You’ve worked for three years at university. You’ve graduated with a good degree. You have absolutely no idea what to do next. But you’ve got the inkling of an idea, and you think it might be a good one. And you’re fairly certain that if you set up your own business that idea could grow into a successful career. Congratulations; you’re on your way to being an entrepreneur.
Starting your own business is something that many people who are just leaving university after graduating think about doing (in fact, 24 per cent of graduates start their business whilst still studying), but not all of them are cut out to be entrepreneurs (even if the idea they have is a great one). Do you have what it takes? You can gain a lot of advice from Informi about how to go about getting started, and here are some suggestions about what you need to know, and the kind of person you need to be.
You Can Make Your Ideas A Reality
Being able to execute your idea (or ideas) is essential for any entrepreneur. You can have the most incredible idea, a concept that no one has ever thought of before, and you can have all the funding that you need, but if you can’t execute that idea you’ll be in trouble. Your investors will want their money back and your business won’t make a penny. The thing is, although it’s great to have a unique idea, you don’t have to strive for total originality. You can take something that already exists and make it better. Look at Google; it wasn’t the first search engine by any means, but the idea was executed so well that it is now the first search engine that most people think of, and the only one they use; its market share is 91.79 percent worldwide.
You Care About Your Business
Starting a business is a long-term job. It won’t be successful overnight. In fact, you may have to rethink everything a number of times before you finally hit on the concept that works for you. This is why you have to care hugely about what it is you’re doing. You have to believe in your product or service, and you have to believe that you will reach your ultimate goal (even if the journey to get there is a long, hard one). If it’s the money you care about, join someone else’s business; your degree should help you start at a reasonable level. For a start up entrepreneur the money will usually be a long time coming (although, if you are successful, you’ll stand to earn a lot more than you would working for another company). You really need to love what you do because there will be hard times, and you might feel like giving up; your belief in what you’re doing will push you through. Plus, the more in love with your business you are, the more passionate you’ll be when you tell others about it, which will invite more investment and – of course – more sales.
You Must Be Able To Get Past Failures
No one enjoys failing at anything; the human condition means that we are programmed to want to win at all costs, and failure can be devastating. Entrepreneurs must not let failure affect them in such a negative way. Of course they won’t enjoy it, but they will use it as a stepping-stone to the next success. If you’re not cut out to be an entrepreneur you’ll soon know because a failure will stop you from moving forward altogether. It takes a strong mind and heart to start a business and keep it going despite setbacks; an entrepreneur is exactly the kind of person who can do it because they know these setbacks are only temporary. Statistics for the failure rate of businesses in their first two years of operation are at 80 percent. But those failures could well be leading on to other things.
You Love To Learn
If, now that you’ve graduated, you never want to think about learning anything ever again, being an entrepreneur is probably not for you. To be successful in business, you need to keep learning. New lessons will be presented to you every day, and it’s down to you to spot these opportunities and take something from them that you can use elsewhere in your business. It’s key to understand that there is no formula for success, however. You can’t download an instruction manual on how Microsoft or Apple began and follow their paths. What worked for them may not work for you. And what works for you could cause someone else to fail entirely. That’s because there are so many factors to put together when starting and running a small business. Keep learning, and things that were once obstacles will soon disappear altogether.
You Can Take A Risk
Entrepreneurs risk a lot to get started. They risk a lot as the business grows. They can even risk a lot when the business is successful if they feel it’s time to take it even further. If you can’t handle risk then don’t become an entrepreneur. You need to be able to take these (hopefully calculated) risks if you want to be the best. If you’re unwilling to take them, your business will stagnate, if it even gets off the ground.
Written and provided by Emma Evans, a versatile freelance writer, currently covering topics related to entrepreneurship, start ups and career guidance.