He might have successfully brought to market a tool for visually impaired or autistic internet users – a program that allows people to control all the content in a web browser to improve readability for a user-friendly experience – but Springer would be the first to admit the journey wasn’t always a smooth one.
For better professional and personal preparation, here are eight things you need to know to shape your business and your team for success, according to Springer.
1. Make sure you are solving a problem
Preferably you’re addressing a difficult problem that is scalable with a large customer base happy to pay for a solution. Try to collect money prior to building your product or service offerings. Ideas are great, but if they’re not solving anything or easing the pain factor you might find it challenging to sell your offerings.
2. Know your mission, values and purpose
These factors form the basis of all your short- and long-term goals. When times get tough you will be able to reflect on your mission, values and purpose, and draw inspiration and deeper understanding on why you are doing it.
3. Be prepared to fail
Continually push yourself out of your comfort zone. Fail fast, learn fast. Constantly ask yourself – how can I improve myself? How can I be better? What have I learnt today? If you are not failing or moving out of your comfort zone then you are not learning or undergoing personal development.
4. Embrace the reality of hard work
You need to be daring and willing to take unforeseen challenges each day, as being an entrepreneur is not for the faint of heart. You need to cope with stress and concurrently manage various tasks with at least 16 hours work per day.
5. Know your numbers at all times
If you’re an early startup and bootstrapping for example, you’ll be working as fast as possible to develop your product or service and get it to market. However, without knowing your numbers, you can’t determine whether your business model will be profitable, whether expenses are sustainable or whether more fine-tuning of the business model is required to make sure it succeeds.
6. Surround yourself with smart people
If you don’t have the team and talent to implement and execute the idea then you might find yourself left with just a ‘great idea’. Build your team, ensure they are talented and network with others who can add value.
7. Expand your mind
Attend seminars where other entrepreneurs talk about their journey and the challenges they went through to push ahead – learn from them, especially how they converted an idea into the final product or service.
8. Entrepreneurship is a lonely journey
Having a mentor and being part of a networking group is crucial – even finding extra resource online in the form of a business podcast can help. It might be difficult for others around you (whether family or friends) to understand the burning desire that comes with chasing after a vision you so clearly see. It isn’t helpful when negative comments are made. Learn to filter out such comments and find a mentor who has already navigated the entrepreneurial journey.