regular income too. Craft a website that reflects the essence of your brand – clean, crisp, and easy to navigate. Simplicity is key; don’t overwhelm your visitors with clutter. Instead, let your content shine, guiding them effortlessly through your offerings. A website is more than a platform; it is an experience, a journey of discovery into your value proposition and channels them to become part of your customers. 

Cool professional design is a need. For your information, the art of first impressions starts here. The cool, professional design of your branding materials is the gateway to capturing the attention and hearts of your audience. As you know, people love to be associated with beautiful things, and this is where you start when it comes to conveying your brand’s personality and values. Leave an indelible mark on the minds of your audience through the power of great design. To begin with, start with your business card.

Use LinkedIn to build your professional network: You know, connections are the threads that weave success together. This is where LinkedIn, the platform for professionals, comes into play.  Grow your network there and build your worth through meaningful conversations, content and collaborations, and see the ROIs coming back to you in no time.

Use 300th to build email subscribers and monetise your content. In a world inundated with content, visibility is the golden ticket to success. Enter 300th, a content-sharing platform that can catapult your content to new heights. Publish high-quality, valuable content that resonates with your target audience, and watch as your email subscriber base grows exponentially. 300th will pay good money should your content receive a large number of views. Think YouTube, but for writers—that’s what 300th is all about.

Use performance marketing if you have limited time to produce results and brand marketing if you want to build awareness long term. They are pretty much the Yin and Yang of growth and you need both to succeed. You need to know how to diversify your marketing strategies based on your goals and timelines. If you seek swift results and immediate impact, performance marketing, such as pay-per-click advertising, is your trusted ally. But remember, brand marketing is the nurturing force that cultivates long-term growth and customer loyalty. Strike the perfect balance between the two, and your business will soar to new heights.

Create an easy online journey for your customers to purchase from you. Stop confusing them. Instead, create a seamless, user-friendly online experience that captivates with the purpose to convert. Your website should be a portal of ease, guiding customers effortlessly from discovery to purchase. Understand their needs, simplify the process, and anticipate their desires. The smoother the journey, the greater the rewards.

Establish a referral program. Never ever underestimate the power of word-of-mouth. Your existing customers are invaluable advocates of your brand. Tap into the power of word-of-mouth by establishing a referral program that incentivises them to share their positive experiences with professional friends, colleagues and family members. A satisfied customer is not just a one-time transaction; they are the seeds of growth, germinating into a flourishing forest of loyal patrons. You will be surprised by the outcome, really.

Make existing customers happy for as long as possible. This is how they will stay with you and keep on buying more. Not many companies realise the magic of quality products, superb service quality and positive user experience. You know, the path to success is not just about acquiring new customers; it is about fostering the existing ones by making them lifelong enthusiasts. Delight your present customers at every turn, and they’ll keep coming back for more. The magic of loyalty lies in the heart of your offerings, forever etching your brand in their minds and hearts.

To recap

You have a chance to avoid wasting years of mistakes by taking this advice. I wish I knew this early. I mean it. So there you go. Take some time to read them carefully and embrace the guide. 

You are welcome.

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