There are people who believe that it would be luxurious to never have to work. They dream of spending days free of responsibilities.
Then there is a different type of person. They recognize that their key to happiness is not to be free from obligation. Instead, their happiness is derived from creation, nurturing, and growth. This is the person who wants to see a vision come to fruition.
This is the entrepreneur!
But beyond being the person who takes on the financial risks and legal responsibilities of starting and running a business, entrepreneurs are people who have a vision for a different future. But, bringing a vision to fruition can be taxing and time-consuming. It requires understanding several things about yourself and your business. If you want to become an entrepreneur, there are five things you need to consider.
An entrepreneur without ideas is not an entrepreneur. After all, before you can start a business, you must have an idea of the type of business you wish to have. If you are interested in being an entrepreneur but you are not clear on the type of business you want, use the following list to help you get started:
- What am I good at? (To have a business, you must have a basis of understanding in the business, ergo, you must have some competence in the area of business.)
- What do I enjoy doing? (It is not enough to be good at something, you have to enjoy doing it.)
- How much time will I need to take this concept from idea to executable concept?
- Who do I know in this field that can serve as a mentor? (Remember, questions are going to come up that you will need to ask someone.)
The idea you have does not have to be revolutionary. You can take a simple idea and turn it into a very successful business. But you have to start developing your idea.
Entrepreneurship requires starting with a big concept and making it a reality. It means not stopping until you have achieved your desired outcome. Many people get overwhelmed by this. I know I did. At the end of 2020, my husband and I created a retail CBD and smoke shop. When we first got into the building we rented, I was overwhelmed. The space was previously leased by a head shop and the entire space was painted in black!
We renovated it using the colors white and lavender (Party Hat by Behr.) Have you ever tried to paint over black? It was not easy. It took significant time and money. We had no choice but to do the work, one paint stroke at a time. If we had failed at this critical point then we would have not gotten it off the ground. We would not have been able to open the doors on December 12th; so we hustled until the work was done and then celebrated with a grand opening party.
But, that was not the only challenge we encountered. From the moment we conceived the idea, it was a series of moments where execution was critical. Have the concept? Decide on a name for your business. Have a name? Secure the website. Have a website? Decide on marketing ideas.
It keeps going and going. The execution never stops.
A sad reality of entrepreneurship is that money does matter. The old adage that states that you “need money to make money” is an old adage for a reason. You will need to have some seed money to start the business you endeavor. Here are some places where money will need to be spent as you start your business:
- Business formation (registering your business with your state, trademarking a logo, etc.);
- Business marketing (purchasing a domain, doing your own website or hiring someone to do your website, preparing and creating signage, flyers, loyalty cards, etc.)
- Business basics (leasing or buying a location, purchasing products, hiring employees, basic hardware, and point of sale software); and,
- Business management (employee training, bookkeeping services, and general tax issues.)
There are a large number of places where you can spend money on your business. But, by determining what things you can and do enjoy doing, you may be able to save yourself some money.
You will notice that in this article, planning comes after execution. But, this is the only time that it will. Planning is what helps you take your idea to full concept. Planning will help you ensure you have a roadmap for your idea’s success. It will help you create reasonable timelines and it will help you budget correctly. In fact, planning is the piece that ties all of the others together.
While it is true that not everyone is great at planning, there are some things that you can do to help you in the planning phase.
Of all of the things that you need as an entrepreneur, the most important is time. After all, you cannot start and grow a business unless you are willing to put time into your business. You must nurture your business every step of the way.
An important caveat, you should not be the only one working your business. For example, if your entrepreneurial concept is a restaurant, you cannot be chef, waiter, dishwasher, and front of house all at once.
If you try to be the jack of all trades, you will end up being the master of none. But, if you select one piece of the business that you can do exceptionally well and hire others to do the other things, you can success. For that reason, I recommend that you devote your time to the things that you a)enjoy and are good at, and b) will help you level up your business. The other things should be delegated.
What words of advice do you have for entrepreneurs?