Many people dream of being an entrepreneur. They want the independence that comes with being their own boss. They want to be successful in the eyes of their peers. And, importantly, they want the salary that they think comes with being the boss. But that’s not all entrepreneurship is about.
So, what is entrepreneurship about? Yes, it is about being your own boss. Wanting that freedom is why many people decide to start their own business. However, it’s also about having the motivation and drive to want to build a business of your own from the ground up. It’s about being willing to take risks and face failure, as well as be responsible for your staff and investors’ money.
It takes a lot to be a successful entrepreneur, which is why you need to prepare yourself properly if you want to start your own business. Here is some advice to help you along your journey to becoming a successful entrepreneur.
Decide what you’re going to sell and who is going to buy it
Before you even start dreaming of being your own boss, you need to decide what kind of business you’re going to start. What are you going to sell and who is going to buy it? In other words, who is going to give you money and why are they going to choose to give it to you? Are you going to offer a service that no one else has thought of? If so, are people going to want that service enough to pay for it? Or are you going to sell a product at a cheaper price than your competitors? If so, how are you going to do that?
You need to at least know how your business is going to make money before you can start working towards becoming an entrepreneur. At this stage, it’s okay to have several ideas and you don’t need to commit to one. That comes later.
Gain experience in the industry you’ll be competing in
Once you’ve decided how your business is going to make money, you will know what industry you’re competing in. For example, if you’ve decided to start a company selling handmade, one-of-a-kind toys, then you’re in the toy industry. But how much do you know about the toy industry? You may know exactly how to make a high-quality, unique toy, but do you know how to sell that toy? Do you know who buys these kinds of toys and how to reach those people? Do you know how to hire the best people to sell those toys?
Being an entrepreneur is not just about having a good idea for a product or service. It’s about understanding how to market that product or service and knowing the type of people you’ll have to deal with, such as suppliers and manufacturers.
To be a successful entrepreneur, you need to understand all aspects of the business. And in order to do that, you need to gain experience in the industry you’ll be competing in. Yes, that means working for someone else for a while and doing things their way. But that experience will prove invaluable when it comes time for you to start your own company.
Of course, if you’re struggling to find a position in the industry and that’s why you’ve decided to become an entrepreneur, you could always research the business and network with people in the industry.
Create a realistic and detailed business plan
As you gain experience in the industry, your business idea will become more detailed. You’ll figure out how certain processes work and what sells and what doesn’t. Over time, you’ll likely have a clearer vision of your business and how it will make money. Now is the time when you need to commit all that to paper, in a realistic, detailed and, importantly, professional way. After all, this is what you will be presenting to potential investors or to a financial institution when applying for a business loan.
Your business plan should include a quick summary that people can look over before taking their time to go through the rest of the information. This includes all the basics of your business, such as the industry, the specifics of the product or service you plan to sell, what will make your business a success, and your business model.
Following that, you need to have a detailed breakdown of your product or service, including potential suppliers, manufacturers and any other service providers you plan to make use of. You’ll need to do a market analysis, where you prove that there is a gap in the market for your product or service, as well as describe your target market and how you plan to reach them.
It’s also important to compile research on your competitors and explain what sets your potential business apart from theirs. You need to have a solid fact-based argument as to why your target market will choose your product or service over that of your competitors. Basically, what makes your business different from the rest?
Lastly, you need the employment structure of your proposed business. Do you plan to find a business partner or do you have one already? What kind of skills will you need to look for when you hire your first staff members, how much experience will they need to have, and what kind of salaries are you looking to offer.
Now that you have your product or service, experience of the industry and a solid business plan, you’re ready to finally call yourself an entrepreneur. Remember, it’s not going to be easy and you’re going to have to work hard, but if you succeed, it will all have been worth it.
How do I become an entrepreneur?