Did you know that there were about 33.7M small businesses registered in the US in the year 2020? We all know someone who is an entrepreneur. Being an entrepreneur does sound fun. After all, who wouldn't want to be their own boss? We are sure of your dream of being an entrepreneur too.
Did you JUST finish high school and want to lead the crowd? Is entrepreneurship your ultimate goal? Are you someone who wants to quit college and start a whole new venture with their BIG-IDEA? Entrepreneurship consists of levitating more towards your passion. Your big idea might be centered around addressing a need.
The need might be centered towards business, technology, social, economic, community, or any other problem.
Being an entrepreneur goes beyond just becoming one’s own boss. Before we understand the steps to becoming an entrepreneur, you need to familiarise yourself with the basics of entrepreneurship - what it is, and who can become an entrepreneur?
1. What is an entrepreneur?
According to Merriam-Webster, an entrepreneur is “one who organizes, manages, and assumes the risks of a business or enterprise.” They are those who wish to bear the risks of starting a business but at the same time enjoy the rewards of working hard to succeed. Entrepreneurs are leaders and innovators and are the masterminds behind the ideas, inspirations, business, procedures, and services.
Did you know being an entrepreneur not only benefits you but also helps uplift the economy of a country? When new ideas and skills come together, it leaves an impression in the marketplace and the minds of the people.
It takes an immense amount of courage and risk to start a new business and the individual who has that ability to take risks becomes successful. That individual is usually awarded rewards, fame, identity, and very importantly, a space for the company to keep on growing. If your idea helps solve an individual's daily life struggles, your product/service will go a long way!
2. How to become an Entrepreneur?
An entrepreneur is a mastermind behind their business and company. If you are passionate and want to revolutionize consumer behavior, being an entrepreneur is for you.
The first step is to create a skeletal business plan required to kickstart the business.
Here are a few steps that you might want to address while preparing your strategy:
What is the problem your product/service aims to address
Once you have a BIG IDEA, you need to understand what is the problem that your product/service aims to address. There might be an existing market or you might have to create a market need.
For example, Salon service at home did not have a market 10 years ago. But now with a busy life, a lot of people want to get salon services at home and it is a growing industry. In this case, a need for the service had to be created and the target audience had to be tapped with the right messaging, i.e., convenience.
Do deep research
You need to do your research around products existing in the market, it is one of the most crucial steps for running a successful business. How is your product different? How will it help simplify lives? Your product/service should be able to solve a purpose.
Conduct market research so that you can identify and understand the wants, needs, and even behaviors of the target audience and how your products will be beneficial to them. In the salon example, it was necessary to research to understand how many people do not use salon services due to time crunch. The research can be done with the help of dipsticks, survey forms, group surveys.
At the end of your research, you might be able to draw sharp conclusions on how the product/service shall benefit the audience, who exactly is your target audience, and how you would be able to reach them effectively.
Network with the right people
To understand how businesses function, you need to get in touch with people who are business people. This will give you insights into how they manage a business successfully. You may use platforms like LinkedIn to expand your network or even attend business conclaves and seminars.
This might even help you understand what mistakes can be avoided. You may even want to discuss your idea with successful entrepreneurs and they might add value to your idea.
Having financial stability is very important for the smooth running of a business. You might have a large amount of savings, which is a good thing, but you always need to understand that business is no less than gambling
If your idea is accepted, it will do well, but if it does not succeed, you might face a huge loss. It is a smart option to work with a finance expert on your profit & loss sheet for the initial years. If you have any additional money, this usually helps during the bad phases and helps support the business in times of need.
Do a test run
Before you go to buy a car, you will see that the seller will advise you to go for a test drive. Before buying a smartphone, you check out several reviews on the internet. Similarly, when you do a test run of your product/service, it will help you understand how the product will function in the market and what changes you need to make before making it official.
This will help you gain some strong insights about the business and will make the business fool-proof before it is launched in a big market.
It is great to have your savings for your business, but it is smart to only use it in times of need. It is always advisable to raise funds before starting your venture. Three major areas from where you can obtain capital
Bootstrap: This usually entails starting a business without any external help. You use your own money in this case.
Loan from the bank: You may get in touch with the bank and discuss your idea with the bank and get a loan. This will help you kickstart your business with ease.
Get in touch with investors: Networking might help you get in touch with angel investors. Angel investors can help you provide financial aid. You might even contact a venture capitalist firm. These firms are more set in their ways about which startups they'll fund.
3. What Are The traits required to be a successful entrepreneur?
A lot of people dream about becoming their own boss. But it takes a lot of hard work, determination, and passion to stand tall in a competitive world. You might want to be successful real fast, but always remember being successful is a journey, not a destination.
On that note, here are some of the traits that might help you on your journey to success:
Thinking out of the box always helps you grow in life, irrespective of whether you want to be an entrepreneur or not. Creativity and new ideas are adapted from your surroundings, so it is important to keep up with the trends around the world.
Whether it is the ice-bucket challenge, or AXE coming up with the most innovative ideas to market their product. Stumbling up the trends helps you understand how the audience is perceiving the product/service and gain insights from that.
The ability to take risks
Entrepreneurs are commonly known as risk-takers. Always remember starting a new venture is no less than gambling, the probability of succeeding and failing is 50% each. But you have to always focus on the bright side and keep going. Never stop learning from your failures and wear your failure scars like a hero and move on!
A good entrepreneur will have the ability to take up risks but at the same time, they will have a backup plan ready if the previous plan fails to persist.
You need to be passionate about your idea and business and keep that fire of passion burning throughout and always. When your work is your passion, you start to enjoy your work and do it with utmost diligence. Passion helps a person to keep going and is the biggest source of inspiration and motivation.
Even if you face obstacles in your path and if you are passionate about your work, you will happily work extra hours and give in your 200%.
If you are in the business world, you have to interact with other people. It can either be with your employees, during the hiring process, clients, laborers, landowners, etc. You need to possess this special quality to build a social status in the market as well. This will help you network well and gain good word of mouth.
Empathy and emotional intelligence
Entrepreneurs are the leaders that people will look up to. People usually overlook this particular characteristic but it is one of the most important traits for an entrepreneur to be empathetic.
You need to understand your employees and be mindful of their strengths and weaknesses so that you can work together better. You need to look after your employees so that they never get demotivated or unhappy.
It is your responsibility to maintain a positive environment in your office. Never forget to check on your employees for a healthy physical and mental state.
Being flexible and open-minded
When you are starting a business, you need to be flexible so that you can face failure and unexpected situations at any point in time. You have to humbly accept successes and positively accept failures. If you have an open mind as an entrepreneur, you will be able to learn from your mistakes easily and not repeat them in the future.
You should not frown at your losses but be stronger than before so that your employees will not get discouraged. You should be able to accept your failures and move on from them.
It is common to lose hope after coming across failures. But you have to keep yourself motivated. Read case studies of the brands which excite you. Read how Alibaba became such a successful venture, and how many failures the brand witnessed to reach where it is now.
Read how Channel created its target audience while launching their 'Little Black Dress', which was not appreciated by people at that time, but she still managed to create her tribe.
ProTip: One of the main things that you need to keep in mind is that there are no shortcuts to success, you will have to put in all your dedication and hard work to become successful. Being an entrepreneur involves working around the clock because to succeed, you will have to give in all that you have.
Always remember that being an entrepreneur has nothing to do with your age. Mark Zuckerberg found Facebook at the age of 19, and Col. Harlan Sanders founded KFC at the age of 62. It is all about having an idea that might click with your audience.
4. On A Concluding Note
It might be overwhelming to gain deeper insights into the world of being an entrepreneur, but it is okay. You just need to work on your BIG IDEA with utmost dedication and passion.
If plan A does not work, then go for plan B but do not give up. Be consistent and work on your communication skills. Always remember nothing important in life comes easy.
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