9 Things Every Successful Entrepreneur Does

Entrepreneur working and collaborating
Entrepreneur working and collaborating

9 Things Every Successful Entrepreneur Does

Do you have what it takes to become a successful entrepreneur? Entrepreneurship development is achieved through consistent habits that create a lifestyle through education, continuous growth, and self-discipline. 

The UK’s economy relies on SMEs to be successful. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) make up 99.9% of the businesses in the UK. Self-employment has also surged 93.9% since 2000 and single-person enterprises now account for 76.3% of all businesses in the UK.

Whether you’re interested in building a team and running a small business or working as a sole proprietor, a business and entrepreneurship programme can support your entrepreneurship development. 

9 Things Every Entrepreneur Does for Entrepreneurship Development

Entrepreneurs are the backbone of the UK economy and operate everything from independent grocery stores to innovative tech startups. If you’re interested in starting a business venture you must learn how to think and act like a successful entrepreneur. Here are ten things every entrepreneur does for entrepreneurship development. 

1. They find their niche

Entrepreneurship requires a significant investment of time and energy. A recent survey found that 39% of the business owners they surveyed worked over 60 hours a week. If you’re dedicating the majority of your time to a business venture you should find a niche that interests you. 

Forbes released a five-step formula to find your niche which includes:

  1. Figure out where your interests and skills overlap.

  2. Determine if there’s a market for your niche.

  3. Narrow down your niche to be highly specific.

  4. Research the competition.

  5. Test your niche by setting up a landing page and track the traffic to determine if your target market is interested.  


2. They research the market

Before you embark on a business venture, you must research business opportunities that align with your niche market. Market research is “the process of gathering information about your business's buyers personas, target audience, and customers to determine how viable and successful your product or service would be, and/or is, among these people.” There are different methods for collecting market research, including interviews, focus groups, market segmentation research, competitive analysis research, and more.

Hubspot identified five ways entrepreneurs can conduct market research before starting a business venture:

  1. Define your buyer persona.

  2. Identify a specific group to engage.

  3. Prepare questions for your market research.

  4. List your competitors.

  5. Summarise your findings.

3. They solve problems

Successful entrepreneurs create services and products that solve problems. 42% of product launches fail because no one needs or wants the product. Your business venture must have an overarching company objective that overlaps with the primary goals of your target market.

For example, a health and wellness company that sells supplements may have a mission statement such as, “The mission of our company is to improve the health of Americans by providing accessible, affordable, and all-natural supplements.” This mission statement would align with a consumer who is searching for ways to optimise their health on a budget.  

4. They write a value proposition

A value proposition is “the value a company promises to deliver to customers should they choose to buy their product.” A value proposition should be simple, direct, and memorable so that consumers will immediately recognise what problems you’re seeking to solve as an entrepreneur and how your business venture will solve them.

In the process of entrepreneurship development, you will have to learn how to create an “elevator pitch” or persuasive sales pitch that markets yourself and your company. Writing an impactful value proposition is a great place to start.       

Examples of strong company value propositions include:

  • Uber: “The smartest way to get around.”

  • Apple iPhone: “The experience IS the product.”

  • Slack: “Be more productive at work with less effort.”

  • Digit: “Save money without thinking about it.”

5. They work with a mentor

Every great entrepreneur needs a great mentor to relay the concept of entrepreneurship through sage advice and experience. 92% of small business owners believe that mentors have a direct impact on the growth and survival of their business and 89% of small business owners who didn’t have a mentor wish that they did. Don’t make this mistake. 

Look for mentors who work in the industry you want to tap into or leaders who embody qualities you seek to emulate. One of the best places to connect with a mentor is in a master’s programme. Higher education programmes give business students access to large professional networks composed of entrepreneurs from around the world. Programmes such as an MBA or DBA allow entrepreneurs to pair up with well-suited mentors and work one-on-one on applied research projects.

6. They take calculated risks

Entrepreneur development depends on calculated risks and the courage to do things differently. Deciding to leave a full-time job to pursue a business venture and commit to entrepreneurship development is a risk in itself. 

Without risk, there is no return. Julie Bee, President and Founder of BeeSmart Social Media, shares what she learned about calculated risk from her entrepreneurship development: 

“My rule of thumb is to think through the worst thing that could happen and the best thing that could happen, from any risk you take. It’s likely the result will fall somewhere in between those two things. If you can tolerate the worst thing that could happen, and the risk has a potentially great benefit to your company, then the risk is probably worth taking.”

Prepare to get out of your comfort zone and calculate risks using business models like a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis. The most common and necessary risks an entrepreneur must take include: 

  • Leaving a steady paycheque

  • Investing personal capital

  • Trusting your team

  • Working during personal time

  • Relying on cash flow

7. They embrace failure

As Robert F. Kennedy famously said, “Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” Don’t waste time indulging in shame, embarrassment, or self-judgement after a perceived failure. Every experience in the process of entrepreneurship development contains data-rich information that will help you iterate on your process.

How do successful entrepreneurs respond to failure? When faced with setbacks, strategic entrepreneurs engage in the following strategies:

  • Resist making emotional decisions

  • Turn to a strong support network (i.e. mentor)

  • Don’t take the failure personally

  • Accept and move on without dwelling

  • Feel motivated to grow as a result

8. They make strategic decisions

Higher education degrees such as Aston Online’s MSc Business & Entrepreneurship programme teach business students how to practise real-life application of management theory through interpretation and analysis of a range of reports to inform bold decision-making.

Successful entrepreneurs should engage the following seven-step process before making impactful business decisions:

  • Measures the economic impact of their decision

  • Evaluates if the decision is aligned with their brand

  • Determines the possible worst-case scenario

  • Determines the possible best-case scenario

  • Considers the opportunity versus the cost

  • Relies partially on gut instinct based on experience

  • Consults with a team of capable individuals

9. They prioritise their education

Entrepreneurs are life-long learners who value the return on investment provided by continued education. Higher education offers hands-on courses like an MSc Business & Entrepreneurship or a Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) that help them translate business theory into tangible leadership practices.

Dr John Blakey is a thought leader, CEO coach, and author of the best-selling book, The Trusted Executive. John was a seasoned business professional when he decided to earn a DBA from Aston University. “The DBA allowed me to focus on a specialist niche of business education and become a thought leader in a particular topic,” John said. He studied the impact of trust in the workplace and worked one-on-one with an experienced mentor from Aston University to produce research that ultimately resulted in the publication of his best-selling book. 

Start Your Entrepreneurship Development with Aston Online

Aston's graduate business programmes are tailored to accommodate working professionals and help people like you start a business venture and grow in your entrepreneurship development. Our online format allows students to enrol from any country in the world for optimal flexibility, convenience and global perspective. 

The Aston University community boasts over 90,000 international alumni who present mentorship, networking opportunities and entrance to a far-reaching business worldview. 

Aston offers the following online degrees:

Build a global network of business professionals through team engagement and networking events and gain hands-on business experience by solving complex problems in areas of leadership, management, strategy and analytics. As an aspiring entrepreneur, you will learn how to think creatively, evaluate risk, and use strategic decision-making to launch a profitable business venture.

Aston boasts many accolades, including University of the Year and Outstanding Entrepreneurial University. Aston has earned triple accreditation from AACSB, EQUIS and AMBA the leading accreditation bodies for business schools in the UK, the US and Europe. Stand out as a business leader by earning a degree from Aston, a leading university that is among the elite 1% of business schools worldwide with triple accreditation. 

Discover how higher education benefits entrepreneurship development and offers a generous return on investment. 

Take the next step. Explore Aston Online’s MSc Business & Entrepreneurship Programme.