An Entrepreneur is defined as “someone who sets up a business or starts a new venture, taking on financial risks in the expectations of making a profit”. Entrepreneurship meanwhile is the process of envisioning, designing and setting up the new business. The promise of profits is the reason behind many startups and yes there have been more new startups in the past few years than ever before. This shows that more and more people are willing to take on risks and believe in innovations and their ability to make their mark as entrepreneurs as against working as employees. However, fact is that many startups fail and have gone out of business. This is due to inadequate understanding of the risks involved. Here are some tips that any budding entrepreneur should be aware of.
Being an entrepreneur is cool but it also means a lot of hard work. Startups work longer hours than established businesses and all successful entrepreneurs have been through this. If you want to disrupt traditional systems and big established companies, then you have to be ready to burn the midnight oil.
Success is not guaranteed. There is no limit to what can go wrong even with the most innovative of ideas. Hence always plan keeping in mind failure modes and make sure you have mitigation plans in place.
Get feedback from the right people. Before jumping into entrepreneurship, run your ideas through people who understand the field and take their opinions. Find people who will give you honest feedback. This will help to make your idea more realistic and hence more likely to succeed.
Find the right investors. Raising money for your startup is important. But make sure you find the right investors – people who are genuinely passionate about your idea will prove to be more supportive than investors who are only looking for returns.
Be ready to make tough decisions – running a successful business is all about taking tough decisions. Be it regarding budgets, products or employees. You should be prepared to do this and in the most rational way.
Have a good sales and marketing strategy. Even the best business ideas have been known to fail simply because they were not marketed enough or in the right way. Hence make sure you have a strategy defined upfront. Then find the right people to execute your strategy. People who are passionate about your business idea will do a better job at convincing prospective customers about the same.
Continuous learning. Be ready to learn and keep learning – from your mistakes, from your successes and from your experiences. You should also study how other startups are performing and learn from their experiences. The knowledge that can be gained by understanding the market and industry trends can make a very big difference to your startup. Foster a culture of learning within your team.
Know when is a good time to be bought over. Once the startup has clicked and is doing well, there is going to be a lot of interest in your business idea and there will be firms willing to acquire you for a price. Have a good plan in place to know whether and when you would want to do this. This way you will not miss out on opportunities and will be in a better position to negotiate your stake.