The world is full of infinite choices and numerous opportunities, but it is you who gets to decide what you do in your finite life and career. If you find something you’d really like to do -- just do it! That’s the mantra most real, successful entrepreneurs live by. So, what does it take to be a successful entrepreneur?
Having strong technical skills and expertise in the area of your choosing definitely helps. But most of the time, it so happens that you have an idea for a startup and you know how it will work or how you want it to work, but you don’t have the technical means (read skills) to realize it.
In that case, how do you actually develop your idea? Do you drop the hat and pack up already? No! Take the example of Airbnb’s founders. These guys were designers, not programmers or real-estate agents or hoteliers, and yet today they own a billion-dollar tech company that caters to the hospitality segment.
So, do not let anything stop you from working towards developing your idea into a successful venture. And as far as technical expertise is concerned -- it can be acquired. Here’s a step-by-step plan that can help you build the technical knack required to take your startup places.
1. Learn from the experts.
Success in any field involves constant learning, changing and evolving. You must have up-to-date knowledge about what you’re working on. And when keeping pace with any development seems a distant dream, you need to go to school yet again.
Or, you could simply opt for an online course. If you have an idea that you want to develop into a working business, the instructor-led training website ZeoLearn is the place to get started and hone your skills. Instead of just loading you with information you probably don’t need, they offer courses based on your precise expectations, and also offer an audit class for you to explore and decide whether or not you need to learn a certain skill. Industry experts teach you interactive, tell-all courses in Android development, Hadoop, big data analytics, etc. Talk about learning from the bosses!
2. Build a modern, engaging website.
The next logical step would be to present your idea to your target audience. If you’re wondering how, having a credible website is the least you can do. And no, you don’t need to be a geek to setup your own site, be it one of those “single-page” sites or one with a “mobile-friendly” or “responsive” layout.
If you honestly have no idea where to start, the website personalization tool Duda offers hundreds of free templates that make it easier to build smart websites quickly. You do not need to code. You don’t even have to know how to code. Without having to invest a lot of time or money and with minimal efforts, you can create fully responsive, personalized and mobile-friendly websites.
Personalization adds that human element that many websites lack, and the ones that use it (like Amazon) see amazing results. With personalization, online businesses give users a tailor-made experience, leading to a direct increase in engagement rates.
Now is the time to get your website in shape and to personalize the experience for your visitors, so that you can keep them coming back in 2016 and beyond!
But before you jump in, remember two things: Be specific about what you’re offering, and make sure your website reflects your product’s or service’s credibility.
2. Make certain your content gets noticed.
Search engine optimization makes your website user-friendly and helps you understand the abilities as well as limitations that search engines can impose on your business in a digital world. It’s very necessary to build your site and format your content in a way that it becomes easy for search engines to crawl and index your pages.
Without SEO, your website would probably be invisible or get lost in the crowd of thousands of similar web avenues. However, sophisticated and up to date Google and Bing may be, a bot’s understanding of a website is different from how you and I would understand it. Thus, it is important to understand the technicalities of web development that is also search-engine friendly.
Gerrid Smith, Founder and CEO of Black Fin, a digital marketing company that helps niche clients such as attorneys, has this to say:
“I have now been working with lawyers for over six years. As time went on, I discovered that many of my clients needed services beyond SEO. As I watched them take their web design, copy and marketing needs to one-stop shops -- inevitably ending up with mediocre results -- I realized that I could give them what they needed, but with a much higher level of quality. I have since transitioned my business from simply an SEO firm to what is now a full-service internet marketing company.”
3. Be social -- but always be measuring.
While building a social-media presence is inevitable for any startup, each social network has its own nuances and intricacies -- social media is “technical” too! Advertising and targeting customer segments, creating contests and polls, and measuring campaign engagement -- all need you to dig into metrics.
Emulate the top brands on social media when you’re going after engagement. With customized apps, featured promotions and frequent status updates, brands like Old Spice, Burberry’s and Zappos keep the conversation going, and everything they do garners thousands of "likes" on an average.
Related: Is Your Social Media Policy Clear?
Let me tell you this, now. Being an entrepreneur is no cakewalk. You get to do what you want and get to do it your way, but it takes real commitment to succeed. There are no magical shortcuts to success. The top entrepreneurs of today toiled continuously for years before they found success. Keep working hard!