Becoming an entrepreneur is exciting. You get to do what you want to do and be in charge. But, along with that excitement is high responsibility. You are not only responsible for yourself, but you become responsible for others who work for you.
According to the Small Business Administration (SBA):
- About two-thirds of businesses with employees survive at least two years
- About one-half of businesses with employees survive five years
- Survival rates are similar across industries
Here are some steps you can take to become a successful entrepreneur and start your own business.
Be Aware of Your Challenges and Weaknesses
Hiring the right people, being competitive with other businesses, and having the right tools for your business are some of the challenges you may face. Being an entrepreneur is hard, but it is also very rewarding.
Identify your own weaknesses and be honest. Are you good with money? Do you know when the right time is to hire people? Are you organized and do you have a list of your goals? Being a successful entrepreneur requires you to take inventory of your own weakness. Once you identify your own weaknesses, then you should be able to overcome them.
Identify the Right Business for Yourself
There are many steps to take when starting your own business. Being a successful entrepreneur requires you to plan and organize those next steps. What product or service would you like to promote? What type of funding will you need to make your business successful?
At first, it is important to research everything you can about what you want to do. Are you someone who mows lawns and wants to own a landscape business? Do you work for a construction company and think you have a better way to serve clients?
Identify the best business model and start small. How do you want to begin and what will it take to become a bigger and better business?
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Know Your Target Market
It is very important to research and know your target market. Before you spend money, you need to know how well your product or service will sell? Can you make money with your idea?
By creating a marketing plan, you are able to identify who will buy your products and services other than your friends and family.
By conducting market research, a competitive analysis, and knowing exactly who your target market is, you will be more informed about what you need to do to succeed. Your marketing plan will help you develop a marketing strategy. Not everyone will want to buy your product or services. By conducting your research, you will find out how many customers or sales you need to make your business successful.
Write a Business Plan
A business plan is a document outlining your business goals and strategies for achieving them. It will help you to organize your thoughts, identify the competition, and help you generate more ideas to make your business successful.
It also helps you to identify many other items like your legal structure and marketing strategy.
When you are writing your plan, you may make changes based upon discovered research. A business plan helps you align your goals, get yourself on track, and helps your dream to become a reality.
Identify How to Fund Your Startup
You will need to know how much money you need to start your own business. It is important to research and understand your expenses. How much will your business cost before you earn money?
Go through the process of determining your startup costs. The more you prepare for your business launch, the better you are. Once you determine your costs, then you can figure out how to get money. Will your business idea attract investors, or will you need a small business loan? The Small Business Administration (SBA) has helpful tips on how to find financial backing.
Take Leadership and Human Resource Classes
You may be extremely organized and financially savvy, but your business will not succeed if you plan to hire others and don’t know how to lead them. If you don’t take classes, then ensure you research and learn as much as you can about hiring, leading, and terminating employees.
A part of becoming a successful entrepreneur is by leading others. Do you know how to handle these situations?
- What interview questions are legal and illegal?
- What does your business offer to retain top talent and be competitive with larger businesses?
- How do you investigate a sexual harassment complaint?
- What do you do when one of your employees is in the news for doing something illegal and your business is mentioned?
- Can you drug test?
- Do you know how to lead for top performance?
Research every employment law for federal, state, and local compliance.
Learn to Network
Some people don’t like the idea of networking or going to chamber meetings. Identify opportunities to network that you actually enjoy and perhaps take a friend or business partner along.
Once you get to the outing, listen, and get to know people. You don’t have to be a salesperson but think of ways your business can help them achieve their goals. Research best practices and find what works for you. Part of owning your own business is successful networking.
Entrepreneur Traits Needed
Here are some traits to develop to help you become a successful entrepreneur:
- Visionary– Do you see where you want to go and what you want to do? Being a visionary is knowing and going after what you want.
- Motivation– Being motivated to do the hard work is required. Do you become more motivated when thinking about starting your own business and doing what you love? More importantly, how can you motivate others to work for you or invest in you?
- Open-minded– This is important to being able to generate new ideas and have out-of-the box thinking. What can you do differently than others in your business? How can your product or service be competitive?
- Focused– To be a successful entrepreneur you should be focused on what you are trying to achieve. Also, you should be focused on each step to make your dream happen. Don’t skip steps. Being focused means you make your list of what needs to occur, and you follow your list.
- Determined– You know what you want to do. What steps do you need to make that happen? Don’t let naysayers influence you. Be determined if you want your dream to occur.
- Charismatic– Be likeable. You don’t have to be the most outgoing person. You can be introverted and still be charismatic.
- Inspire others -Great leaders know how to lead people instead of managing them. They inspire others around them to do great things. They don’t micromanage their employees.
- Passionate– People who do well in business are passionate about what they are selling and about their product or service. They sell their goods or services because they believe in them.
What other traits do you think successful entrepreneurs need?
Before diving in and opening your business, do the work first. Follow recommendations to develop a marketing strategy and business plan. Even if you don’t need financial backing, these steps help you become more successful. Identify your weaknesses and don’t be afraid to ask those closest to you what they think they are. You have to work hard to become a successful entrepreneur. Identify what you need to do and make your idea of business become a reality.