Are you an entrepreneur? Do you want to hone your entrepreneurial skills in order to move forward in your career? If you answered “yes” to these questions, these five productivity tests will help you to excel. We’ve compiled some wonderful tips which will allow you to push past plateaus and become your best self.
1.) Make Your Prototype Incredible – Yeah, I know about the minimal viable product theory, and I’m not knocking it, but speaking from experience…the fewer iterations you have to deal with between prototype and launch, the better. Of course, you want to offer something unique that no one else is providing.
When I launched my first physical product, I had good feedback, but as time went on, about 10% of people were saying that they wished the product was slightly bigger. I wish I’d tested the prototype, but I was new to the game and didn’t know what I didn’t know.
This is why I recommend testing a prototype aggressively before you offer it to the wider market. It is vital to understand that your final product will define your business. It will send a message to your customers. Whether it’s a good or service, it needs to be just right when it becomes available for sale.
Not sure where to start? Let’s say you want to sell jump ropes. Buy jump ropes from several popular brands, test them out yourself and find things that you like/dislike about each. Next, design your prototype around the things you like and run a small batch of 20-50 to be given (or sold at a discount) to your target demographic. Gather feedback from them, and make your final adjustments before placing a large order with your manufacturer.
2) If Possible, Focus on a Passion – Great entrepreneurs turn their passions into cold, hard cash and earn tons of respect in their field because they care deeply about the product/service. Bill Gates, Elon Musk, and Steve Jobs are/were all hopelessly devoted to their respective visions…they weren’t just looking for a paycheck or a quick exit (nothing wrong with that, though).
Still, because you will eat and breathe your product/service as long as it is your business, it would be best if it is something you enjoy and are interested in. If you like sailing, you’ll be in a better place to design, refine, and market your carbon fiber cleat hitches because you care about the sport. On the other hand, if you can’t stand on a boat without feeling nauseous, you won’t understand how your product is actually used on a daily basis.
3.) Discover Effective Time Management – Sometimes, entrepreneurs get overwhelmed. They find that they spin their wheels because there are so many distractions vying for their time and attention. I suffer from the ‘shiny object syndrome’ as much as the next guy, but nothing feels better at the end of a day than sticking to an important task until it is complete or ready to hand off to the right employee.
Distractions are common, but the problem of divided attention may typically be solved by embracing the power of time management. There are tons of resources and apps out there which will help you to manage your time and take care of more tasks, but it really comes down to:
- organizing your day the night before
- putting three things on your to-do list and no more
- working at the time of day when you’re most productive
When you understand the value of scheduling tasks daily, you’ll move ahead as an entrepreneur.
4.) Face Reality and Adjust – Every entrepreneur experiences setbacks. You’re going to be pushed down sometimes and you will need to face reality and move forward, by taking a new approach which is based on hard facts. Denial is quite common when problems crop up, but if you find yourself always complaining that the client/customer/market is wrong, you need to look in the mirror.
Fortunately, there is usually no better barometer for whether your product or service is worthwhile than your bank account. If you have the cure for cancer, people will find you and trip over themselves to give you money. However, if your product is substandard, or the market you’re trying to enter is too competitive, you’ll know within a short time.
Failure happens to the best entrepreneurs (Virgin Cola, anyone?), but you’ll benefit from crushing denial, facing facts and altering your business processes and/or ideas. Adaptability is the key to surviving and thriving.
5.) Make the Right Connections – You can do an awful lot on your own. However, there is going to come a time when you need other people. This is why we recommend networking on a regular basis. It’s definitely the key to accessing knowledge, assistance and support when you need it the most. As well, it’s fulfilling to build friendships with others in your niche. It’s win-win for both sides!
Now that you know these five productivity tips, you’ll be one step closer to hitting the target as an entrepreneur.