4 habits of a successful entrepreneur
16 February 2017

Singapore is becoming increasingly conducive for aspiring business owners, with government support growing, and the nation thriving as a regional and global business hub. Nonetheless, in a highly competitive, disruptive ecosystem, it is important for each entrepreneur to stand out in order to succeed. Here are 4 things you need as an entrepreneur to grow a successful business:

They keep up with the latest trends

From big data to social media developments, successful entrepreneurs know what is shaping society and the economy so they’re ahead of disruption. Make keeping up with industry news an integral part of your work day.

That being said, building your business solely off the latest trends is not a wise idea, according to Alibaba’s Jack Ma. Harnessing industry movers and shakers to boost your business is advantageous, "but if you haven’t built a company that can fly in any weather, you’re going to crash when that hot market cools off. So instead of following the latest market trends, build a company that can succeed in any market conditions."i
Essentially, it’s best to stay in the loop, and keep an eye out for new trends that could disrupt or help your business.

They juggle business and personal

Although starting and running your own business is incredibly time-consuming, take some time out of each day for yourself. Being your own boss comes with the perks of determining your own work schedule. Use this flexibility to take well-deserved breaks and connect with family and friends.

This includes ensuring that you are well-rested. Lack of sleep and a workaholic culture are proven to damage productivity and creativity. Instead of working yourself to the point exhaustion, pace yourself and set reasonable deadlines, so you get a bit of shut-eye in between.
Schedule all your social, personal and business activities in one calendar so you keep track of all of them, and ensure that you achieve a work-life balance.

Tools like StarHub’s SmartUC Mobile make it easy for the on-the-go entrepreneur to multitask. Not only does the app allow you to distinguish between personal and business calls, it consolidates all your communications into one platform, and enables Single Number Reach. This way, your mobile device is all you need to collaborate with your team and receive calls from clients, even when they call your business landline.

Their main focus is not becoming wealthy

“Do what you love” might seem like a cliché, but when it comes to setting up and running a business that will most likely be your life’s work, it is important. When your main motivation is money and not passion you tend to cut corners instead of focusing on creating a top quality product.

CEO of the Singapore-based RingMD Justin Fulcher recalls some of his worst investments, before setting up the successful online healthcare platform. He admits that he participated in a previous investment, “for all the wrong reasons, motivated just to try to earn some money. I wasn't passionate about it.… We decided to stop pursuing it because we didn't really care about the problem that we were solving.”ii

Awfully Chocolate’s Lyn Lee similarly advises young entrepreneurs to pursue what they love:

"No matter what you do, from what I can see, it's really long hours…You might as well enjoy it." iii
They are willing to invest to grow their businesses

The adage “You have to spend money to make money” holds true. While it is important to cut costs where it’s practical, it is also vital to identify tools that are essential to your business and invest in them. For example, the Microsoft Office 365 suite is the best productivity tool in the market, and shelling out for less than the best will result in lower productivity.

This also means investing in yourself and your team. Take advantage of your SkillsFuture credit to pick up relevant skills and knowledge. SkillsFuture-claimable courses like Entrepreneurship: Start a Business in 8 Steps equips aspiring entrepreneurs with necessary knowledge on funding and market research among many vital things.

If you have a unique business idea, or a passion project you want to turn into a business, check out this comprehensive guide to starting up in Singapore.

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