In today’s modern marketplace — crammed with competitors, fickle consumers and e-commerce decisions — it takes more than initiative, drive and passion to achieve success with a new business. Entrepreneurs need to be more conscious of the market, as well as aware of what their customers expect in order to see returns on their business investment.
These aren’t the only requirements. Entrepreneurs need to be brave, taking action when required without getting distracted from goals. More, they need to know how best to act, which requires constant research and reading in order to stay aware of global and industry trends.
In order to help you achieve success, 14 members of United State based Young Entrepreneur Council have weighed in on what they think the single most important thing is that an entrepreneur needs to do differently today. Here is what they recommend:
- Be Brave and Take Action
I think having courage and taking action are two authentic characteristics that are extremely important for a founder or co-founder to have in order to reach great heights and find success. The prize does not come to you easily, and a lot of people out there are sitting back and thinking that it does. You have to have passion and drive, work very hard and take big risks. – Steven Fleisher, Two Degrees, Inc.
- Monitor Global Trends
Be sure to pay close attention to global trends, not just things happening in your country. The world is smaller than it has ever been before due to globalization and ever-expanding access to the internet, which presents an enormous array of opportunities to entrepreneurs. – Liza Moiseeva, GlobeIn
- Focus on Creating Value
Even in today’s modern business world, the simplest advice is the most effective. Entrepreneurs need to stay focused and need to create value. Focus is more important than ever, considering how easy it is to lose track of a goal, or get distracted by something newer and shinier. Creating value means solving deep, painful problems with elegant solutions.
- Read and Research Continually
The most important thing an entrepreneur should be doing is reading. It’s that simple. Things are changing every week, if not every day, so staying on top of the new trends and market changes is vital for success in your respective industry. I always believe you have to be the first or the best, and that is only achievable through continuous research. – Jacoby Ihejirika, PASS Program, Inc
- Open Up to Diversity
I strongly believe that diversity is the key to entrepreneurial success. As a member of Pipeline Angels, the first thing you learn is to put aside your unconscious biases. By opening up to diversity, you will receive feedback from a multitude of backgrounds, which can strengthen your business in ways you never thought possible. – Christina Kelmon, Belle en Argent
- Stay Laser-Focused
With a drastic increase in entrepreneurship in today’s modern business world, the most important thing an entrepreneur can do differently is stay laser-focused. Know your goals, continue to learn and stay driven. Keep your eyes on the prize, and eliminate distractions. As the great Les Brown said, “You must remain focused on your journey to greatness.” Notice that focus comes before greatness. – Daniel Griggs, ATX Web Designs, LLC
- Have a Comprehensive Strategy
Entrepreneurs must have a “full-court press” strategy with their business development. This includes traditional business development strategies such as phone calls, PR, networking and word of mouth, as well as social media, digital advertising, email and, most importantly, creating content that is compelling. In the end, however, you must answer one question: “How can I add value?” – Christopher Okada, Okada & Company LLC
- Don’t Get Distracted
Entrepreneurs are constantly bombarded with things that distract them from their business priorities. Distractions might include acquiring a new business to adopting a new internal tool. Successful entrepreneurs tone down all things that don’t align with their business priorities, and move toward achieving success with discipline. – Renato Agrella, 2A Consulting
- Build Interpersonal Relationships
One of the main things entrepreneurs need to be focusing on is improving their ability to build interpersonal relationships. As we continue to advance with technology, it’s easy to forget the human element that helped most entrepreneurs get to where they are at today. If we focus on building apps or SaaS businesses, but fail to speak to our target audience or customer base, we are bound to fail – Gaurav Valani, CareerSprout
- Learn to Speak a new Language
Yes, that’s what I think entrepreneurs need to be doing differently today. Why? Well, apart from giving you a powerful tool for your lifetime, it also teaches you about different cultures, mindsets and expands your ideas. – Esteban Kadamani, INFINITE WINDOWS LLC
- Use Data Everywhere
Use data in all facets of business. Gut feeling is still very valuable, and instincts are often right, but data allows entrepreneurs to have checks and balances, as well as identify both business and personal blind spots. Manage for the modern age. Much of the workforce is now made up of millennials, and they need to be managed differently. Focus on helping them grow their skills and invest in them: It will pay off and drive retention. – Grayson Lafrenz, Power Digital Marketing
- Know How to Prioritize
I think one of the biggest mistakes entrepreneurs make is focusing on problems and ignoring things that are going well. These problems often burn up a lot of time. Entrepreneurs need to triage better: If it’s existential — and most aren’t — then prioritize the problem; otherwise, focus on growth opportunities. Often, capturing that one opportunity may solve 100 other problems. – Amishi Takalkar, NAILBITER Inc
- Be Authentic in Your Interactions
Recognize that authentic relationships are the key to long-term success — this includes customers, employees, partners and investors. I see many entrepreneurs getting started who think they can SEO, blog and outsource their way to the top. In the end, it’s the trust that you build with influential people that determine how successful you and your business will become. – Daniel Reilly, B2X Global
- Constantly Learn From Multiple Sources
Knowledge is essential: Constantly learn from a multitude of sources and perspectives. Subscribe to newsletters from individuals like Jason Hirschhorn and Jason Calacanis, as well as email subscriptions from venture capitals like First Round Review, and then become an expert in your respective market from databases like CB Insights and Pitchbook. Most importantly, learn from entrepreneurs and advisors that have been in your shoes. – Justin Casale-Savage, Savage Advisory