Most students would hear or read the word’ entrepreneur’ in an economic class. As time goes by, there are several individuals who would think about becoming an entrepreneur at least once in their lifetime.
Quite likely, you’ve done the same. Perhaps you’re reading this because you’ve thought ‘I do XYZ really well. I should make a business out of it!’ Of course, working for yourself is a highly rewarding and satisfying career choice. However, it does entail a lot of hard work an initial investment, consisting of both time and money.
What makes entrepreneurship even harder is that there’s no real formal training on the subject. You learn its definition; write it in your exam paper, but there is virtually no college course on how to go about it. Conventional educational systems are more geared towards making good employees out of students.
If one really does want to start their own business, there are a few things they must know and realize in advance. We have compiled and discussed some of these below:
- Avoid Loans Or Manage Wisely
Certain entrepreneurs think of starting a business with a loan. This is quite a risky undertaking, especially when there’s interest involved (as it usually is). If you are a first-time entrepreneur, you would be well advised to stay away from getting into debt at all.
Whether the loan is for money or stock, starting out in the red is rarely a good idea. Your business model is as yet untested, so you can’t say for sure whether there will be any return. If the business is not a success, the loans would still be there, ruining your personal and business credit.
A better option would be to start small, save up a little, and invest back into your business. If you feel the need to expand later on, you may consider a loan. This is only when you are sure of your business giving you back enough to repay your debts.
If a loan is an absolute must, go for home or personal loans. The interest rates on these are lower. Even then, it is advisable to take as small a loan as possible.
- Don’t Pay Heeds To What Others Say
As an entrepreneur, one of your main jobs is staying positive and optimistic. This just might be one of the hardest tasks. You would be tempted to let your frustration show, stomp around, or even throw a tantrum. However, you would stop yourself from doing so, because:
- It would demotivate your employees or partners
- It would not accomplish anything of worth
- You would tend to think less of yourself and become demotivated as well.
Additionally, an entrepreneur would get a lot of negative statistics about failed businesses thrown in their face. In such a case, always remember that you have two ears, and can easily let out negative words the second you let them in.
At times, it may seem that the business is going nowhere. You may feel like a robot, sacrificing every little thing for a stagnant venture. However, it may be that you simply need a booster shot of vitality and freshness. Don’t lose hope until there’s absolutely no choice left.
- Money Is Not Everything
Making money may seem like the first reason for going into business. However, it is actually only one of the many reasons you start a business. If your aim was just money, you could earn that at a much steadier rate with a conventional job.
Instead of focusing on returns and revenues alone, an entrepreneur also needs to focus his passion on something worthwhile. You need to believe in what you’re doing in order to do it on your own. It is highly unlikely that a business would succeed if its creator wasn’t invested in the work itself.
Additionally, you need to have a proper business model in place before you launch your venture. Even if you have stacks of cash as your initial investment, it’s bound to run out sooner or later. An efficient cash flow at a consistent level is what you need, as well as the qualified employees to run it.
- Have A Life
In the modern world, it is easy to have an unhealthy emphasis on making your work your life. Entrepreneurs especially take pride in their midnight oil burnings, their sunken eyes, and lack of social life. However, there is a limit to how much a human being can do before they suffer some sort of burnout. This could be in the form of a nervous breakdown, a bout of depression, or just the feeling of something missing.
Being productive means getting all your necessary work done within a certain amount of time. What many don’t understand is that the ‘necessary’ part also includes giving time to yourself. It is best if you work lesser hours, focusing a little more on your family and friends. This would be a refreshing break and motivate you to concentrate harder on work when the time is right.
A scheduling and planning app can greatly help with streamlining your work and social life operations. You can also hire experts for this service if you feel you need extra help.
- Save Up!
Instead of bothering with loans, tighten your belt a bit and save early on. Then invest your own savings instead of looking to banks or other places. The little struggle you will have in the beginning would hopefully be nothing compared to the growth of your business.
Savings give you independence, as you would have fewer stakeholders in your business. You could then do things your own way, without being answerable to a dozen investors or creditors.
It may be a good idea to distance your personal life from your business altogether. For instance, you could simply view yourself as an employee and draw a fixed salary for yourself. The rest of the profits would then either go into your savings or the business. In this way, you wouldn’t be tempted to spend all the extra profits on yourself.
Starting a business is a risk, albeit an exciting and liberating one. As with all other milestones in life, you should do a thorough analysis of your decisions. Once you start, view your business as a journey. Each step may seem small but will bring you closer to success.
Jessica Ballard is Business Analyst, Motivational Speaker, and a Blogger at Help for Nursing Coursework guide online. In her blogs, she addresses the various areas of business as well as shares her insights into doing it the right way.