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Entrepreneurship – Three Keys to Success

Barclays is passionate about supporting and investing in new businesses, and one of the ways is through our relationships with Unreasonable Impact and the Pete du Pont Freedom Foundation. I’ve had the pleasure of advising 27 entrepreneurs in these programs and I’m often asked what key areas help drive success.

The road to becoming a successful entrepreneur is filled with both opportunities and challenges. While there are never any guarantees, focusing on a few key areas can help entrepreneurs start or grow their business, remain competitive and prepare for challenges along the way. Here is what we discuss:

1. Evaluate your business

  • Evaluating your business performance should be ongoing, but if you have not been able to dedicate time throughout the year, then at a minimum set aside time at year-end or at the start of the new year.
  • Comprehensive assessment is necessary. Be vulnerable. Ask for and review feedback from employees, customers and industry influencers. Don’t seek feedback from friends or family who may not be as comfortable with being honest with you.
  • Assess the competition – look at the market and compare your business to ones that are similar to yours. See where your business stands and look to adjust accordingly.
  • Deploy “Red Team” tactics to really challenge your business. These tactics can uncover risks to your organization that could compromise your reputation, infrastructure, data, or revenue. Identify your most valuable assets and make sure they are adequately protected.

2. Look forward

  • Set sales growth objectives. Manage your pipeline. Finding new customers is critical but also needs to be effective. From a pipeline management perspective, you can’t chase everything, so weigh your opportunities through the filter of timing, trends and impact to your business. Not every deal or partnership presents the same economics, but once you run it through a filter, you’ll be able to make decisions on whether or not to lean in. Remember to ask yourself:
    • What has worked in the past?
    • Who are your best customers?
    • Existing customer relationships and referrals are priceless.

3. Continuously Learn

  • Make sure to set aside time for development so you can continue to grow and remain intellectually curious.
  • Invest in new technology. As difficult as this may be, the best companies set aside consistent capital for new tools, technology and investment. Entrepreneurs should be willing to look around the corner and consider what’s next. Be prepared to innovate in many ways that are purpose driven. For example, look to simplify and automate by using technology and offer consumers/organizations easier ways to pay for your products and/or services.

    Remember, entrepreneurship is best achieved by being intentional about how you want your business to evolve and grow. It’s important to remember that there are many things to consider as an entrepreneur, but evaluating your business, looking forward and continuous learning are the things I think are critical to entrepreneurship and always suggest to the organizations we work with here at Barclays. I believe these activities I mentioned are key to achieving success.

This information is for educational purposes only, not intended to be financial or legal advice. Always consult a qualified financial advisor before taking any action based on this information. The views and opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy, position, or opinion of Barclays Bank Delaware.


Blog Author

Peter A. Gasparro
Chief Development Officer
Barclays US Consumer Bank

Peter A. Gasparro is the Chief Development Officer for Barclays US Consumer Bank where he oversees the bank’s partner-focused strategy as well as its business and corporate development efforts in the United States.

Peter is a seasoned financial services executive with more than 25 years of experience in business and corporate development, product development, merchant services, and co-branded credit card management.

Peter is a proud alum of Seton Hall University, where he earned a master’s degree in corporate communication and a bachelor’s degree in marketing.