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While many people dream of becoming entrepreneurs, there seems to be much apprehension around how to start and what to actually do in order to start a business
Why Choose to be an Entrepreneur?
These days, becoming an entrepreneur is a lot easier than it used to be. The internet has opened up so many opportunities and a lot of room for creativity.
While many people dream of becoming entrepreneurs, there seems to be much apprehension around how to start and what to actually do in order to start a business.
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Frequently Asked Questions
1. What should all first-time entrepreneurs know before starting their very first business?
These days, becoming an entrepreneur is a lot easier than it used to be. The internet has opened up so many opportunities and a lot of room for creativity. While many people dream of becoming entrepreneurs, there seems to be much apprehension around how to start and what to actually do in order to start a business. Here are four key factors to consider when starting a business:
Talk is cheap: Yes we said it! Nothing is going to happen if you just talk about it. You need to put your words into actions. I’m sure you’ve probably heard one of Richard Branson’s most notorious quotes “screw it, just do it.” This is the attitude that’s got him to where he is today.
An idea doesn’t have to be exceptional: In fact, you could turn the simplest idea into a very successful business. If you are passionate about something and have a specific niche in the market, you’re set up for success.
There will be difficult times: Nothing worth having comes easy. Elon Musk explained in the documentary; “Elon Musk Profiled: Bloomberg Risk Takers,” that he came close to losing all the money he made from PayPal by trying to start Tesla. And take a look at where Tesla is today. There will always be bumps in the road but that should never stop you from carrying on with what you’ve started.
Don’t be afraid of failure: In his infamous graduation speech at Stanford University, Steve Jobs explained that fear of failure is the main reason people don’t succeed. He himself failed multiple times before he eventually created the multi-billion dollar organizations; Apple and Pixar. Never give up.
2. If I want to become an entrepreneur, where do I start?
Everything that is around us is created by humans. Ultimately everything manifests in our minds, and then we create it in real life. Most of us know that exercise is good for our health but how many of us actually do this. Thinking about something is good but we need to put it into action. Here are some important actions to take, to get start on your entrepreneurship journey:
Have a to-do list. Plan the night before what you need to do the next day and then do it.
Remove all unnecessary distractions and apps. Many successful people aren’t even on Facebook.
Connect with people who inspire you. Other successful entrepreneurs can give you great advice, and let you in on their secrets and failures.
Surround yourself with people you trust. Then give them the freedom to make decisions, to fail, to make mistakes, and be there to guide them.
Keep away from negativity and negative people.
Take each day as it comes. Wasn’t Rome built in a day right? So give yourself time and don’t put pressure on yourself to accomplish more than is realistically possible.
3. What are the best ways to generate good business ideas?
The most successful entrepreneurs use their imagination each and every day to make decisions that will make the world a better place. But what’s their secret? How do they generate these new ideas? While there’s no secret, there are a few ways that you can keep your mind open and fresh to allow for those brilliant ideas to flow:
Meet new people: Talking to new people really opens your mind and gives you a new and fresh perspective. Go to networking events, chat with people outside your industry, or even talk to some of your existing customers to get a feel for what they want.
Keep a “pain point” journal: All successful companies have one thing in common; they solve a problem. Uber, Google, and Netflix all solved specific “pain points” in the marketplace. Think about what irritates you and keep a journal to document your everyday frustrations. There could be a revolutionary product or service that you could create to solve the problem.
Tap into your interests: Think about your passions, hobbies, and interests. Is their a business opportunity from something that you love to do. Do you love coffee? Perhaps you could start a coffee brand. Do you love to exercise? Maybe you could create a fitness app.
Explore new ways of thinking: Thanks to the internet, new methodologies and ways of thinking are always evolving and some industries are better at embracing them than others. Keep up to date with the latest trends, learn new skills, research alternative methodologies and apply them to your pain point journal.
Go online: Join entrepreneurship and industry related communities online. You would be surprised at what you can learn and the people you can connect with. Do your research and use social media sites like Twitter. You can look up hashtags that are relevant to your industry and interests.
Do your market research: This is a very important step. You have what you think is a great idea but does it have any potential? Research the market to see what’s out there and how and where your idea could fit in.
4. What does it take to become an entrepreneur?
We could go on and on when it comes to this question. There are so many successful entrepreneurs out there and no doubt, each of them has taken different paths and have different pieces of advice. However, what most of them would agree on is two aspects that we feel are vital to becoming an entrepreneur.
Firstly, having the self-awareness to recognize your strong and weak points, and secondly, having the natural inclination towards continuous professional growth and improvement. Along with this, you should also have a passion for the product or service that you are offering.
You need to be genuinely interested and fully committed to what you do.
5. What are some small scale business ideas?
This is a great question because believe it or not, many low-cost businesses have a high revenue potential. Here are a few ideas for small-scale businesses:
Food business: Think something like a hotdog stand outside a nightclub. Get your hands on some cheap grills from Amazon and get cooking. Eventually, you could take your business further by adding different food products and start selling at posh events.
Software: The main cost involved with software is time. The ongoing costs are very low. If you can find a product that people need or want, and are in the position to use a subscription model, you could have a very lucrative business.
E-commerce: It’s quite easy to set up your own store online by using sites like Shopify. Finding a niche product with sales potential can be difficult, but if you have the time and patience to search the web, you could come up with products that you can resell.
6. How do I build my small idea into a business?
If money is an issue, then there are various ways that you can create your business without the necessary capital. It will obviously depend on your business idea, but here are a few ways to build a business without capital expenditure.
Bootstrapping: Many businesses can be created within a “lean mentality.” This means streamlining your idea or product to the point in which you have a minimum viable product (MVP) that doesn’t require you to invest like you would usually have to. Think of ways to serve a really basic and core product without the need for the 80% investment that is normally required. Create a business built on variable costs. Meaning that you only cash-out when you are actually selling.
FFF 2.0: Have you ever heard the phrase Friends, Family and Fools? This expression refers to asking your close circle for financial assistance in creating your business. This is not always a good idea because it often results in broken relationships. If you need to take this route, you should come to an agreement whereby your first profits will go towards paying your debts.
Funding: If you in the position to, you could reach out to a Business Angel to help fund your business. For this option, you will need to validate your concept.
Bank Loan: Not a good idea but it is an option.
Find an equity partner: Find a trustworthy business partner to walk alongside you. You will need someone who has the necessary technical knowledge that you are looking, as well as the entrepreneurial drive to commit to the business.
7. What steps are you taking to become an entrepreneur?
The first step is often disillusionment. While everyone else is taking prestigious jobs at consulting firms, investment banks, and real estate organization, the entrepreneur mind is likely having a rough time trying to convince themselves to take a traditional career path.
Next, each and every entrepreneur will experience struggles along the way. You will fail and you will encounter bumps on your journey, but it’s important to never give up. Push through the hard times because success is just on the other side of failure.
Finally, once you have reached success, you will be educating and inspiring new entrepreneurs. You can develop mentorship programs or just be there for any budding entrepreneur who wants some sound advice.
8. What qualities should an entrepreneur have up his sleeve?
Here are some of the most important qualities of being a successful entrepreneur:
Adaptability: You need to be able to adapt to changes in the macroeconomic environment. Identify factors that are constantly changing and work to overcome them.
Flexibility: Elon Musk is a man of 80 hours a week. You need to be flexible in your time and opinions. Be open-minded and know your limits.
Networking abilities: You need to connect with like-minded people. Networking is the key to success
Self-discipline: Weekends, holidays, sick days? You are your own boss so if you’re not working, nothing is happening.
Decision-making skills: You have to be able to make a decision. The good, the bad and the ugly. Some decision may be hard but it has to be done.
Finance management: You need to manage your finances with the utmost diligence. Know where your money is going. Cash flow is vital.
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