If you’ve been paying attention to the business world in the last couple of years, this will not come as a surprise. The idea of hopping on the shiniest new bandwagon is not a exactly a fresh one – there have always been those who are keen to seize every new opportunity that comes their way without any regard for the consequences. And while the fortune does indeed favour the bold, catering to its every whim might not be the clearest path to success.
The temptation is always there, but I would argue that it has rarely been as evident as it is now. In the rapidly evolving digital landscape new ideas come and go in a blink of an eye. And each trend seems to get an alarming amount of ‘experts’ with a business lifespan of a fruit fly. That was as relevant in an era of Facebook ads as it is in the new Bitcoin utopia.
Far be it from me to disparage any of you from pursuing your goals in an emerging profitable field, but I would advise approaching every such venture with respect and care it deserves. So, what are the basics of the successful business?
Do not disperse your attention. Formulate your goals and core values from the outset and let them pave the way from what’s to come. You are your most important asset, and trying to cover as many bases as humanly possible will not help your case, especially early on. Being first can be a tremendous advantage, but it only helps if you have tenacity, insight and acumen to build on that. Otherwise, you’ll be left on the forest floor, feeding the emergent growth while slowly wilting away.
Get educated in the topic and industry you want to pursue. Don’t simply rush into something promising without the clear understanding of what the risks are. No formal education will make you a business savant, but you should never underestimate the power of information. There are few things worse for an entrepreneur than following someone blindly, even if they promise you a city where the streets are paved in gold.
Few of us are truly solitary creatures, and no serious entrepreneur can afford isolation. Your relationships are both your opportunity network and your safety net. The trends come and go, but the connections you’ve established with partners, affiliates and business associates last. When push comes to shove, you need someone that has your back, and that’s not something you can get while hopping from one opportunity to another.
No matter how good your business idea is, you need a marketing plan. That’s not optional. Luckily for you, getting the word out about your business has never been easier. Social, SEO, content and email marketing are all very accessible these days, and neglecting the opportunities they present you with is borderline criminal. Leads are essential for ensuring a steady revenue stream, and obscurity will bury your business faster than any crisis.
Every trend is an opportunity – there’s no denying that, but you need to know what you are and what you want. Some opportunities are better left to others. Always aim to move forward, and constant lateral moves won’t help you with that.