learnings

7 Business Lessons for Future Entrepreneurs

learnings
17 May 2022

Future Entrepreneurs are passionate about their business ideas, but usually find it difficult to turn their idea into a concrete business. As Entrepreneurship is at the very core of Stretch Innovation, we thought it was up to us to counter this challenge. Therefore, we organised a pitching event called Stretch up your Start-up Idea on the 30th of March for future entrepreneurs. At this event, 8 founding groups got the opportunity to pitch their start-up idea to our experienced jury. To help other entrepreneurial spirits as well, we handpicked the top 7 business lessons for Future Entrepreneurs to be learned from our pitching event and which our founder Stijn feels strongly about, in this blog post.

At our pitching event 8 founding groups pitched their start-up idea to our 5 experienced jury members:

  • Marcia De Wachter, a former pioneering leading lady of the National Bank of Belgium and currently the Chair of the Board of Directors of MeDirect Belgium and founder of Brain at Trust;
  • Maximilien Peeters – a serial entrepreneur who is co-founder and CEO of The Agency, co-founder of Botaniets and general manager of La Movida;
  • Sarah Parent – Co-founder and CEO at Go Forest;
  • Fabian Van Kerckhove – founder of Road21 and founder and managing director of SOD.DEL
  • Stijn van Daele – a serial entrepreneur who runs four start-ups orchestrating each one from his role as CEO of Stretch Innovation.

As our jury provided worthy feedback after each pitch, we thought it might be interesting to create a shortlist of this advice by selecting 7 Business Lessons for Future Entrepreneurs, which our founder Stijn feels strongly about.  

1. Be on the lookout for new opportunities

Always keep your eyes open for new business opportunities. It is very important as an entrepreneur to keep track of all the changes in the business world and in your specific market. Only if you understand all the movements that are happening or will happen soon; you are able to think a few steps ahead. Always think about what is next to come. The Metaverse, for example, is something a successful entrepreneur has thought of a couple of months or maybe even years ago.

Next, be on the lookout for collaboration opportunities. Those business or market movements can result in new opportunities to work together with a new partner. Or maybe a new business arises, and it might be interesting to join forces with it. As Stijn, our founder, also advised during the pitching event “Always look for partnerships and create as much synergies as possible.”.

2. Your customer is your key player

Another important lesson is to always keep your customers at the back of your mind. Because your customers are the end payers of your product or service. Or as Maximilien said during our pitching event “They pay your bills”. And by truly understanding who pays your bills, you will get important insights on your best business model; as that is not always the most straightforward one. Every entrepreneur knows that a business is never set up for the owner, but for the people actually using the product or service. And that is why you should always create something that will be of value to your consumers. Only if you can answer to your customers’ needs, you can stimulate their loyalty and beat your competitors.

3. Follow your passion

One thing all successful entrepreneurs have in common, is the fact that they are fuelled by their passion for their business idea. If you completely stand behind your idea, you will enjoy every minute you invest in it. And by putting an enormous amount of time and resources into your business idea, you will ensure growth. On the other side, if you do not fully support your idea, every part of it will be a struggle. You really need the devotion to make your idea successful, and you will only be so devoted, by being passionate about it.

4. Never stop learning

As an entrepreneur, you will have to deal with the fact that you will never stop learning. It is important to keep educating yourself. Being it about trends, business practices, or just general knowledge. The business world is constantly being disrupted by new innovations, which results in an ever-changing business with tons of new evolvements. And only by learning you can grow along with it, instead of being challenged by it.

5. Failure is a part of the journey

Every entrepreneur knows that failure is not an ending, but a chance for a new beginning. Who never failed, has never tried something new. Every failure is a lesson that can be turned into a guide for success. Try to learn from every failure, big or small, and analyse what went wrong to find a solution for the mistakes. Taking risks is a part of doing business, especially when you are creating a new business.

6. Learn how to market

Having a business idea is one thing but knowing how to put it to market is something else. However, as a junior entrepreneur, it is important to learn more about marketing. A go-to-market strategy is essential to turn your idea into a successful business. An important sidenote is that you should always let your marketing strategy depend on the specific product or service that you are selling. No marketing strategy is ever the same, as it is always customized.

learnings

7 Business Lessons for Future Entrepreneurs

learnings
17 May 2022
7 Business Lessons for Future Entrepreneurs

Future Entrepreneurs are passionate about their business ideas, but usually find it difficult to turn their idea into a concrete business. As Entrepreneurship is at the very core of Stretch Innovation, we thought it was up to us to counter this challenge. Therefore, we organised a pitching event called Stretch up your Start-up Idea on the 30th of March for future entrepreneurs. At this event, 8 founding groups got the opportunity to pitch their start-up idea to our experienced jury. To help other entrepreneurial spirits as well, we handpicked the top 7 business lessons for Future Entrepreneurs to be learned from our pitching event and which our founder Stijn feels strongly about, in this blog post.

At our pitching event 8 founding groups pitched their start-up idea to our 5 experienced jury members:

  • Marcia De Wachter, a former pioneering leading lady of the National Bank of Belgium and currently the Chair of the Board of Directors of MeDirect Belgium and founder of Brain at Trust;
  • Maximilien Peeters – a serial entrepreneur who is co-founder and CEO of The Agency, co-founder of Botaniets and general manager of La Movida;
  • Sarah Parent – Co-founder and CEO at Go Forest;
  • Fabian Van Kerckhove – founder of Road21 and founder and managing director of SOD.DEL
  • Stijn van Daele – a serial entrepreneur who runs four start-ups orchestrating each one from his role as CEO of Stretch Innovation.

As our jury provided worthy feedback after each pitch, we thought it might be interesting to create a shortlist of this advice by selecting 7 Business Lessons for Future Entrepreneurs, which our founder Stijn feels strongly about.  

7 Business Lessons for Future Entrepreneurs

1. Be on the lookout for new opportunities

Always keep your eyes open for new business opportunities. It is very important as an entrepreneur to keep track of all the changes in the business world and in your specific market. Only if you understand all the movements that are happening or will happen soon; you are able to think a few steps ahead. Always think about what is next to come. The Metaverse, for example, is something a successful entrepreneur has thought of a couple of months or maybe even years ago.

Next, be on the lookout for collaboration opportunities. Those business or market movements can result in new opportunities to work together with a new partner. Or maybe a new business arises, and it might be interesting to join forces with it. As Stijn, our founder, also advised during the pitching event “Always look for partnerships and create as much synergies as possible.”.

2. Your customer is your key player

Another important lesson is to always keep your customers at the back of your mind. Because your customers are the end payers of your product or service. Or as Maximilien said during our pitching event “They pay your bills”. And by truly understanding who pays your bills, you will get important insights on your best business model; as that is not always the most straightforward one. Every entrepreneur knows that a business is never set up for the owner, but for the people actually using the product or service. And that is why you should always create something that will be of value to your consumers. Only if you can answer to your customers’ needs, you can stimulate their loyalty and beat your competitors.

7 Business Lessons for Future Entrepreneurs

3. Follow your passion

One thing all successful entrepreneurs have in common, is the fact that they are fuelled by their passion for their business idea. If you completely stand behind your idea, you will enjoy every minute you invest in it. And by putting an enormous amount of time and resources into your business idea, you will ensure growth. On the other side, if you do not fully support your idea, every part of it will be a struggle. You really need the devotion to make your idea successful, and you will only be so devoted, by being passionate about it.

4. Never stop learning

As an entrepreneur, you will have to deal with the fact that you will never stop learning. It is important to keep educating yourself. Being it about trends, business practices, or just general knowledge. The business world is constantly being disrupted by new innovations, which results in an ever-changing business with tons of new evolvements. And only by learning you can grow along with it, instead of being challenged by it.

5. Failure is a part of the journey

Every entrepreneur knows that failure is not an ending, but a chance for a new beginning. Who never failed, has never tried something new. Every failure is a lesson that can be turned into a guide for success. Try to learn from every failure, big or small, and analyse what went wrong to find a solution for the mistakes. Taking risks is a part of doing business, especially when you are creating a new business.

6. Learn how to market

Having a business idea is one thing but knowing how to put it to market is something else. However, as a junior entrepreneur, it is important to learn more about marketing. A go-to-market strategy is essential to turn your idea into a successful business. An important sidenote is that you should always let your marketing strategy depend on the specific product or service that you are selling. No marketing strategy is ever the same, as it is always customized.

7. Dare to think different

As an entrepreneur, it is important to keep your mind as open as possible. Because it is often so, that you will not turn your business idea into a success if you grasp onto traditional business approaches. Every business idea is different, so you should also always adapt your approach to the core of your idea. There is no such thing as a method that works for every business. As Fabian highlighted during the pitching event, you should always dare to think different as an entrepreneur. He gave the following advice “Turn your approach around and instead of letting sales be the force behind your working concept, put sales in the spotlight. Let sales guide you the way to your potential investors. Highlight the fact that you have 3000 users already, to warm them up so they are even more willing to invest in your start-up.”

Future Entrepreneurs, take notes!

We hope these 7 Business Lessons gave you as a future entrepreneur some guidelines on how you can turn your business idea into an actual successful business. As Stretch Innovation we love to support entrepreneurship every step of the way. And especially starting entrepreneurs can benefit from the advice and knowhow of experienced ones.

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learnings

7 Business Lessons for Future Entrepreneurs

learnings
17 May 2022

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