Did you know about 33.7M small businesses registered in the US in 2020? We all know someone who is an entrepreneur. Being an entrepreneur does sound fun. After all, who wouldn't want to be their boss? We are sure of your dream of being an entrepreneur too.
Are you someone who wants to quit college and start a new venture with their BIG IDEA? Entrepreneurship consists of levitating more towards your passion. Your big idea might be centred around addressing a need.
The need might be centred towards business, technology, social, economic, community, or any other problem.
Being an entrepreneur goes beyond just becoming one's boss. Before understanding the steps to become 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, innovators, and masterminds behind ideas, inspirations, companies, procedures, and services.
Did you know being an entrepreneur helps uplift a country's economy? When new ideas and skills come together, it leaves an impression in the marketplace and the people's minds.
It takes immense courage and risk to start a new business, and the individual with 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 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 a mastermind behind their business and company. If you are passionate and want to revolutionize consumer behaviour, 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:
Step 1: What Is The Problem Your Product/Service Aims To Address?
Once you have a BIG IDEA, you need to understand the problem your product/service aims to address. There might be an existing market, or you might have to create a market need.
For example, the Salon service at home did not have a market ten years ago. But now, with a busy life, many people want to get salon services at home, 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.
Step 2: Do Deep Research
You need to do your research about 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 to identify and understand the wants, needs, and even behaviours of the target audience and how your products will benefit them. In the salon example, it was necessary to research how many people do not use salon services. You can research with the help of dipsticks, survey forms, and group surveys.
At the end of your research, you can 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.
Step 3: 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 attend business meetings and seminars.
This helps 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 vision.
Step 4: Financial Stability
Having financial stability is very important for the smooth running of a business. You might have a lot of savings, which is good, but you must always understand that business is no less than gambling.
If your idea is accepted, it will do well, but if it fails, you might face a huge loss. It is a wise 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.
Step 5: Do A Test Run
Before you buy a car, you will see that the seller will advise you to go for a test drive. Before purchasing a smartphone, you check out several reviews on the internet. Similarly, a test run of your product/service 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 vital insights about the business and make it foolproof before it is launched in a big market.
Step 6: Raise Money
Having your savings for your business is excellent, but it is wise only to use them in times of need. It is always advisable to raise funds before starting your venture. Three significant 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.
A 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 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 boss. But it takes a lot of hard work, determination, and passion for standing tall in a competitive world. You might want to be successful 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 essential to keep up with the trends around the world.
Whether 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 perceives 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; 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 must be passionate about your idea and business and keep that passion burning. 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 most significant source of inspiration and motivation.
Even if you face obstacles in your path and are passionate about your work, you will happily work extra hours and give in 200%.
In the business world, you have to interact with other people. It can either be with your employees, during the hiring process, clients, labourers, landowners, etc. You need to possess this unique quality to build a social status in the market. 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 characteristic, but it is one of the essential 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 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 starting a business, you need to be flexible to face failure and unexpected situations at any point in time. You have to accept successes humbly and positively accept failures. If you have an open mind as an entrepreneur, you can learn from your mistakes quickly and not repeat them in the future.
You should not frown at your losses but be more robust than before so 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 people did not appreciate then, but she still managed to develop her tribe.
ProTip: One of the main things 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 founded 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 being an entrepreneur, but it is okay. You must work on your BIG IDEA with utmost dedication and passion.
If plan A does not work, go for plan B but keep going. Be consistent and work on your communication skills. Always remember nothing important in life comes easy.
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