In a recent interview, Elijah Norton, President and Executive Chairman of Veritas Global Protection, INC., was asked how he copes with failures and setbacks as an entrepreneur. Elijah, who is often hailed as a game-changer in the US Vehicle Service Contract (VSC) industry, had a simple answer to this question: he simply takes the setbacks in his stride and tries to move on as best as he can.
Simple though the answer may be, there is a lot to learn from the statement for budding entrepreneurs. The path of entrepreneurship is a difficult one, to say the least, and is often fraught with various challenges and hardships. However, success in entrepreneurship depends in large part on how well you are able to navigate these challenges that come your way.
Although there is no surefire recipe for business success, one can still do a few things to minimize the risks of failure and make the road ahead less bumpy and hazardous. And as we shall see later in the article, Elijah Norton followed many of these same principles in his exemplary journey as a successful and visionary entrepreneur.
Create a Route Map for Your Business
Before they even begin their journey, all entrepreneurs must be clear about how they want their business to progress. A properly crafted business plan is necessary for this purpose. A business plan should include things such as one’s target audience; one’s overall marketing plan; how one is looking to run the day-to-day operations of the business; where one wants to be in another five years’ time; how one plans to get the better of their competition; what one plans to do in case of unforeseen emergencies; and more.
The more detailed the business plan, the better it will help you to turn your ambitions into reality.
Engage External Support in the Form of a Mentor and/or Business Coach
A mentor worthy of the name can bring immense value to an organization. They can help you with proper guidance and will often act as a source of wisdom, experience, and inspiration. A good mentor will also help one with things like networking, securing funding, etc., and will also offer a fresh and new perspective. This last is more important than many will imagine and is crucial when looking to innovate (which should be ‘all the time,’ as Elijah Norton’s case makes amply clear).
Another way to find external support by design is to appoint business coaches (short- or long-term). You can seek the help of a business coach for specific requirements or for comprehensive consulting purposes. Some common areas include Personal and Life Coaching, Business and Accountability Coaching, and Business Systems Coaching.
Leverage the Power of Social Media Marketing
Ideally, all businesses should have a well-crafted digital marketing plan. However, for small businesses especially, it is not always possible to allocate a large enough fund towards marketing. If such is the case for you, use free marketing pathways and tools.
Join or create Facebook peer groups to network with like-minded individuals and to spread the word about your business. Stay active on places like LinkedIn and Google My Business. You can gain a lot of content in terms of marketing and promotion by making proper use of these social media platforms and tools.
Find the Right Work/Life Balance and Avoid Burnout
All business owners need to work extremely hard, making it all necessary for one to make some room or space for himself outside his business. It may be spending quality time with family/friends, following some hobbies or interests, etc. Whatever it is, a proper work-life balance will not only help you avoid burnout but will also make sure that you begin work every day with fresh energy and inspiration.
According to Elijah Norton, it is also essential for business owners to keep their minds free of clutter. Delegate tasks carefully to competent individuals so you can focus solely on your top priorities. As Elijah Norton remarks, one should have a diverse and hard-working team that values teamwork and community in order to be able to do this.
Elijah Norton’s Advice to Budding and Aspiring Entrepreneurs
Elijah Norton is often looked up to as a visionary entrepreneur and thought leader, which is hardly a surprise given his extraordinary achievements. From extremely humble beginnings, he had made Veritas Global Protection a leading player in the vehicle protection plan industry in just five years.
So what is it that made him such a successful entrepreneur, and what advice does he have to share with new entrepreneurs, Elijah Norton was asked in a recent interview. And Mr. Norton’s answer was that, first and foremost, all business owners out there must be ready and willing to rough it out, at least during the first years of their operation.
He revealed that it took him three years before he could see his first real success. In other words, regardless of one’s ambitions and dreams, one ought to realize that success never comes overnight and can only be built painstakingly, one step at a time.
The next piece of advice from Elijah Norton was that entrepreneurs should always put their customers first and must always seek to INNOVATE. Innovation is necessary for offering ever-improving services and products to one’s customers, and this is what will eventually help a business surge ahead of its rivals.
In addition, Elijah Norton also stressed the importance of educating oneself all the time.
As mentioned earlier, when a business owner follows an effective hiring principle and creates a core team full of competent individuals, this takes a lot of stress out of the situation. The owner will know that the tasks delegated will be taken care of in a proper manner and he can thus fully devote himself to his own job.
As for the need to educate oneself, Elijah Norton remarks that we are living in an extremely fast-changing world. And this is all the more true for the business world. Accordingly, all business owners must stay current with all the latest technologies, ideas, etc., since this will help them in their pursuit of innovation.
Finally, Elijah Norton emphasizes the need for entrepreneurs to constantly monitor their market and competition and the need to evolve accordingly.