Starting out on your own and creating a business from nothing is no piece of cake. But you already know that, don’t you? We’ve been told that you have to ‘think big’ and ‘dare to dream’, the poetic inspirational quotes are only going to take you so far.
To really succeed as an entrepreneur, you need to have the right mix of bravery, logical reasoning, leadership, unconventional thinking ALONG with rational thinking, with support and planning being the key legs of your entrepreneurial venture. Now, ask yourself this –
DO YOU HAVE WHAT IT TAKES?
Here’s a checklist that will help you start preparing –
- How important is ‘planning’ to you?
- What is your current financial situation?
- How supportive are your friends and loved ones?
- How do you deal with failure?
- What would you improve about your leadership abilities?
- How much experience do you currently have?
Sometimes, the answers could paint a very clear picture on where you currently stand and what you need to be doing as your next best step. For someone who’s just been working for about 2-3 years, sticking to your day job while building on your idea would make more sense. On the flipside, a seasoned professional with enough experience and networking could finally take the plunge to start off something as his own.
It’s factors like these that define your success or failure as an entrepreneur more than your idea alone – So start actively gaining relevant experience, building a network of supportive friends, improving your financial situation with the right strategies and be ready for when it’s time to make the plunge!
Here are a few tips on how to ace the Entrepreneurial Game –
1) Be the ‘Man with a Plan’
You’ve done everything right. You have a stellar business idea and you’re in a sound financial position with the right network of people who will help you grow. But what happens next?
Well, your business still needs a lot of work to come into effect and allow you to realize your vision. You need to start developing a sound business plan. You’re probably experienced enough by now and know the elements that go into making a business like yours succeed, but it’s always better to put down a concrete plan of action. We recommend writing your business plan down so that you can weigh out the pros and cons and tick off everything you need in terms of processes and materials to help you succeed.
2) Find the right partner.
Once you have a plan in place and understand the bigger picture, it is time to introspect.
Okay you have taken the plunge, yes you have enough experience to start but can you improve the current setup…or find someone who can add value.
It’s time to get yourself a partner that adds value to your business, understands your idea and fills in for your weaknesses and helps you raise more capital for your business. If you find the perfect fit, partners can really do great things together. Look at Larry Page and Sergey Brin, their little brainchild Google, is probably how you found this article today.
A spouse, parent, sibling, partner, total stranger – the perfect partner could be anyone you trust and feel you can work and grow with.
3) Find the right mentor
You might have all the key components to your plan in place, but a little hands on learning from someone with relevant experience is gold. Use the time just before launching your business, or even after launching to look for a seasoned professional who knows the business and the current situation well enough to guide you towards making the right decisions – not by simply preaching to you, but involving you in the thinking process.
Having the right mentor can really help develop your analytical thinking and take into account a lot of things you might have skipped had you been just by yourself.
To put it simply, like Oprah Winfrey did so well –
‘A mentor is someone who allows you to see the hope inside yourself’.
4) It’s okay to fail
‘Why do we fall?’ Alfred famously asks Bruce Wayne.
‘So that we can rise up again’.
And this holds true in real life as well. It’s absolutely normal to fail. Because that phrase of failure being the stepping stone to success isn’t just a phrase. Every successful person has had to fail numerous times to get that one final all important hit that changed his life. Success never happens by accident, it is a process that is predominantly filled with failures that help you see your shortcomings and work on them so that you’re ready for success.
What are we trying to say here?
Don’t be too hard on yourself. Fall down seven times, get up eight. If you keep at your craft, with everything you’ve got and get your planning and setup right then there’s no stopping you. If not immediately, definitely eventually.
5) Keep a steady stream of Income
One of the golden rules when you are starting out is – DON’T QUIT YOUR DAY JOB. It’s easy to say you want to start your own business, but you should definitely not be putting all your eggs in a single basket. Especially not if you do not know how the business is going to fare in the market.
Let’s be clear here. No one’s telling you to abandon your dream. You’ve got your head in the right place, but just need to wait for a little while longer before starting your venture and going all in.
Does that mean you stop what you’re doing and sit down feeling bad about this? Definitely not.
See it as an opportunity to balance both – your work and venture and a steady flow of finances to help you prepare for when you are ready to take off.
Take this time to improve your financial situation so that your mind is at rest and you are making sound decisions without the worry of funds. Learn and build on your leadership skills while you are still in a working environment and upskill yourself in anticipation for your new role in your business.