Entrepreneurship is on the rise, a proven fact in this era of widespread, lingering unemployment, worldwide. Many young people are creating their own futures by starting their own businesses. Older people are starting second careers after retirement to augment their income. Let us look at the key factors for success, planning and personality.
ONLY 43% OF BUSINESSES GROW THEIR BUSINESS WITHOUT A BUSINESS PLAN!
Research indicates that 80% of businesses without a plan, fail completely. You can prevent this happening to your business idea, if you take the time to to work on a business plan, before you quit your day job. It can prevent you from discovering that your business idea is not ready for prime time and at worst, stop you from personal financial disaster. It may not be the fun part of launching your next great idea into a viable business, but the most essential part of your journey to successful entrepreneurship.
What are the keys to a good business plan? Here are the top 10 tips from Washington State University. For the full infographic, go to http://omba.wsu.edu/infograph-10-keys/
1) Identify the business needs your business fulfills
2) Describe how your business fulfills this need
3) Recognize how your business is unique
4) Name your stakeholders
5) Know the size of your market
6) Know who makes up your target market
7) Devise ideal promotional strategies
8) Breakdown your revenue streams and expenses
9) Create a budget to get started
10) Create a plan to break even
After you have a great business plan, the next important step is to see if you have what it takes to plunge into the scary world of entrepreneurship.
7 TRAITS OF SUCCESSFUL ENTREPRENEURS
The road to successful entrepreneurship is long and rocky, so perhaps the most important trait is a certain amount of stubbornness. Can you stick with your idea and get it to market even if it takes you a year or so to get the idea off the ground? If you are the type to have a gazillion ideas and flit from one to other, with a short attention span, perhaps you should skip entrepreneurship. You only need a few GREAT ideas with great research into your market and market acceptance (think biz plan) to have success. It’s not always type “A” personalities than make good business people, sometimes the slow and steady ‘C’ types can get the job done. They may not be flashy, but they will stick with it!
Do you love what you do, meaning embracing all aspects of getting your widget or service to market. You have to invest a lot of your time and effort before you have a viable, profitable business, so you better love every minute of the day you spend on your project.
3. NO FEAR
Fear lurks everywhere, it keeps you up at night, it’s around every bend. Can your manage your fear? The biggest fear of the them all is fear of failure. But all entrepreneurs know that it might take several attempts and several ideas before you get a winner. Think Bill Gates (Microsoft), Steve Jobs (Apple), Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook). Just for fun, go to Wikipedia and search out these biographies. You’ll be surprised. At the beginning they were just bright, ordinary guys, coming up with some pretty wild and crazy ideas.
Richard Branson has vision. He now has over 400 businesses, but started at age 15 with the idea of breeding budgies. Donald Trump is another example. They see trends and develop businesses quickly, before their competition can hop on board.
"My interest in life comes from setting myself huge, apparently unachievable challenges and trying to rise above them … from the perspective of wanting to live life to the full, I felt that I had to attempt." Richard Branson
Young entrepreneurs like Toronto based entrepreneur Nunzio Presta co-founded BizOn as a way to simplify the process of buying and selling a business. He says,
"I loved identifying opportunities and seeing my visions turn into something real. This is what made me realize entrepreneurship was my calling." Nunzio Presta
5. SELF BELIEF
You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself in any direction you choose.
You’re on your own.
And you know what you know.
You are the guy who’ll decide where to go.
Nothing like a quote from Dr. Seuss to put it in perspective. If you believe in yourself, others will believe in you too. You don't have to shout out from the roof tops. It’s the quiet confidence from within, the self-belief.
You need a strong dose of this trait. You are on this entrepreneurial path and though you need to be stubborn and tenacious, you can’t be inflexible. If you can’t find the right target audience for your product, perhaps you have to research other avenues to market. Or perhaps you have to change your product, slightly to make it more appealing to your potential customers. This is called ‘pivoting’. It means if you aren’t reaching your revenue targets, you must adjust either your product mix or your markets to find the sweet spot of profitable growth. Take the restaurant business, for example. A venture with a high failure rate. Many restaurants reinvent their menu to appeal to the changing tastes of their customers. (Think McDonald’s, KFC, Starbucks)
7. RULE BREAKERS
Steve Jobs was one,
Jobs’ youth was riddled with frustrations over formal schooling. At Monta Loma Elementary school in Mountain View, he frequently played pranks on others. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steve_Jobs
Rule breakers don’t like the status quo, they are anxious to find new solutions to old problems, they have curiosity. The best advice is to seek out like minded people. Being connected to entrepreneurial ecosystem is extremely important and rewarding for new startups. Sometimes hanging out with fellow entrepreneurs with completely different businesses can spur you on to break through a business barrier. Many countries now have startup incubators; working space labs where experimental ideas are nurtured into viable products or services.
Share your entrepreneurial enterprise on Youinc. We would like to hear your story. Did you follow the advice in this article, or did you choose a different path?