In business circles, the expression “serial entrepreneur” isn’t used too often. However, there are a number of individuals who are inherently designed as such. A serial entrepreneur can be defined as someone who constantly creates new ideas and new enterprises, in contrast to a typical entrepreneur who only has a random idea or business.
As a serial entrepreneur, Costa Rica’s Jose Duarte understands how challenging it can be to exit the comfort zone of a successful business to launch a new endeavor. Nonetheless, he has made a living doing just that and shares five key tips to help other serial entrepreneurs.
Duarte recommends working with people and with partners. A successful entrepreneur will surround himself with skilled individuals that can help the business thrive. He stresses the importance of collaborating with others to assist in building the business, with each partner feeding off the strengths of the others. “No single individual knows all there is to launch a business,” explains Duarte. “It helps to bring in someone that can offset your talents and help the project start strong right out of the gates.”
Using platforms and paying others to take care of some of the tasks will also help the business get going. The Internet has become a great source of qualified freelancers, especially in social media and marketing, to whom some tasks can be assigned. Other areas, such as information technology, can also be outsourced, saving valuable money that can be used to push the business forward.
Accounting platforms exist today that take virtually all the guesswork and expense out of managing expenses. QuickBooks is probably the most well-known, but there are also other projects such as Pushdigits. Program Ace, a platform that incorporates artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT), has also proven to keep businesses in the forefront of the every-changing digitalized business space. Says Duarte, “Social media marketing and AI are extremely popular for business operations these days. They are an important and integral part of any operation if it truly wants to be successful.”
Duarte also advises entrepreneurs to develop thick skin and to be ready for unexpected events. A new endeavor, regardless of one’s business experience, always brings with it a new set of challenges. Asking questions and conducting market surveys are important to ascertain the direction an entrepreneur needs to head; however, there will be elements that will catch an individual off-guard – unknown or hidden expenses, slow responses to urgent matters and unexpected absences are just a few of the examples.
Additionally, an entrepreneur should be prepared to do things differently, or to do different things. “Make sure the business idea stands out and is something that isn’t already familiar,” explains Duarte. “Develop an idea, do some research to see if something similar already exists and, if it doesn’t, then develop the business plan. However, time is of the essence. While you may think that your idea is totally unique, there’s a good chance that someone else, somewhere, is working on a similar project.”
The last tip Duarte provides is that entrepreneurs need to be disciplined with their structures in order to maintain their drive and focus. The structure needs to incorporate individuals who are skilled and who can be trusted. The greatest success for an endeavor comes from the ability to delegate to people who are trustworthy and share the same drive and values. Create systems that can lead to the development of new ideas and strategies. This may mean that a significant portion of the business’s profits are utilized for salaries, but, in the long run, the rewards will be worth the sacrifice.