Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur the contributors are theirs.
Many people experience a career change at some point in their lives. It’s not uncommon for people to pivot in their 40s, 50s, or even 60s. With the “Great Shakeup” causing people of all generations (but especially Millennials) to change jobs, or even quit their jobs altogether for a sabbatical or broader life change, there is no It’s no surprise that this has become a topic of interest in recent months.
The pandemic, which pushed many people to work from home, gave people time to reflect on what they were passionate about and allowed them to redirect their professional activities. It was the perfect time for a change, as entire industries were already changing and adapting. Many didn’t want to quit their jobs altogether, but found they had more time working from home to think about their goals and pursue their passions. This gave plenty of time and space to jump into entrepreneurship headfirst.
Although entrepreneurship sounds exciting, starting a business can be daunting, especially when uncertainty permeates our society. There’s a lot to consider – budget forecasting, developing and executing marketing strategies, and preparing for tax season, to name a few.
Entrepreneurs must follow several tactical steps to achieve long-term success. Here are two entrepreneurial strategies you need to prioritize: understanding cash flow and building a great team.
Related: Funding: What is Entrepreneur Capital vs. Venture Capital?
Understanding cash flow
Many entrepreneurs and business owners have amazing ideas that require effective cash flow strategies to survive. Whether it’s signing freelance contracts or selling products, understanding your business cash flow early is important to riding the waves that often come with a new venture.
When preparing to start a business, it’s important to have enough savings set aside specifically to help you through the challenges of starting a business or be prepared to take a financial risk.
For some, that means saving a certain amount to offset any cash flow issues or working to get out of (and stay out of) personal debt. For others, it means reinvesting all profits back into the business in the first year. Whatever your cash flow strategy, be sure to keep accurate records and pay attention to paperwork, not just following the next big idea.
Related: How can we solve the venture capital diversity problem
Know how to build your team
Building a great team is paramount to building a successful business. If you’re diving into a new industry, be sure to consult industry experts on the type of people you should hire. Sometimes hiring the best resume with the most experienced people isn’t a linear path to success.
A person’s character and commitment are often as important as their qualifications. Someone who is dedicated to seeing your business grow through all the ups and downs of a new venture is just as valuable as hiring someone with an MBA – sometimes even more. Your team is your first line of defense. Be sure to consider the quality of their character and their dedication to your long-term mission, as your starting line often defines the direction of your business.
Passion, good work ethic and cultural fit are three key factors I always consider when evaluating candidates. When a person exhibits these qualities alongside a commitment to your business, you can often teach them the more specific skills needed to succeed.
Employees don’t want to sit at a desk for 40 hours a week. They want to feel part of something meaningful. Purpose-driven companies create a sense of pride and dedication in their employees. Creating processes for your business to thrive financially, as well as finding and inspiring employees who care about your business, will help your business sustain long-term growth.
Related: Why Raising Corporate Venture Capital Benefits Startups