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Deciding to take the leap and start a business is one of the most frightening and exhilarating experiences for any entrepreneur. As a finance entrepreneur, I knew prior to starting my first business just how competitive the industry can be. Given how crowded and cutthroat the market can get, here are my seven tips for first-time finance entrepreneurs to help them stand out.
1. Be adaptable
Adaptability is one of the most critical characteristics first-time finance entrepreneurs must foster. In fact, regardless of the business, being adaptable is a crucial element for all entrepreneurs.
As entrepreneurs, there are variables we can control and those that we cannot. Finance entrepreneurs must be able to pivot at a moment’s notice. There are ideas that we expect to work out well, but in actuality, require some adjustments that take the business plan on a different, more successful route.
Related: 5 Lessons for First-Time Entrepreneurs I Learned the Hard Way
2. Know the competition
Before starting my first finance business, I ensured I knew my competitors. Researching the competition is key for any entrepreneur, but particularly important for the crowned finance industry.
As a finance entrepreneur, it was essential for me to understand what products and services were being offered by rival companies. Equally as important was keeping up with new developments within the industry, which I use industry magazines as well as Twitter, LinkedIn and even Reddit to help with. Just make sure you don’t spend too much time on these sites, as they tend to be a distraction as much as they are a useful source of information.
3. Find a mentor
Asking advice from seasoned entrepreneurs is one of the best tips for a first-time finance entrepreneur. Even better is finding a mentor who can offer guidance every step of the way.
Having a mentor can prove to be indispensable for first-time entrepreneurs. They can provide essential insight, troubleshoot potential problems and impart advice on everything from funding to marketing and everything else in between. For me, Toastmasters is a great resource for finding local mentors, as well as networking events specific to your industry.
4. Network like crazy
In business as in life, it’s all about who you know. For first-time finance entrepreneurs, it is vital to get out there and network like crazy. Networking enables entrepreneurs to meet an aforementioned mentor, an investor, new clientele or even new potential employees. Social media is the obvious easiest route to networking, given that there are no geographical barriers.
Another tip for first-time finance entrepreneurs with regards to networking is to go to as many industry events as possible. In addition, any events for first-time entrepreneurs will also prove beneficial with excellent learning opportunities.
Related: 8 Ways to Get the Most Out of Networking Events
5. Have a marketing strategy
Finance is such a competitive marketplace, that it’s vital for businesses in the industry to set themselves apart from the competition for future success. That’s why having an effective marketing strategy is another important tip for first-time finance entrepreneurs. If you’re unsure how to implement an effective marketing strategy, then entrepreneurs would be well-served to hire the services of a marketing agency.
First-time finance entrepreneurs should be certain that their marketing strategy includes:
6. Budget your money
No matter what industry you’re in, as a first-time entrepreneur, money management is paramount. Because there are so many unknowns with entrepreneurship, it’s essential to remain frugal to keep costs low. Try to find creative alternatives to keeping your costs down whenever possible.
Another important detail about money management for first-time finance entrepreneurs is to establish an emergency fund. When I started my first business, I ensured that I had three months of income set aside. First-time entrepreneurs encounter so many stressors, therefore, this sort of cushion provides peace of mind.
7. Provide amazing customer service
A first-time finance entrepreneur must understand how vitally important it is to provide amazing customer service. Because the market is so competitive, for a business in the finance industry to be successful, it’s crucial to offer clientele stellar customer service and customer support.
In addition, first-time finance entrepreneurs should also think about encouraging positive reviews from every client. There are few industries where success hinges on an excellent reputation.
Related: It’s All About the Customer Service
Being a first-time finance entrepreneur can be both challenging and exciting. As a seasoned entrepreneur, I know entrepreneurship unto itself is a stressful endeavor but also incredibly rewarding. There will be both highs and lows, and in the beginning, everything is a learning curve. Hopefully, my seven tips will help you along your own entrepreneurial journey towards success.