The Journey Of An Entrepreneur - From Humble Beginnings To Massive Moolah
The first step involves figuring out your target market, where the cash flow is going to come from
Will you be a small business entrepreneur and sell e-books on an online blog? Open an eatery that serves some of your fondest childhood recipes? Or gather a team of programmers and develop best selling Android games?
The possibilities for creating value and delivering it to people are endless - as long as you can identify problems that the common man faces, and have unique ideas on how to address them. Entrepreneurship opportunities are present everywhere you look in this day and age, although admittedly hidden from plain sight sometimes.
But establishing a successful business is not just about carrying an idea through to the point of it being a startup.Below is a list of all the phases you will witness your business evolve through as an entrepreneur, and what you can expect from the process.
- The Drawing Board – Envisioning Your Venture
So you have an idea for an awesome venture that will touch people’s lives and fill your pockets. Now you need to have a solid plan before you launch your venture.
This means figuring out all the nooks and crannies of your business idea. The first step involves figuring out your target market, where the cash flow is going to come from. You might have to do surveys, online or in person, and talk to industry experts and those experienced in a similar trade, to figure out what the present state of the market is, and what your clients want.
Many times, a business idea that seems great on paper, might not be received well by the public, based on the receptivity of the market at that point in time. Consider all the fine details that’ll be involved in the first few months of running the business, and seek out all the resources and contacts you want to have so that you’re prepared when anything goes awry.
Once you’ve got the financial backing for your venture, you can move on to the next phase
- Blast Off! – Start Up And Never Stop
“A ‘startup’ is a company that is confused about – what its product is, who its customers are, and how to make money.” – Dave McClure, 500 Startups
Hopefully, your startup will prove Mr McClure wrong. But in general, it is rare that as a new company you will be providing the best product you can to your customers right off the bat. Through customer feedback, you can identify ways you can improve your service, or come up with new products that generate more interest from the public.
It is widely accepted that the startup is one of the most crucial phases of a business that’s trying to create its own niche. During this period, the goals of the business and the relationship it builds with its customer base through the service it provides, often determines what it turns out to be five years later.
At this stage, the primary focus is meeting the customer’s needs and what other offerings you can make.
- Where Are My Profits?! – As Your Business Reaches Maturity
Your business has established its place in the market. Your business has a blueprint, and cash flow is steadily increasing. Having sorted out and fitted all the basic parts together, the opportunities for growth now are greater than ever before. The biggest mistake you could make at this point is to let your company stagnate.
You want to free yourself up so you can take on problems that come with running a full-fledged business, and also start cutting out a little free time from those 100-hour workweeks so you can start living. To do this, you need some strong additions to your team who you can delegate areas of the business to, and whose skills complement yours.
If you have a financial surplus and are confident in your ability to put more on your plate, you can also go ahead and expand with new branches and new product and service offerings.
- Cashing In – Selling Your Business And New Ventures
Part of being an entrepreneur is in always keeping your eye out for new opportunities. Sometimes, this can mean freeing yourself of past ties and starting fresh. Once your business has grown substantially and you’ve decided you want to explore new avenues, you find buyers to execute a partial or complete sale. With revenues from such a transaction, you can then move on to ventures in new sectors that you find more meaningful to you, or which have greater potential for growth with an evolved economic climate.
Why Consider Launching Your Own Startup?
The past couple decades has been likened to a golden age of entrepreneurship. With devices that keep us constantly connected to a never-ending stream of information, it's easier than ever to network and formulate a strategy towards the creation of a novel business, and consider quitting your day job and becoming your own boss.
Some of the most useful services available to us today, such as mobile cab booking, food delivery and even online transactions and ATMs, demonstrate the role of entrepreneurship in shaping our world.
However, with any job comes risks and rewards. Here are some of the challenges faced by entrepreneurs and benefits of entrepreneurship:
· So Many Ventures, Only So Much Money: No matter how innovative your business idea is, without funds, it is dead in its cradle. With more people in every niche launching startups every day around the world, finding investors can be very tricky. Even with alternative options such as crowdfunding, when there’s as much competition as there is today, it's hard for any individual voice to be loud or convincing enough.
· You Define Your Workweek: Being the employer and the most important employee of your organization, you get to decide what to work on and when to do it. That suggests that you have complete autonomy over your actions – however, this freedom usually comes along in the later stages of your business. When setting up startups, you as an entrepreneur should not shy away from 100-hour workweeks, and form an intimate relationship with your work desk.
· Financial And Creative Freedom: With your own venture, you have the possibility of generating much more income than you ever could from your day job. And in a scenario where you’re creating your line of work rather than choosing from the available options, you can go about the execution however you want, as long as it gets the job done. There’s a common saying though that the entrepreneur gets paid last. You can’t predict the period of your business’ infancy, or how long you’ll have to work on it with cash flowing out and none flowing in.
· The Stress: The life of an entrepreneur is no rosy path to walk. You always have the chance of insolvency looming about. There’s always things going wrong that you have to fix. Throughout your days, you will have to constantly make decisions that may make or break your company. Being the leader and innovator of your organization, there will always be a tremendous pressure bearing upon you, and dealing with that day in day out, mostly by yourself, can get lonely.
How will you shape the world with your startup?