Bored with your routine job and thinking of starting your own business, or are you in desperate need of money? By now you must have heard that 90% of all small businesses fail: poor planning, competitiveness, insufficient advertisement and lack of capital being some of the factors.
Do you think you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur? Experts like Peter Drucker, the educator, author and management consultant who invented the term management by objectives and self-control says that entrepreneurs ‘create something new, something different; they change or transmute values.’[i] If this is you and you are here to make an impression on the world, you will have to have a novel or fresh concept and you will have to overcome your doubters by being your own boss.
Being stereotyped is one of the main obstacles an entrepreneur will have to overcome. If you start from scratch -zero dollar-, people will judge. When people talk, they speak their fears for your new idea. To them because you are coming with something new, you are bound to fail.
The average person does not want to work with a non-established entity, unless the business is first class and the average person has little tolerance for the growing pains of a usually single staffed company. People prefer top service at an affordable price. If you can make your company seem as if you are at the top of your industry but come at a reasonable price, you have done the trick.
The personality traits at the entrepreneur’s disposal impact greatly on her or his success. Nader Seyed Amiri and Mohammad Reza Marimaei from the University of Tehran say entrepreneurs demonstrate ‘confidence, perseverance, determination, energy, diligence, resourcefulness, the ability to take calculated risks, dynamism, leadership mistakes, optimism, the need to achieve, versatility, knowledge of the product￼ and creativity’.[ii]
Look at your list of people skills and on a case-by-case basis, determine which quality to use when dealing with difficult people and challenges in the business.
Be frank and ask yourself, ‘what kind of lifestyle do I want? How do I want to operate? How much time am I prepared to devote to building my business? How big do I want my business to grow? What kind of business culture do I want to have? How will the business change my life?’[iii]
Sometimes it is impossible to predict the number of customers and difficult to price products and services. There are times when most entrepreneurs will be unable to pay staff or self. If you dip into your business’ pocket, you have robbed it of its chance to succeed. Whatever little is earned from the business is to keep it afloat. The most important use of money is to purchase stock and pay staff. Self is the last to be paid from any new business.
If you are starting with zero dollars or a year security, have faith. Seek and learn what funding is available for small business operators. Most of funding is for already established small businesses. Remember, every dollar that can be accessed will come in handy.
So you are the pig-headed one, who is determined to prove you can succeed at everything you try, then by now, you know that knowledge is the key. Jumping into an area of business that you know nothing about can be very costly. Every entrepreneur must have knowledge about their industry of choice. It is often best to start a business in which you have experience. This is where your skills can best be used. But if you have no experience, please, educate yourself about the business you are venturing into before investing all your resources and time into it.
Be the humble servant. Everybody you meet and everyone you know is a potential customer. Remember that business people are here to serve the needs of the community. As the servants of our customers, we know that a well-pleased customer is money in our pockets. We keep our clients satisfied.
Listen to the Voice within. Have the guts to follow your dreams and follow your own path. The 10% successful entrepreneurs did it their own way because they listened to that Voice within.
[i] Van Sickle, Heather. Defining Entrepreneurship: Starting A Dialogue on the Meaning of the “E” in NACCE. National Association For Community Colleges. 2010.
[ii] Amiri, Nader Seyed & Marimaei, Mohammad Reza. Concept of Entrepreneurship and Entrepreneurs Traits and Characteristics. Public Management, University of Tehran, Faculty of Management MA in Agricultural Economics Accepted 23 November, 2012.
[iii] Taylor, Andre. Are You Helping Entrepreneurs Plan for the Future? Defining Entrepreneurship: Starting A Dialogue on the Meaning of the “E” in NACCE. National Association For Community Colleges. 2010.