I’m by no means a high flying entrepreneur. I’m simply a small business owner who has seen and experienced a tiny amount of entrepreneurship, running a digital marketing agency. I seek to learn from my mistakes, and wish to impart what I’ve learnt to advice aspiring minds who are eager to start their own businesses.
With the world brought down to its knees by the Covid-19 pandemic that has been a challenge to contain, the internet is rife with articles detailing how today is the best time to start a business. Well, that could turn out to be just fine for some people, however it does take more than an opportune time to create a business that is successful and long lasting.
In this article, we look at some factors you must consider before diving in the adventurous world of entrepreneurship. It is not an exhaustive list and definitely not a defining one, however it should give you something to work with to make your decision a tad easier.
Entrepreneurship starts with having the right mindset. It encompasses how you think and approach problems, the behavior that governs your action and how strongly you believe in yourself and your business. Mindset is a crucial factor in determining if you’re capable of handling a business and taking important decisions you feel will reap you rewards down the line even though the short-term gains are not perceivable. If you find yourself having a mind that voices pessimism and countless self-doubts, perhaps you should give yourself some time to decide if entrepreneurship is really a route you wish to undertake.
People like interacting with other people. You may have a great idea that could potentially transform the working of an industry but it’ll be a waste if you won’t have people buy into it. Interpersonal skills cannot be underrated when venturing into a business. Starting a business and moving away from being an employee sounds idealistic but remember that you’ll be dealing with others on a day to day basis – whether they are your employees, clients, board members, investors and so on. How you manage your relationship with people from such varied backgrounds and experiences, has a tremendous impact on the course your business will eventually take.
If I have one thing to advice to new budding business owners, it’d be to plan long term on ways to achieve their goals. Thinking strategically on how to move your business, which direction to take and the tools to employ to attain those benchmarks, is what sets apart a successful business from a failed one. Strategic thinking is more than simply charting out newer territories and frontiers to venture into. It is about understanding the consumer persona, understanding the gap in markets and deliverables, and moving towards fulfilling them in phases. Do you find this daunting? That’s because it is!
Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple, once famously said: You can’t just ask customers what they want and then try to give that to them. By the time you get it built, they’ll want something new.
Strategic thinking is not only fulfilling customer wants at this hour but staying a step ahead of them too. This quote by Jobs perfectly exemplifies what a successful entrepreneur must look forward to – questioning the status quo and reacting swiftly at overcoming business hurdles.
Core business operations
Whether you are going to be a solopreneur or a tightly knit team; unless you have a core selling point, it’ll be an uphill task finding clients and growing your business. Putting trust in an unknown business is a rare occurrence, if at all. This is why you need to be really good at what you do and make it your selling point.
Running a business and being good at it, takes considerable time and efforts. Ensure you have systems and checks in place for smooth daily operations. Do you have sufficient funds to cover your expenses for the next one year? Did you plan out a marketing strategy to let other people aware of your existence? What is your recruitment plan for the first 3 months? Have you segmented your work and are other people held accountable?
Questioning the daily rut of your business life and documenting it as you go along will help synthesize systems for your business and make the entire operations lean and strong. These steps are necessary to stay consistent as a business and to make your business operations robust.
Remember that entrepreneurship is a multifaceted process. One certainly isn’t born an entrepreneur but can become one by way of learning and discipline. As an entrepreneur, you have many hats to wear and the ride suddenly ceases to look glossy. The question now remains – do you have what it takes to be one?