Should someone ask you to name a number of successful entrepreneurs off the top of your mind, the majority will list the same couple people of famous, usually names like Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Bill gates and other business-celebrities. Yet the number of successful entrepreneurs out there is staggering, and you probably haven’t heard their names once in your lifetime. This is only indicative of the fact that it is very much possible to have a successful venture to your name, and yet remain in obscurity in the minds of people.
While some feel comfortable being away from the spotlight, others strive for that coveted place under the sun, and rightly so, for there aren’t any famous unsuccessful entrepreneurs out there, which can’t be said about the opposite. In fact, 20% of all enterprises in the US fail to reach their sales goals due to lack of popularity, and your popularity can have a direct impact on your venture, be it a positive or negative. And being easily noticeable will not only attract a greater number of customers to your company but will also gain the attention of investors to fuel the development of your venture.
Entrepreneurship is on the rise, and today it is far more lucrative and rewarding to start your own business than ever before. Widespread implementation of the internet granted people access to a wide variety of tools to assist them along their entrepreneurial journey, many of whom created products and services that had profound effects globally.
Starting your own company can be a truly mesmerizing experience, and can provide financial stability and growth opportunities of a lifetime. In fact, some people can’t imagine going back to a standard nine to five jobs after having a taster of the life of an entrepreneur, and for others, it is the only way to generate a stable source of income. But launching yourself into the entrepreneurial field without proper recognition can be a recipe for failure.
However, we won’t be talking here about the failures of others, but rather help guide prospective entrepreneurs on their way to take a spot under their own spotlight. Needless to mention, that a path to popularity has its own difficulties, and achieving fame is only half the equation – one should constantly consider means of maintaining their newly-gained recognition, that requires constant work and commitment, else risk to fade into obscurity and dishearten their loyal customer base. With that said, let’s delve into a number of ways that can assist any aspiring entrepreneurs to gain popularity on their venture journey.
Problem and solution
If you’ve attended any startup coaching session or an accelerator, the chances are, the first thing you have heard was to think in the framework of problems and solutions. Think of a problem that you or people around are facing and come up with an innovative solution to that specific issue. This is the first and perhaps the most basic rule of entrepreneurship that is used to build a solid basis for your venture. This same attitude can be applied for the means of gaining popularity, and grander you think, the greater are your chances to attract the attention of the society.
Just think of people that have introduced solutions to global issues, they have all attained popularity with people. Bill Gates introduced a solution to the existing issue in the IT field, becoming one of the world’s wealthiest and most recognizable individuals. Jeff Bezos solved the problem of online-shopping and delivery logistics, now his name is known by anyone who has at least once placed an order online for whatever product. Elon Musk is currently one of the lead innovators in the world, addressing a whole host of issues present globally, ranging from difficulties in financial transactions, affordability of electric vehicles, and now having his gaze upon the stars, aiming to improve the accessibility of commercial space flights. No surprise that he is one of the most beloved people in the internet community and beyond.
The point is, that the key to gaining entrepreneurial fame lays within the first few steps that any prospective entrepreneur shall be taking, so when starting off your journey, make sure to think big and think global – it will pay off in the long run.
Shoot for the moon
Once you identify the specific issue that you will be addressing, and choose the niche for your business, it is essential that you position yourself to be the leader in that field. The top companies that lead the innovation and development of the industry are the ones who are noticed, get media coverage, are more competitive in their field, and are more likely to secure investments on favorable terms. While you probably won’t become the top dog in your industry straight away, aiming high will ensure that you are constantly innovating and coming up with better solutions to problems at hand, and innovation will assist you in discovering greater niches in your field, enabling you to branch out in previously unknown directions, which will help you in securing a far more favorable position. So think big, keep innovating and think of ways of diversifying your business more.
The social responsibility in the world of business is on the rise. Companies are becoming much more aware of the fact that giving back to the society they benefit from is a perfect way of securing customer loyalty and maintaining a healthy and responsible social image. Given that any global business starts out in a specific community, you should consider ways to become more involved and engaged with your local community, to secure greater traction in the long run. If your business is in its infancy, and you don’t have the financial capacity to sponsor large community projects, like sponsoring a school renovation or construction of a park, don’t be afraid, you will get there eventually. What you can do, is engage in small-scale community events, sponsoring the event or participants with either small financial assistance, or use your product as an asset. Do you have a carpooling app? Give them some free rides. Do you have a tourist platform providing local guides? Give out some free tours. What matters here is that you remain in the scope of the society, constantly remain visible, once they see that you are engaging the community, they will naturally want to know more about you, and be inclined to sympathize with you more.
Customer is always right
One of the most common mistakes that early entrepreneurs make is that they fall in love with the initial concept of their business, and refuse to face reality once the customers voice their own opinions. If you are not willing to adapt yourself and your product to the current demand, you are bound to fail. It is crucial that you maintain constant communication with your customer base, testing out your concepts to see their reaction, doing frequent surveys with them, and above all, you should be ready to make changes and you should be ready to make them quick.
This may be far tougher than it sounds, after all, aren’t you the one who knows exactly what the product or service is all about and how it should function? Shortly speaking, no. Always keep in mind, that whatever is making, it is for your customers first, and they are the ones to use it. Keep actively engaging your customer base through direct contact or social media, and it will pay off massively, giving you the image of a company that sets its users first, and such attitude and image are bound to make you far more popular among your customer segment when compared to the majority of companies out there.
Maintaining your fame
Lastly, while attaining the spotlight is a challenge all in itself, it is maintaining the fame that comes in as a true test of your skills. One of the most common mistakes that the majority of SMEs make is that they tend to level their efforts for the aforementioned activities after a certain point, and should you do that, you will fall back into obscurity quite quickly. It is important to maintain and expand upon your efforts to be the most popular enterprise out there. Invest in social media and PR, hire people to manage your social image and keep actively engaging with your community, and in no time, you will make it into the coveted list of famous entrepreneurs.