Many are fascinated by the idea of being a boss. As a result, they have ditched their 9-5 jobs, hoping to create a successful business. Those dreams are valid but do not come easy. Although entrepreneurship is a rewarding career, it takes discipline and experience to grow a business. This article aims not to scare you but to spur you to greater achievement in your chosen field. Before resigning from your job and going into full-time entrepreneurship, you need to understand the term and what you’re getting into,
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What is entrepreneurship?
Entrepreneurship is the practice of creating, developing and running a business. Some economists prefer to define the term as the process of transforming the world by solving big problems. Entrepreneurs have their career in their own hands and call the shots. They play a vital role in any country’s economy by using their skills to bring new ideas to market. As exciting as this concept sounds, it can fail even after investing your resources. Today, there are over 582 million entrepreneurs in the world. Of that figure, 31 million of them are Americans.
To excel in business, one needs to be deliberate about their actions. The business strategies below are a handy guide to ensuring your business succeeds.
Develop a diverse skill set
Many entrepreneurs start with a single skill but expand to other areas due to demand. Your team members may need your input in the accounting, sales or marketing departments. Do you tell them that you have a degree in human resources and don’t know much about marketing? Entrepreneurs are passionate about learning diverse skills to take on any challenge. Diversification starts with analyzing your strengths and weaknesses. As for your strengths, you need to sharpen them a lot more. However, you must fortify your weakness and be more confident in those areas as well. Of course, you can hire people to head different departments, but it helps if you know a little about everything. That way, you can suggest various ways to grow your business.
Surround yourself with trusted people
As much as you want to employ people to take on different roles in your organization, look for dedicated staff. Most applicants apply to jobs for pay, not because they want to grow the company. Your job as an entrepreneur is to build a team of committed, experienced and diverse people with shared goals. If you don’t have an experienced recruiting manager, you can outsource the job to someone. Be certain to hire only capable hands, as it ensures you get the best results for your money and investments.
Learn from experience
It is advisable to refrain from learning from your mistakes because some are disastrous. Many entrepreneurs never recover from their mistakes. Before venturing into any business, study the pros and cons, the professionals and those that failed. Why did they fail? How do you leverage these lessons to build a successful empire?
Becoming an entrepreneur can start while you’re still an intern or employee for another company. This allows you to learn from your senior colleagues and ask questions when necessary. Business leaders are open-minded and willing to learn directly or indirectly from mentors. The internet is awash with several success tips on growing a business regardless of the sector. Trust the internet to mentor and guide you when you need it most.
Identify a problem and solve it
Entrepreneurship is about identifying a loophole and filling it. It starts with pinpointing the problem and finding ways to monetize it. The best way to profit from that idea is to construct a business model around it and see how people respond to it. The world is wired so that humans constantly search for solutions online and offline. Take a second to scan your immediate environment or the globe and think of a service you know everyone needs. Do your analysis and come up with a solution. If you have the right team, launching into the market and selling out becomes a walk in the park.
Visually organize your ideas
After deciding on what to do, you must visually organize your ideas. The best way to start is to research the market and everything you’ll need to succeed. Get an online or physical notepad to take down the ideas you find performing your research. Organizing everything in a way you understand is crucial so you can readily refer to it. You can also create a rough sketch of your business at this stage. Imagine what your staff strength should look like, their pay and roles.
If you have an established business, consider reshuffling your staff, employing new ones, re-strategizing or learning from competitors. Visual aids, such as drawing and writing, have proven successful and are unlikely to fail now. Our mind often wanders to different things and places at once. With a planner, you can keep it in check. At this organizing stage, you may not get everything right at once. However, you have a chance at it.
Benefits of becoming an entrepreneur
Beyond the losses and failures on the path of entrepreneurship, it is rewarding too. However, only determined people will reap the benefits in due time. Below are five benefits of becoming an entrepreneur:
Again, entrepreneurs call the shots! They determine what happens and what doesn’t. With a regular paid job, you start work when your boss says you should and close at a specific time. With entrepreneurship, you can work from home, work longer hours, have fewer hours or not show up at work. Working for yourself helps you control your workload. As the business grows, you get people to manage its processes and are less involved in its daily running. That way, you can do other things outside the company. The best part of not being present is having people do the job and being confident that they are professionals.
Being an entrepreneur means you have people work for you, and you instruct them on what to do. However, this is not an opportunity to lord over your team members. As a leader, your goal is to communicate effectively and be open-minded so that a teammate can correct you if you are wrong. A leader must be self-disciplined, patient, a good time manager and an all-rounder. The lessons learned from leading your company can help you become successful outside your career. A degree in business and management equips you with the three skills needed to take your company to enviable heights – managerial thinking, strategic decision-making and functional expertise. These in-demand skills are encapsulated in the 90 credit hours of core modules and 60 credit hours of dissertation in the Master of Science in Business and Management program offered by Aston University.
Many who have 9-5 jobs want to leave not because they’re underpaid but because they no longer enjoy job satisfaction. Dissatisfaction happens when an employer does not explore employee potential. In many companies, the staff members are stooges for the management. They are mere tools for achieving the organization’s aim. Neither their opinions nor creative input matter. With entrepreneurship, you can bring your dreams to life. Becoming an entrepreneur allows you to conceptualize an idea and see it through to execution. When it is successful, you become satisfied and want to do more. The joy that comes with solving a problem also motivates one to do more. Entrepreneurs understand this; that’s why there’s always a concept or two on the table to execute.
Building a beneficial network
The entrepreneurial world is so vast that it welcomes people from all walks of life. Regardless of your chosen field, you can gain sufficient inspiration from professionals. One way to tap into this is by attending workshops, training and seminars hosted by accomplished entrepreneurs. Submit pitches to them and ask for collaboration. Even if there’s no opportunity for that in their organization, they may recommend you to potential clients. However, this can be challenging. It would be best if you portray yourself as a reliable business to gain the trust of professionals. Building a beneficial network also comes in handy when you need investors. Knowing that you are associated with a particular brand, investors are confident that their funds will be used judiciously.
Work from anywhere
Remote working is the future, but not all of us need to work from home. Due to the nature of some jobs, some people need to be physically present at the office. As an entrepreneur, you can skip the stress of commuting to the office and work from home, at a nearby café or in another city while on vacation. If you’ve always admired flexible work schedules, you should consider being your own boss. It feels good to be in control from any part of the world.
If the reasons above entice you, what’s holding you back from taking the entrepreneurial world by storm?
Why businesses fail
You wouldn’t want to resign from your high-paying job only to return to scratch searching for another job. Every business is established to make a profit; when this doesn’t happen, it will fail. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates 20% of new businesses are likely to fail in the first two years of being established. About 45% fail after five years, and 65% during the first ten years. These statistics have remained static over time. The question remains, what are these businesses doing wrong? Here are some mistakes companies make and how to avoid them:
Not investigating the market
Earlier in this article, you read about research and visualizing your idea. Most entrepreneurs start by being extremely passionate about a business and eventually set it up. However, they think passion is the only prerequisite for success. Their passion blindfolds them so that they are blind to any red flags. Before investing in a business, you want to learn what it takes to succeed. You also want to check out instances where people have failed and why. Of course, there are competitors before you, so what would you do differently? Is it a case of copy and paste? If that’s it, you may fall within the 20% of new businesses that close their doors in the first two years. Your prospective customers want to know why they should leave a brand they’ve patronized for years to do business with you. If they cannot receive additional value, you’re wasting scarce resources.
Unrealistic business plan
A business plan is an outline that details the business’ goals and how you intend to meet them. It also considers possible problems with the status quo and the solutions your business offers. The problem with most entrepreneurs is that they have unrealistic business plans. A holistic program features the inputs and costs needed for the business, outline the strategies and set timelines for implementation. If you act outside it after drawing a plan, you are asking for failure. However, if the ideas are inadequate, you can edit them to capture the latest changes. The more you act outside a plan, the higher your chances of failure.
Lack of funds
Many successful entrepreneurs say a killer business plan is the fastest way to get funds for your business. New businesses need investors that believe in the dream to invest and grow the venture. Getting a loan at this stage might be daunting since you need more assets to act as collateral. The best way to get partners for your business is to present yourself as a worthy establishment. You need to get funds to run your daily activities to ensure your business runs smoothly. Check out several business funding options and see which works best for you. However, it is best to speak to an expert before concluding what’s best.
Being too rigid
Entrepreneurs are open-minded people. To fit into this shoe, you must be willing to let go. Regardless of how fantastic an idea might seem, it can fail. When you hold on tightly to something with a high tendency to fail, you put your business’ life on the line.
One may argue that entrepreneurs are risk-takers, but to what extent? There’s a difference between taking risks when the odds are against you and when they are in your favor. The benefits of calculated risks far outweigh the disadvantages. Before being too rigid about your decision, consider what would happen if your risks were unsuccessful. As for whether you will make mistakes in your entrepreneurial journey, it is inevitable.
The famous saying that production is incomplete until it reaches the final consumer suffices here. Of what use is your product if the end user doesn’t get it? The traditional mode of marketing is gradually becoming outdated and ineffective. The internet has helped many businesses expand their reach to territories they couldn’t imagine. You can reach millions of potential customers regardless of your physical location. About a decade ago, only a few businesses paid attention to online marketing. Today, any company with a shot at survival has an effective marketing team, with most of the selling being done online. For your business to be considered serious on social media, you must be active and constantly update your profile.
Entrepreneurs watch for telltale signs of failure in their businesses. For instance, taking a loan and not being able to repay it when it is due is a sign that your business is not doing well. Other features are loss of clientele, late payment of salaries due to lack of funds and the inability to pay suppliers. You don’t have to wait until your business collapses to act.
From Silicon Valley to Albany, Phoenix, and Sao Paulo in Brazil, starting one’s business is currently all the rave. The great recession of 2008 and the coronavirus pandemic of 2020 caused massive job losses, so many started thinking inwards. What if your company doesn’t call you back? How would you cope with a salary cut? These questions led to the birth of many businesses. The Mark Zuckerbergs of this world have challenges. They began with a strategy and, despite the obstacles, saw it through till the end. One feature that stands out among entrepreneurs globally is discipline and commitment.
With entrepreneurship, there are no hard and fast rules to success. So, be prepared to break the rules. Being too rigid is not helpful, as explained earlier. In years to come, more people will lean towards entrepreneurship because AI will take over many jobs. That makes this the perfect time to start if you have been considering becoming an entrepreneur.