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Entrepreneurship hacks for 2023

 As an entrepreneur you need to invest in branding to attract ideal customers, this will require undertaking customer research and aligning the needs of customers with the company’s values and purpose. [iStockphoto]

Let the year 2023 be qualified as your entrepreneurial year.

Going into business with the sole vision of making money means that you may not make the money, however, the money you make is the manifestation of your goal and passion.

Your success this year will come from making other people better. This means you need to have a good grasp on yourself and understand people's behaviours.

Let your entrepreneurial style be an expression of who you are and adopt an authentic style. Your style should influence how you feel about yourself and presents an opportunity to push past mental blocks.

Sometimes, the limits we face exist only in our minds, many of us are not chasing our dreams because of the limits we perceive or the barriers we erect or things we believe cannot be done.

History is filled with men and women who went further or run faster and broke the limit they were told were insurmountable. You need to break your limit and start the impossible today, ask yourself are these limits real or just a story and stop rationalising for not trying, for example saying, it cannot be done, I don’t have the time or money.

Solve problems 

In 2023, take the road of starting a new business or re-branding an existing one. Ask yourself, what sucks in your world? What challenges are you getting each moment?

The second question to ask is if it is a problem for many people. This means there is an opportunity or a market for your product and services. Now that you have identified the problem, the third thing to ask is whether you can be passionate about solving this problem for a long time.

Remember, it takes about ten years to be an overnight success. Are you passionate about this idea for at least ten years?

If you are looking to scale and do much big business focus on solving problems, a good place to start is the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), check which one aligns with your vision and purpose and attempt to solve it for many people.

You will, in the end, create a billion-dollar company if your target is to solve a problem affecting one billion people. Do some research and statistics around the problem, what are the main issues around this problem?

Then decide if you want to create a physical product that is a tangible product or a digital product that you sell online.

Be intentional 

As a resolution for the New Year, decide to be an intentional entrepreneur.  An intention is very powerful as it affects how you behave.

For example, when responding to emails, before you send out the next email take time to think about the intention of the email. Ask yourself: What do I want to give to this person on the other side when I send this email?

Always try to draft your communications with positive intentions for the other person, with love, kindness and understanding.

Begin to decide about your intention before you take any action. As an entrepreneur, there are many things you will be involved in, and you want to be clear about your intention which is bound to change the vibration of how you do things.

For example, if you are doing staff performance appraisals, sometimes the objective is just to do them, and get through the list, which creates an atmosphere where the employee is not made to feel wanted, loved, cared for or important because you just want to tick a box.

What if you as the entrepreneur had a different intention, to have a wonderful performance appraisal, to help employees achieve their fullest potential and make them feel truly valued and recognised by the company?

This will change the tone of the performance review. Ask yourself what your intention for customer service is, how you want to treat your clients, and what is your intention when a client calls and has a problem.

The intention should be to exceed their expectations and if you live that way then your staff will adopt that style. When you operate as an incredible intentional entrepreneur, it means that when stuff comes up you take a moment, to decide your intention before you begin, you just don’t simply jump to autopilot, you make a real decision to respond intentionally.

Create a breakthrough brand 

For this year, become intentional about creating a breakthrough brand which evokes a recognisable feeling of inspiration and love when customers use your service or product.

Remember, brands live in the minds of anyone who experience them.

Brands are perceptions, they are business tools that drive commercial value. As an entrepreneur you need to invest in branding to attract ideal customers, this will require undertaking customer research and aligning the needs of customers with the company’s values and purpose.

Brands increase your marketing effectiveness. If you want to improve your marketing, invest in the branding of your company. Branding also helps you close more sales or convert a pitch to a sale quickly.

This is because the value proposition of the product or service is built around the brand.

The saying that: “Customers don’t buy products they buy brands" rings true and customers are willing to pay a high price for superior brands.

Your brand also boosts investors' value - stronger brands have a solid financial performance and sell for a higher valuation making the company worth more when it’s time to exit.

Apply strategy 

Learn the "Blue Ocean" strategy which is an expansive ocean. In business, this involves a market where there is little or no competition.

This means that very few people or companies operate in those spaces and there is no pricing pressure. This is the opposite of the "Red Ocean" strategy which means there is plenty of competition.

Here, the race is to the bottom. A business tries to produce the cheapest products and reduce its margin, sometimes working for nothing owing to stiff competition.

As an entrepreneur, you need to think of creating one of one product, that solves the problem and that people want. This will be hard at first in the design phase, creating a new category of product is not an easy feat because it entails creating products for a behavioural shift where massive opportunities lie this means focusing on the real needs. As we start the new year, let it be the year that elevates your entrepreneurial abilities.

The author is a Senior Budget Officer at the African Development Bank and the author of Unlock Your Body Budget.

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