15 Things You Didn’t Know About Becoming an Entrepreneur
In today’s society, where unemployment is an enormous challenge, and one of the obvious causes of poverty and economic recession, most individuals troop into entrepreneurship with little or no knowledge of what they are getting into. Firstly, you must fully understand the concept of entrepreneurship and entrepreneurs to prevent failure and massive loss. Entrepreneurship is defined as the design, and creation of new business enterprises while bearing all the risks, in hope, and because of profits in times to come.
Persons who partake in the process of entrepreneurship are known as entrepreneurs. Risk-taking, business building and development, and financial investments are the major practices of entrepreneurs, all because of profit. Some of these risks and business startups incur losses, while some others result in good profit to the entrepreneur. Therefore, to prevent these losses, you must know the ins and outs of becoming an entrepreneur. These fifteen (15) eye-openers are indeed necessary to take note of if you want to know if you should or shouldn’t become an entrepreneur.
1. The Entrepreneur is Not the Imagined Boss
Yes, you read that right. People always hear and get the impression that because they are the founders, CEO’s, and creators of the company, everything from the amount of money or income made, the style, manner, or composure of services rendered and products created solely depends on them. Well, that isn’t completely wrong, being the founder or CEO of a business or an enterprise makes an individual completely in charge, and allows all decisions and choices to be made by that person. Even so, for the good of the company or the enterprise, the entrepreneur has to conform to the ideas, decisions, opinions, and requirements of another party, not minding the personal decision initially made. This deprivation of complete influence over some affairs of the company is of great importance as it determines the success rate of the enterprise.
The big question here is who is the real boss of the boss? Who possibly has the power to influence the decisions of the CEO or entrepreneur? Who pays the entrepreneur? Well, the answer to these questions is quite easy; the consumers. Definitely and entirely the consumers also known as the customers, the audience, and generally called the people.
They have the power to affect various things in the company that they do not even own or fully partake in. The consumers strongly affect the choices made by the business owner because they are the source of income and financing to both the entrepreneur and the enterprise. In the production of goods and the development of services, the consumers are the first to be considered.
The consumers at a particular location, of a specific age, and era, with a particular taste or behaviour, are prioritized. The services were created for them by the entrepreneur, and the time for these services to be rendered is determined by the time the consumers need the service. Therefore, consumers control many things in the enterprise.
When products or goods are made, the consumers or customers are the top consideration in the production, packaging, and pricing of the product. This is because they have the money the entrepreneur needs, therefore these products or services are made to their taste. The products or services are not simply for self-consumption but the clients or customers, in a bid to receive payment from them. If a product is made, and the available consumers do not require it or don’t seem it necessary to purchase, then there will be no sales and no sales means no income, no income means bankruptcy and company failure.
The entrepreneur has to base his decisions on what products or services the available clients or consumers need, the time they need it, and the price they will be willing to pay for it. Automatically, if the consumers need the products or the services by midnight, the entrepreneur must be available at that time if he wants to make money. All these make the people the boss; things are made to suit their desires to receive their money. Every entrepreneur needs people for his business to survive.
2. Get-Rich-Quick is Never the Case
Many individuals rush into opening businesses in hopes of becoming billionaires overnight. In the real world of entrepreneurship, this doesn’t happen at all. The initial startup and beginning process of the enterprise is a very difficult period, and many give up at such times. When a new business is started, various challenges are faced by the business and its owner. Challenges like lack of sales or profit, incurring debts, customer loyalty, risk management, staff employments, market competition, and many other issues that come with running a business are faced.
This stage of the business can be indeed tiring and stressful for the entrepreneur. Money does not just rush in immediately after the products are taken out to the market, it takes time for people to acknowledge the products, and familiarize themselves with the goods in question. As the little pay drips in, it is used for the purchase of more production materials and the realization of the initial capital. After the completion of this process then the real profit starts coming in little by little.
The business or the enterprise needs to make a name for itself through the production of good quality products, well-priced goods, or highly required services. When it has been fully established, and many people have heard about the enterprise and the products, then massive sales begin, and only then can great profit be accumulated. It is all a gradual process with various ups and downs but in all, hard work and perseverance will survive.
There are no chances of succeeding overnight or becoming a billionaire immediately after starting the business. It’s always a matter of starting small or of little beginnings before the enterprise becomes big and large. Enterprises like Amazon and Yahoo that are considered as “overnight success” didn’t become successful until at least three years while most other companies take a longer period of years to make an impact. As they say; slow and steady, wins the race.
3. Risks and Losses are Inevitable
Business risks refer to the possibility of companies or businesses going low on income or getting losses in the financial segment due to various situations that occur within and outside the enterprise. It doesn’t matter how smart or wise an entrepreneur is risks and losses are unavoidable in setting up a business. There are various causes of business risks and losses in companies and many of them cannot be controlled by the entrepreneur.
The causes of losses in a company include strikes, riots, war, greater market competition, changes in the choice of the customers or consumers, government policies, and other uncertain reasons. Business risks can also result in complete failure of the company, due to continuous losses or insufficient profits. The risks and losses in running an enterprise are usually a big blow to the business owner as they are usually unexpected, and thereby catch the company unprepared.
Other examples of business risks are production risks caused by unsteady delivery of raw materials, the sudden breakdown of machines, and accidents. Marketing risks are caused by unstable market prices, loss of property, and assets due to fire outbreaks or natural disasters like earthquakes or floods. Some measures can be taken in the company to minimize the business risks and incurring losses, though all the risks cannot be avoided in business. The process of entrepreneurship is never an easy one as the entrepreneur bears all the losses and risks.
4. The Money Flow or Income is Unstable
In businesses, even when the sales are moving smoothly, the income generated is never stable or steady unlike in the cases of salary earners. Some days the entrepreneur can make a lot of money because a lot of sales were made, or a lot of services were rendered, thereby increasing the amount of money that comes in. Other days less amount of sales can be made or few services can be rendered, thereby reducing the income that gets in. these fluctuations can be as a result of business risks as mentioned above, they can also because by seasons, occurrences in the society, trends, or simply availability of the clients or consumers.
The salary earners or government workers always earn their adequate amount of cash not minding the seasons or the trends in the society, or even the availability of clients. They can only be laid off if the situation or occurrence is extreme, but the entrepreneur bears all the losses at all times. This can also be a good development because in cases of a maximum of very high profit. While a salary earner maintains whatever salary normally gotten, the entrepreneur makes a whole lot because there is an improvement in marketing and sales. Income can also come later than expected, and unexpected or unanticipated expenses may occur and also become setbacks.
5. Keeping the Right Set of People
Twenty-nine percent of new businesses that fail, do so because the right set of people for the job were not available. Acknowledging that two or more heads are better than one is important. “No man is an island” a company can be put up by an individual, but all the affairs of the company cannot be run by one person. The entrepreneur needs to have people around to fill in for the areas he/she is lacking.
Even so, it of great importance that the right set of people are chosen for the job. People who the entrepreneur feels he can work with because they have the right attitude and know their jobs well. People who are even smarter and very much devoted to there are needed to improve the company because lazy ones will help pull the business down.
6. High Tolerance
Becoming an entrepreneur demands tolerance for a lot of things that you may dislike. The first case of tolerance is seen in dealing with clients or customers as different people have different behaviours and methods of reasoning. It takes a high level of tolerance to deal with these people who may reason very differently from you, or who just have the wrong attitudes and manners.
The entrepreneur also needs to tolerate those working for him, though they should endeavour to work hard to earn their pay. The employees are still mere humans and can make a lot of mistakes, they can also have opinions that are very important and useful to the growth of the company. The entrepreneur needs to understand, and should also be a good listener to the employees, clients, investors, and many others.
Tolerance is also essential for running the business, because of the stress, frustration, and failure that comes with running a business. Entrepreneurs endure the hard times and persevere in toughest times, they refuse to give up and that keeps them on top.
7. Entrepreneurs Must Learn a Lot
There are various stories of successful entrepreneurs who don’t have any university degrees, but that doesn’t mean they stooped learning though they don’t go to school. Entrepreneurship requires a lot of skills, for a person to succeed. Great knowledge in the line of business or field of work must be acquired by the entrepreneur as expertise is necessary to grow a business. No person is a know-it-all; therefore there are always many things the entrepreneur has to learn within his field, and outside his field.
When a new enterprise is put up, only a few people are employed to reduce the expenses that come with paying employees. This stage of business requires the entrepreneur to wear a lot of hats, and to have knowledge of various fields as the company cannot afford to pay so many staffs for their services. Knowledge of accounting, sales and marketing, website design, public relations, skills on risk-taking, creativity and problem solving, and many other skills and knowledge that the entrepreneur needs to have.
Having a vast knowledge of diversified skills gives the entrepreneur leverage among others as he is a jack of all trades. He has the firsthand knowledge and experience on so many things and will be considered great by those around, and some will consult him for directions. Entrepreneurs know their business or companies inside out, and that enables the smooth running of the company.
8. Entrepreneurs Represent Their Business or Brand Wherever They are
As an entrepreneur, the business should be a reflection of your personality as the products can be linked directly to the owner. The products made, and services rendered can make or mar the reputation of the entrepreneur as it represents the owner of the business. How the entrepreneur functions will be depicted in the manner the business functions.
As an entrepreneur, to know your business properly, you must first know yourself. You must know what makes you happy, what makes you sad, what motivates you or pulls you down, and may more. With the knowledge of all these, the entrepreneur can efficiently run the company in a way that suits his lifestyle. Know what you can do or what you can’t do, how you work or don’t work, and how to fully utilize your abilities, and for those things you aren’t good at you can either employ persons with the abilities you lack or learn to keep up.
Getting back to the products of the entrepreneur, they have to be completely perfect or efficient to retain a good name and thereby attract clients. Quality is of great importance in the business sector as it keeps the clients, and makes the consumers loyal. The behaviour or character the entrepreneur displays greatly affects the products. If the entrepreneur has good morals and charisma, the products will be well represented and thereby trusted. People can confidently depend on the products or can trust the services of the enterprise and whatever price tags attached to them.
9. Entrepreneurs Can Go Completely Bankrupt at any Time if Their Business is Not Well Managed
Most businesses require a lot of time, effort, skill, and money to be put up, and the entrepreneur as the main guy inputs all he has to ensure the business succeeds. Many people also take loans or borrow from others to start up their business (which is not a wonderful idea). Business constitutes a lot of risks and great losses can occur at any time. Bankruptcy can befall the entrepreneur and his enterprise for various reasons which are both avoidable and unavoidable.
When a business is started with a loan and the income doesn’t flow in as expected, it becomes an enormous problem for the company. Problems like no market need for the product or service, less income flow, wrong team or set of workers, failure in the market competition, pricing and cost problems, poor marketing, loss of business focus, lack of financing and investors, legal challenges, and other reasons can lead to a business going bankrupt. The entrepreneur is always in jeopardy of losing it all at any time, so it is necessary to stay alert and have savings in preparation for the bad times which will come. Avoid going into debts when running a business, as it makes things a lot more difficult if they do not go as planned.
10. Uniqueness is Needed to Conquer
Being unique means to be different from others, and it is a quality of being one of a kind. In the tough market competition, it is only uniqueness that can make a business strive and stand out. What makes your business special? It is not simply about starting up a business or just making products to generate income. Instead, it is a matter of solving problems that normal people face at different times, business is all about bringing solutions.
Having a business that solves problems is being unique, a business that affects the lives of people positively. Instead of replicating an already existing business, find out problems that still exist in society and let your company focus on bringing a solution at a cheaper rate. Try to do things differently from others; this will attract people to your enterprise.
When a product is very different from already existing ones and appears promising, it will attract more buyers thereby increasing the sales and income in the company. Many products fail because people do not need the product, and therefore no sales are made.
11. Change in Mindset
The mindset or mentality of an entrepreneur is very different from the mindset of others. As an entrepreneur, you need to think in a way that will enable you to overcome challenges, bear responsibilities as a leader, make difficult decisions, and generate money.
The mind of an entrepreneur is focused on ways to improve himself and his company, by acquiring various skills, and assets. The entrepreneur is self-confident and overcomes doubt, he knows what he wants and goes for it, and he stands accountable for all his actions. The mentality of any entrepreneur, says “I can do better, I can make more money”, “I can strive harder, I will get what I want”. To become an entrepreneur, you must first think like one. Become uncomfortable with your present situation and press on to finding greener pastures, “you have all it takes”.
Passion affects the degree of motivation the entrepreneur has, it makes them confident in their dreams and aspirations, passion makes people very committed and it enables perseverance. Passion is a drive to transform an idea, or a solution, to become profitable.
In all the tough times that a business owner faces, passion is what fuels his perseverance, and confidence in his dreams. It is the stamina that drives the entrepreneur and helps him overcomes challenges.
Passion greatly affects the attitude of the businessman in his dealings with clients, employees, and investors. For a business to stand the test of time, the owner needs to be very passionate about it. When the income is not coming in as expected, only the passion in the heart of the entrepreneur can keep him going and ensure he perseveres.
13. The Perfect Schedule
As the boss or the person in charge, the entrepreneur completely controls his schedule. No need to hurry or rush to the office, simply fix the appointments at a time you are comfortable with. Especially when the company has been established and has employees, the CEO doesn’t even have to be there every single day, and the money keeps rolling in.
As an entrepreneur, you can decide to take some days off with or without permission and no one will question you. All the issues of not spending enough time with your family are over because you have the power to control that. This may not be the case when the business is just starting up, but as time goes on, you get to rest more or even retire early and let your workers bring you the money. The good life where you don’t always have to sit in that office to avoid being queried and in place of that you can work from a beach. You have the most flexible job as an entrepreneur because you make the rules for yourself.
14. Create Opportunities and Make Impact
Entrepreneurship is a good step to achieving great dreams and destinies, as it opens up connections for a person. Reaching out to various people in the name of the business is a starting point for creating opportunities because these people are the connections you need to go higher. Those who are below you will hear your success story and become inspired to make moves. If they do succeed they have you to thank for their progress.
Entrepreneurship establishes a person and makes them well known, the solutions brought by the products or services, serve as the impact made on people. You will be known for the help you gave and the problems you solved, thereby leaving remarkable footprints on the sand of time. Entrepreneurship is a platform for people to see you, and for greater success.
Creating and building things are always exciting experiences, making you feel special and great. It is more so when you enjoy the exact thing you’re doing, and you do it properly. The feeling of not being pushed around by anyone and fully expressing yourself in various ways is truly exceptional. There are no certain rules to abide by, there are no limits to how much you can do or not do. Working with people can be fun though a bit stressful but the life of an entrepreneur with all the risks and success is an interesting one.
Passion, self-confidence, determination, and perseverance are qualities every entrepreneur needs to succeed. Nothing comes easy in life, so to become a great person, all risks, downfall, and setbacks must be tolerated. The life of an entrepreneur is a wonderful one and to obtain it, you have to strive for it.