In my line of work, I constantly meet people who want to become entrepreneurs. While I celebrate and encourage entrepreneurship, I must say that it is not for everyone. Even more, I don’t take clients who I feel won’t be effective in their entrepreneurship journey. This is because I don’t want them to waste their time or money.
While you don’t have to be born with an innate inclination for entrepreneurship, you must be willing to make the effort to build the right skills if you want to be an effective entrepreneur. For the average person building or growing a business takes hard work and dedication. It is not something that you should do just because you want to “be the boss.” However, it is something that you should do if you wish to be of service to your community. And you can’t do this if you don’t have or aren’t willing to acquire the knowledge, skills, and abilities that it takes to be an effective entrepreneur.
So if you are thinking about becoming an entrepreneur, you need to do a thorough self-assessment to determine if you meet the following qualifications:
In order to be an effective entrepreneur, you must have the ability to think strategically. This does not mean that you have to be the world’s best strategist. But you do need to know how to effectively think and plan long-term. You must think beyond selling to the small number of clients that you may already have. You must investigate how you plan to support multiple clients in the future.
The average new business owner that I meet is simply focused on the here and now. These individuals can only think about how they can make money from their service or product. They don’t think about the logistics of manufacturing mass goods or providing consistent services to large numbers of clients. They don’t think about ways that they will market their business, transact payments, or even expand in the future.
In order to be an effective business owner, you must be able to think through every aspect of your business operations before going public. This is why it is important to have a sound business plan. You can easily draft one on your own if you have strategic planning training and/or experience or if you are a natural strategic thinker. However, if you don’t have the skills, experience, or expertise to think and plan strategically, you should consult a professional to help you with this very important task.
As an entrepreneur, you must be willing to tough it out through thick and thin if you endeavor to be successful. You can’t give up at the slightest challenge that you face. You must be in it for the long haul if you plan to see results.
One common theme among new entrepreneurs is that they want to experience success overnight. As soon as they open their storefront or publish their website, they expect to make instant sales. In most cases, this is not realistic. It will take time to build your brand and your clientele.
Though businesses with physical storefronts are likely to see some activity on the first day of opening, it is unlikely that they will achieve massive sales right away. Exceptions to this general guideline are business owners who invest in franchises or other recognizable brands. Even more, it will generally take new virtual businesses much longer to build a steady and consistent clientele base. Competition in the online marketplace is very stiff right now. Without proper planning and sound marketing strategies, it may be more difficult to get a stronghold in your niche market.
So if you wish to have a successful business, you must be patient and ready to deal with the challenges ahead. Understand that many of today’s successful, well-known entrepreneurs failed several times before they or their brands became household names.
Effective entrepreneurs must be able to adapt quickly to changing and uncertain times. You can’t get stuck in one way of doing things. You must be able to bend or grow in a different direction if you want a successful business. Modern-day technology has proven this time and again. If you are not willing to adapt to societal changes, you will most likely be left behind.
Even more, you must be able to adjust your thinking to the way that customers think. You can’t do everything the way you like it. Your goal is (or at least it should be) to please your customers. You shouldn’t expect only to sell the products or services that you like. Doing so may be counterproductive in the long run. Consumers have varying preferences and tastes, which means that you should try to cater to their needs and desires and not your own.
If you desire to be an entrepreneur, you must be a self-starter. You must be able to initiate and execute your business plan without the promptings of others. Unless you are starting your endeavor with a partner(s) you won’t have someone standing over your shoulder to ensure that you get the job done. You will need to set your own deadlines and stick to them.
Though there are many resources available to help you get started, you will need to do all the groundwork. Entrepreneurship is not for those who aren’t willing to take charge and take responsibility for ensuring the success of their business.
Entrepreneurship also requires serious discipline. You must be capable of managing yourself as you execute the day-to-day operations of your business endeavors. You need to be able to start your duties on time and stay until the job gets done.
I meet a number of prospective entrepreneurs who want to start their own businesses so that they can be the boss and do whatever they please. Entrepreneurship often means the exact opposite of this – you may have to work earlier and/or later than your employees. This is often the case in the beginning phases of your business endeavor. In fact, you may be the only employee during the start-up phase.
If you are not willing to put in the hard work, your business can easily fail. Few people will care more about the success of your business than you. So you should not anticipate being able to lay back on the beach while your employees oversee and complete all the work. You will need to be an active part of your business until it is running well enough for you to focus your attention on other matters.
In order to be successful in business, you must operate with integrity. Your customers must be able to trust that they are receiving a quality product or service. Otherwise, you will most likely lose many of them. You must consistently deliver your products and/or services in a timely and equitable fashion. Not only are you at risk of losing customers if you fail to operate with integrity you can also subject yourself to litigation. This can easily result in fines or imprisonment.
In order to be a successful entrepreneur, you must be willing to learn. Even more, you must take the necessary steps to acquire knowledge about laws, rules, and regulations related to business ownership. You will also need to grow in your knowledge of marketing techniques, networking, and other business matters. This is a never-ending task as the world is consistently changing. You will need to stay abreast of the latest trends and happenings in your industry.
Again, there are professional services available to assist with many aspects of your business in terms of marketing, payroll, etc. However, you must have some foundational knowledge in these areas in order to avoid being taken advantage of. So adopting an attitude of continuous learning will serve to aid and protect you in the long run.