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Baltimore SourceLink Business Blog

4 Keys from a Successful Entrepreneur

Posted Mar 10, 2016

Article by Jenny Nepper, KCSourceLink

Being an entrepreneur can be a risky venture. Diana Kander, serial entrepreneur, bestselling author and senior fellow at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation is a successful entrepreneur, having founded and sold a number of ventures. Kander’s book walks through four keys for de-risking your idea or startup so you can generate real revenue.

all-in-startup 1. Startups are about finding customers not building products.

Startups do not fail because they couldn’t build their products. They fail because they don’t have or can’t find customers. The startup is not generating revenue and no one has committed or is excited to purchase the product.

2. Don’t enter the startup loop of despair.

People have a tendency to want to put their best foot forward. For entrepreneurs, they tend to want to produce a product, perfect in their eyes, which has all the bells and whistles before showing it to anyone—causing them to spend a bunch of time and money on products before they know if anybody is interested.

3. People don’t buy products and services, they buy solutions for their problems. 

We have heard time and time again that the successful businesses solve a problem for customers. The best businesses determine if the problem they are solving is a big enough problem to spend time and money to solve it.

4. Entrepreneurs are detectives, not fortunetellers.

To generate revenue, entrepreneurs need to find out what your customers want and give it to them. Talk to prospective customers. Test your products and services. To continue to be successful, be willing to make changes and pivots to your offerings so you are giving customers what they want and what they will buy from you.

According to Kander, successful entrepreneurs are luck makers, not risk takers. Learn more about these four keys in Kander’s book, All In Startup: Launching a New Idea When Everything Is on the Line as lead character Owen Chase tries turn his company around in nine days while advancing in the World Poker Series.

Content contributed by Jenny Nepper of KCSourcelink, a proud affiliate of U.S.SourceLink, America’s largest resource network for entrepreneurs.