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A lot of people aspire to be successful entrepreneurs. When startups like Facebook, Twitter, Uber and Instagram go from rags to riches overnight; entrepreneurship seems exciting. Beginning their own startup offers people the chance to get out and go create their own success.

It’s important to concentrate on what matters and what doesn’t, making the wrong decisions can have huge implications. So instead of trying to oversell your business, be smart and think long-term.

The giddy heights of success are rarely reached without hard work, tough decisions and overcoming obstacles along the way. Being an entrepreneur means learning how to handle the bad days, overcoming problems and growing along the journey.

Passion/Drive

Daniel Saunders, CEO, L Marks

Passion is one of the most important characteristics of entrepreneurs. Most entrepreneurs will tell you that it’s this, rather than the promise of money or fame, that drives them on.

Entrepreneurs can be passionate about many things. They may be passionate about the products they create or the services they provide. They might be passionate about the problems they feel their businesses solve or about the desire to improve the lives of their customers. What makes an entrepreneur excited about their work is not as important as the passion they feel, because this helps them persist when they face hardships like long hours or tight budgets.

Surround yourself by a strong, complementary team

No one can build a strong company on their own, and certainly not a multi-million-pound one. So, one of the most important lessons an entrepreneur should learn is to surround themselves with a strong team.

Surrounding yourself with trusted, like-minded people is one of the best ways to learn and grow your business. Finding the best colleagues and building the right culture you create within your team is critical to your success.  And, always be ready to take advice from within your team and from mentors

Do your research. Make sure you’re creating a solution to a problem, not the other way around

Everyone has good ideas. Most of them will not get off the ground, and even fewer of those will succeed over the long haul. One of the key ingredients to success is knowing your market and understanding your competition. Make sure that your business is filling an actual need, and not just something you hope will gain traction.

Every step ahead in your entrepreneurial journey, you will have to overcome many odds. Pitching your venture to an investor, network building, team dynamics, managing business deals, and what not — everywhere you need to say just the right set of words at the right moment. So, doing a detailed research on everything that you need is inevitable if you want to succeed. You’ll be more confident when you are prepared! And iterate. Build on the feedback you are given to create the most enticing proposition.

Create partnerships and collaborate with others. 

Innovation doesn’t exist in isolation.  It is crucially important to be open to working with others and creating those relationships that will ensure your growth.

Being able to create meaningful partnerships and collaboration, like some corporates and startups do through Innovation Labs, helps to enable new concepts, ideas and products to be worked on together to ensure you both receive the best results. All the best entrepreneurs have ensured they have developed mutually beneficial partnerships with complementary companies to help them thrive.

Watch your cashflow

It is vitally important the you maintain a stable budget. Monitor the revenue you generate and keep a close eye on your expenses. Set financial milestones and prepare contingency plans.

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L Marks is an early stage investor and works with some of the world’s best-known brands, including BMW Group UK, Arsenal FC, and EDF Energy to create bespoke partnerships for innovation.

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