Starting a business and becoming an entrepreneur is one of the American dreams. According to the Global Entrepreneurship and Development Index, the United States has the best environment for cultivating entrepreneurship. There are 25 million Americans currently starting or running new businesses. If you have a great idea, and you’re considering taking the leap to go out on your own, it just might be time.
But great idea for a business is just that without a game plan. If you really want to start your own small business, there are a few things you need to know to make that great idea come to life. If you want to know how to be an entrepreneur, knowing these six things is crucial:
1. Solve problems, rather than just creating products.
Many new products fail because people don’t need or want them. If you’re looking for the next big idea that will help you become an entrepreneur, it’s important to look for problems first and develop solutions to those problems. You will find that where there are problems, there are people looking for solutions.
2. Get a good team of people around you.
When you’re starting a business, it’s important for you to focus on your strengths. You will be stretched thin, and using what very little time you have to focus on your weaknesses is not a good use of your time. You will need help, so get the right people around you—people who will be honest with you and have strengths that fill in your weak areas.
One of the biggest mistakes entrepreneurs make is hiring family and friends just because of their relationship. Understanding basic human resource functions will help you really evaluate people and hire the best team you possibly can.
3. Gain basic business skills in a few areas.
The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor 2016 reported that 42 percent of entrepreneurs said a basic understanding marketing, accounting, and computer skills were vital to starting their own business.
Even though you may not be performing all of these duties, it’s important to understand business functions. This will help you oversee your team and ensure that your resources are being used wisely. You’ll definitely want to know some accounting fundamentals as well as marketing, sales and customer service best practices.
4. Know where your money is being spent.
Business Daily News reports that 80 percent of entrepreneurs use their own money to fund their businesses. Even if you hire a professional to take care of your books, you should know basic bookkeeping. Many successful entrepreneurs learn QuickBooks software so they know exactly how and where their hard earned money is spent.
To help you understand investments and costs of doing business, consider a course in basic business finance before starting a business.
5. Understand your value proposition and know your customer.
As an entrepreneur, you know your product better than anyone. So, you need to be able to clearly and concisely communicate to others why they should be interested in your produce. This comes down to knowing your target audience.
You will never have the perfect solution for everyone. Great entrepreneurs know who their target audience is before starting a business. It’s not easy to narrow your focus when all you can think about is making sales, but you must choose an ideal customer. The more narrow your focus, the better you can market to that audience. Believe it or not, this will actually lead to more sales.
6. Fail quickly and move forward.
Success will not happen overnight and failure is inevitable. You need to not only expect setbacks and failures, but plan for them. When you fail, you need to fail quickly and turn things around by adapting and trying again. One of the worst things you can do is to make the same mistakes and hoping for a different outcome. Prepare for a long road to success, and keep yourself as well as your team motivated to reach your goals.
Entrepreneurs tend to work long hours. In fact, 82 percent of entrepreneurs reported working more than 40 hours per week according to The Alternative Board. But the reward of achieving your dream to have your own business can be worth it.
Wealth-X 2016 also reported that 62 percent of the 585 U.S. billionaires are self-made. So, if it’s your goal to join them, starting a business and becoming an entrepreneur could be your ticket. Just make sure you have the necessary plans, people, and skills in place before you do.
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