Many aspire to become an entrepreneur but only a few succeed at it. Entrepreneurship allows an individual to implement his/her ideas in areas that interest them. The satisfaction level of being an entrepreneur is high, however, there are also a few sacrifices to be made. Whether you are looking to become an entrepreneur at 18 or 80, it is always a challenge. Here are a few tips to help you become the entrepreneur you were meant to be –
- Your passion for entrepreneurship should be high
The passion you have for your goal should drive you to work towards it day and night. Your passion should be able to push you through the challenging times, even when you feel like giving up. It must help you form a definite vision of what you want in the future. The energy, courtesy of your passion for work, will attract clients to your business. It will also help you achieve your desired growth.
- Can-do attitude
You can start by writing down your goals and what you aim to achieve in the next five years. Remind yourself of why you started in the first place. List down the talents and skills you believe will help you achieve your ultimate goal. It might also help to have positive influences such as family and friends for support to keep up the tempo. Reading about entrepreneurs you look up to and learning from their struggles will also help you develop a can-do attitude.
- High degree of perseverance
Perseverance is the key for any entrepreneur. There is a huge possibility that your startup may fail. It is most likely that you will face obstacles as you go along. With each new step you take in your new venture, you will be met with a bigger challenge. As such, it is important to develop a spirit of perseverance. It is also important to develop an attitude that helps you strive ahead through the ups and downs, amidst criticism and praise.
- Gauge the strength/uniqueness of your idea
Learn to focus on the strengths and the unique aspect of your idea. There are many existing entrepreneurs and flourishing businesses. So what is it that makes your idea unique? What sets your business apart? You will find that there are a few unique aspects of your idea that could help it thrive. Focus on these unique aspects and promote your business based on these unique points. Help clients understand what makes your business different from similar products and services.
- Test your idea in the market
Being an entrepreneur comes with a lot of risks. However, it is always important to know which risks must be avoided completely. One of the keys to doing that is to test your idea in the market. A great way to test your idea is to have a focus group, where a small group of customers will use the product and give feedback and suggestions. Another option is to conduct a survey. This could be done by distributing free samples and asking for feedback. These steps will help you understand the product’s key advantages and disadvantages for the consumer.
- Test your MVP with customers/prospects and keep fine-tuning it
Create a minimal viable product and test it in the market to understand the product’s success rate. You can keep fine-tuning the product as per the feedback received until you achieve the desired quality. There are many ways you can test MVP such as social media surveys where users can give feedback directly. You can also have landing pages or pre-order pages.
- Launch your product with a Set Business Plan
Have a business plan in place before you launch your product. It is important to note down and have a careful analysis of the competitive environment. It is imperative to understand who your competitors will be and how you can overcome any setbacks. It is also critical to be aware of the financial constraints that you might face. Most importantly, you should have a marketing plan. These steps are necessary so your product can be marketed as widely and as effectively as possible.
- Generate revenue
Have a financial plan which ensures that your business will generate revenue over time. Calculate your profit, your expenses, probable losses, and the expected income you can generate over time. It is important to take note of the salaries you might need to pay. Develop a strategy to ensure that you can keep paying your team while generating income for yourself.
- Build Your Team
Build a core team after careful selection. As you are just starting out, you must try to get the right set of people to work with. They should have a positive mindset to adapt to different situations. Ensure that the team is work-driven and productive.
- Develop a Marketing Strategy directed at a well identified target audience
One of the most important steps in your entrepreneurial journey is to develop a marketing strategy keeping in mind your target audience. Your product will not be able to cater to all demographics. As you work on your product, have a clear idea of which age group is your target.
Being an entrepreneur is no easy task. But one must strive ahead with a can-do attitude and persevere through challenging situations. In the end, it will be worth the hard work and effort that you and your team put in.
(For those in later years of the graduate program/ PG students/ working professionals/ pre-incubatees having a validated idea to launch a venture)