How to become an entrepreneur
Entrepreneur is a person who initiates, organizes and manages a business (the process requires great initiative, planning and involves risk).
Becoming an entrepreneur can be emotionally and financially rewarding (although only a small fraction of entrepreneurs become really wealthy), but involves a significant level of organization, initiative and risk taking (your plan may or may not work as you have projected).
Steps to becoming an entrepreneur
- Think of a business idea (it could be something that already exists, but the competition is low or something completely innovative but potentially useful and attractive to the world). Is it scalable? Can it develop into a bigger enterprise rather rapidly?
- Research research research. See how much competition already exists and whether you would withstand that competition. Sometimes it might be worth working in one of the existing companies for some time or taking a few courses to better understand the processes.
- Create a business plan. A business plan is not just a fancy word combination – it is an essential component of a successful start up. Once you lay it all out and start planning, you are able to see the true picture and assess how much potential your business has, if it is really worth your effort.
- Determine the target audience. You need to have a very good understanding of the people you want to sell your service or product to. If you target the wrong audience your business may not be successful.
- Pitch and find investors (private or institutions). You can also raise funds through crowdfunding on platforms like Kickstarter. Try networking and pitching your idea to people who could potentially be interested in investing in your business. Your ideas and your plan would have to sound really convincing.
- Launch and market your business. People need to know that your business exists. Talk about it, use social media platforms, advertising platforms, print advertising etc. See what you can achieve with minimal marketing expenses first and then gradually increase your marketing expenses.
- Monitor and innovate at all times. Launching a business is really just the beginning – you need to monitor its progress and development constantly, check on competitors, think of new ways to grow and scale it.
What skills do you need to be an entrepreneur
- Time management. Entrepreneurs get up early in the morning and plan their day efficiently. They try not to waste their time. They also determine their most productive times and use them to complete the most pressing tasks. Learn more about time management strategies.
- Organization. Entrepreneurs plan things and try to stick to the plan. They organize their routines in such a way so that they can accomplish as much as possible. But also incorporate physical activity and recreation to give their bodies some opportunity to recharge.
- Creativity and curiosity. Entrepreneurs always look for new opportunities, explore new avenues to ensure their business is successful and flourishing. They read and learn something new every day.
- Resilience and perseverance. Entrepreneurship can be risky and stressful. Success does not just happen and may not happen for a while. Entrepreneurs need to be prepared for failures and treat them as opportunities to improve, to take a different approach.
- Communication and networking. In order to ensure success of their business, entrepreneurs need to be effective communicators, they need to convince and get people on their side, get others interested in their product or service. They also need to communicate well with their employees to ensure all operations run smoothly and employees are happy.
- Financial literacy. In order to be a successful entrepreneur it is important to understand how finances work, how to budget, how to spend and borrow wisely. It may be a good idea to even take a course or a program in business and entrepreneurship to better understand the financial aspect of it.
Entrepreneurship is not for everyone
Even though many people are considering it at some point in their lives, not everyone has it in them to become an entrepreneur. The most successful entrepreneurs successfully develop and apply the skills described above, as well as constantly look for new opportunities. Many of them also emphasise that in order to become really successful you need to be first. That means that having or developing a sense of what might be in demand that is not yet readily available and going for it with a well-defined plan is one of the key traits of a successful entrepreneur.
Do you have what it takes to become an entrepreneur?