As ever, it makes sense to start at the beginning. The beginning, in this case, is whether you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur and whether you fully understand all that is required to run your own business. Some would-be entrepreneurs have romantic visions of what being ‘your own boss’ means, but certainly the vast majority underestimate the many challenges to being an entrepreneur.
So, what are the top tips to entrepreneurship?
- Self-belief – One of the most important aspects to being an entrepreneur is having sufficient self-belief that you can make a success of your new venture. Be prepared to listen to your gut feelings and trust your instincts.
- Open-minded – Having self-belief does not mean having a closed mind and not being prepared to listen to others. In developing your products and your business, always listen to feedback and be prepared to change. Make sure that you provide what buyers want to buy and not just what you want to sell them.
- Hard work – Whatever else being an entrepreneur entails, it will certainly mean a lot of hard work and long hours. Expecting this to be the case in advance will position you well for the challenges ahead.
- Founder – What type of personality are you? Deciding from the outset if you will be a sole founder or a co-founder will not only have a direct impact on your chances of success, but it will also have a major influence on your stress levels.
- Accept assistance – Don’t believe that you can do everything alone. Every successful entrepreneur needs to build a good team around themselves sooner or later, and often it is best to do this as soon as possible. Assistance can come at any level at any time, but it should always be sought out and accepted.
- Research – Make sure that you have properly researched the potential market for your product or service and that you have a realistic grasp of why buyers will use your offering rather than what else is available. How big is the potential market? What are the barriers to entry? How strong is the competition and how fragmented is the market?
- Realistic – When making any forecasts it is important to err on the side of caution and pessimism rather than optimism, as everything will take longer, and cost more, than you might hope. Factoring this in will help to ensure that you remain realistic and thus increase your chances of success.
- Finance – Most businesses fail due to lack of cash, so as an entrepreneur your most important task is to ensure that sufficient financing is in place and there is a runway of between six and 18 months.
- Flexibility – Every business needs to be able to adapt to changing circumstances and this is true from the very first moment that an entrepreneur conceives of a business idea. Indeed, one very great advantage that an early-stage business has over its much larger and better established rivals is one of greater flexibility, meaning that it can adapt, and even pivot, much more easily.
- Highs and lows – Every entrepreneur will tell you that there will be both highs and lows on your journey. Expecting the lows will make you better prepared to cope with them and enjoying the highs will underline why you wanted to be an entrepreneur in the first place.
Anything worth doing in life comes with challenges but that just makes success all the sweeter. By recognising those challenges and finding your own top tips to overcoming them makes that journey easier.
28th June 2022