How to Become an Entrepreneur? Step-by-Step Guide
An entrepreneur is what most youngsters aspire to be! Most big companies were started by entrepreneurs. Whether it is Coca-cola, Tesla, Microsoft or Facebook, it was all work of entrepreneurs! So, do you have it in you to become an entrepreneur? Or what kind of an entrepreneur are you aspiring to become?
As we complete our education, we excitedly look forward to what life has to offer us in terms of job opportunities. The lucky few land jobs that they aspired for, while most do not get their dream job. It has, therefore, become quite common for young individuals to start a business of their own in other words become entrepreneurs!
Although the above-stated reason is the motivation behind many entrepreneurs, it is not the only reason. Many people venture into starting their enterprise only because they are inclined towards it. Many have a risk-taking attitude and it propels them to start their own business.
Irrespective of the motivation, becoming an entrepreneur is not an easy task!
Several individuals start their own businesses, but sadly only a few succeed. As per Fortune Magazine, nearly nine out of ten startups fail! The reason for this is that entrepreneurs do not strategize correctly.
However, one should not get disheartened by the statistics and approach entrepreneurship with great passion and hard work. What you need is a clear-cut strategy of how to become an entrepreneur to gain a foothold in the cut-throat competition.
Before we delve into how to become an entrepreneur, let us first see what we mean by the term, “entrepreneur?”
The word entrepreneur is derived from the French word, “to undertake.” An entrepreneur can be understood as someone who undertakes risk and initiative with the end goal of financial profit.
Although entrepreneurship looks promising, not everyone can be successful at it. Successful entrepreneurs have certain traits.
Traits of an Entrepreneur:
- First of all, they are not averse to taking risks.
- People who generally become entrepreneurs are those who like to be their bosses, set their schedules and manage everything their way.
- They are self-reliant. They like to take responsibility for their success.
How to become an Entrepreneur
Step 1: Understand Yourself
One of the first steps for becoming an entrepreneur is a basic introspection, finding out yourself.
You need to take a quiz to find out what kind of entrepreneur you are!
There are online quizzes that help you find out:
- Whether you are a team player or work best when you are alone. This will help you decide what type of business you will be best at, sole proprietorship or partnership, etc.
- What your traits are, whether you are creative, analytical, etc?
- What your business ethics are, how you like to function?
- What your strengths and weaknesses are?
- What is your aptitude? What are you passionate about?
Once you have answers to these questions, you will be better equipped to choose the line of business best suited to your personality.
Step 2: Find out Your Purpose
The next thing is to ask yourself, why you want to be an entrepreneur. Is money the driving force or is it your passion in a particular field that motivates you?
Find out your purpose!
Step 3: Choosing a Business Model
When you know who you are and what you want, it becomes easier to choose a business model that is the right fit for you. It is beneficial to find a business that is aligned with your personality type because operating such a business becomes easy. You will be positively inclined to your work and the chances of success are higher.
Step 4: Choose Your Industry
When you decide to start your enterprise, you have so many options available to you. Should you start a retail store? or an IT company? or a fashion store? Options are many, but you should ideally choose the industry in which you have expertise. Choose a niche that you know about instead of choosing something where most people are headed because it is a successful line.
Step 5: Market Research
Find out how the market is for the product/service you intend to start your business in. Analyze your competitors, study the demand for your products in the market.
It is a good idea to study the products of your competitors and see how you can offer your customers a better product. Market research is a must if you must succeed as an entrepreneur.
Step 6: Understand Your Buyer
We are living in an era where the market is completely customer-centric. As an entrepreneur, it is important to understand your buyer’s needs. Understand what they want, address their pain points, and offer them products/services that meet their needs.
Step 7: Educate Yourself
It is a highly competitive marketplace. Therefore, you must have in-depth knowledge of the field that you are considering to start your business. The fact remains that technology is advancing at breakneck speed and you will need to stay updated with the latest developments not only in your field but also in related fields. For this, you will need to have the temperament to continually educate yourself.
Step 8: Strategize Your Business
A business plan contains your business objectives and your strategy for achieving those objectives. You need to determine your step-by-step procedure of how you intend to reach your goals.
Having a business plan not only provides a direction to your business process but also helps you in getting investors on board.
Preparing a business plan also enables you to assess the success of your enterprise.
Step 9: Location
The next step would be to determine where to physically locate your business. A few years ago, it was crucial locating the business such that your customers could easily access it. Also, location was vital when starting a business to avoid low patronage thereby business failure. But, times have changed drastically now especially if your business is technology based. The buyers can now connect with the seller through the internet. Therefore, the location is not as important. However, depending on the nature of your business, the location does play a role in the success of the enterprise. For instance, if you plan to start a restaurant business, the location is a vital factor for its success.
The entrepreneur needs to study his buyer and their demographics, gender, etc., and locate the enterprise so that it is easily accessible to their target audience.
Step 10: Networking
In today’s world, networking is an important factor in being successful. And, when it comes to entrepreneurship, it can make a difference. LinkedIn Founder, Reid Hoffman said, “I networked my way to a couple of different venture capitalists”. Networking can help an entrepreneur connect with investors or with people who have the right skill sets to maybe partner with you or work for you. Networking also helps you connect with potential customers either directly or through common connections.
Some Handy Tips
These are the basic steps for starting your entrepreneurial journey. However, an entrepreneur should be aware that technology is disrupting most aspects of our lives in more ways than one. Any business today needs to have an online presence to reach out to a global audience.
It is not necessary for the entrepreneur to be aware of the aspects of digital marketing, etc. But he can outsource website development and digital marketing to professional agencies. The digital footprint of an organization cannot be ignored.
A startup needs to essentially have a website that talks about its products/services. It explains its features, how it can be purchased, etc. You also need to promote your website on social media so that you can connect with your audience.
There is no harm in starting a business at an early age. But it is a good idea to gain work experience in your field of interest before starting your own business.
Although you may be all enthused to start a business on your own, you could consider taking the support of a mentor or a coach initially to start your business. A mentor or coach is experienced in his/her field and can guide you to build a successful business.
Many people delve into entrepreneurship because they believe that it is a fast way of getting rich. However, the fact remains a strong successful enterprise is built bit by bit slowly. You need to have patience and slowly build your business. If you build your business slowly, you can learn and make adjustments. Building your business slowly offers you an opportunity to face new situations and find solutions to them on your own. This is valuable learning which helps you as you grow your business. Another important factor to be borne in mind is that you need to be persistent when you start your own business. You may face issues that may be hard to overcome or even face failures but learn from your mistakes and go ahead to achieve success.
In the words of Robert Bruce, “If at first you don’t succeed try and try again!”
So, pull up your socks and get started!