You can have a revolutionary business idea, but that doesn’t mean you’re cut out to be an entrepreneur.
To no one’s surprise, starting a business can be tricky. A person can have an amazingly revolutionary, insightful business idea, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that person is cut out to be an entrepreneur. After starting three businesses, and reflecting on my personal and professional journey, I’ve come to realize that while no two business owners’ paths are identical, there are some universal experiences that can help to shed some light on the entrepreneurial adventure. Here’s some of what I’ve learned along the way regarding my expectations vs. reality.
Entrepreneurship can be a great way to financial freedom, but building a successful business takes a lot of time, hard work and perseverance. Many young workers are left wondering when they should start a business and what education is required to do so.
A college degree is not required to start a business, but it certainly helps. College not only teaches students educational topics that can be helpful in starting a business, but also soft skills, like how to be lifelong learners.
Every journey needs a map. Before you begin to build your team, it’s important to identify some key principles that will inform and guide your search. Entrepreneur Magazine notes a few:
Commit to all parties being on the same page.
From small projects to the general company mission, it’s important to ensure that everyone involved is ultimately working toward the same goal. Whether fixing a small issue or tackling a company-wide challenge, every person must understand the direction the company is headed and the plan for getting there. Make sure you know this from the beginning and carry it out by example.
Starting a business is more than quitting your day job and putting together a website for your new project. It involves the law, your money, and your daily energy. When it comes to being your own boss, knowledge is power. The more you know, the more you can both protect and grow your business.
I’m not talking about the more you know about marketing or the more you know about your competition. I’m talking about the more you know about business itself. Here are three common business terms all self employed people need to understand.
Starting your own business can be empowering, as it allows long-held passions or skills to be pursued. Thanks to the growth of the gig economy, there are now many avenues available to establish your own freelance business. Here are a few ways you can realize your ambitions.
If you’re starting a business, you’ve probably defined your “target customer.” You know their age, gender, location and perhaps even their income and education levels. But demographics alone won’t give you a complete picture of who’s buying your products.
“Understand intimately who your customer is,” said TJ Parker, CEO and founder of PillPack, an online pharmacy and medication management service. “If you don’t know your customers, it’s hard to … communicate [your product’s] benefits so they react positively.”
So what else should you be learning about your customers, aside from basic demographics? Here are the top three things you should find out, and how to incorporate that information into your strategy.
When is the best time in life to start a business? There’s no “right” answer to this question, of course — every entrepreneur’s experience is different. But based on the seeming abundance of 20-something Silicon Valley startup founders, it’s easy to think that the younger you are, the better off your business will be.
By that same logic, it’s also easy to assume that entrepreneurs who are approaching retirement age may be too out-of-touch with current technology and culture to succeed in the business world. On the other hand, many founders who started their business after age 50 say their decades of experience have been their greatest advantage.
If you’re an older aspiring business owner, don’t assume you missed your chance at entrepreneurial success. Here’s why it pays to jump into the startup game later, and what you can do to make your business flourish.
There’s nothing quite like starting a business from scratch. It is one of the most rewarding — and challenging — things you can do.
After all, it requires putting everything on the line for an idea that may not resonate with the market, and there are plenty of potential missteps along the way. The risks are clear: Half of all businesses fail within the first five years, according to Gallup research.
To help you avoid that route, we have compiled five important tips to keep in mind when you do decide to start your own business.
I attended an entrepreneurship summit recently, where I was asked to help select and distribute an interesting award. Attendees were asked to write down something inspiring they learned at the summit and the best entry would win.
The majority of attendees entered the same mantra from an earlier speaker: Start before you’re ready. However, only one attendee went the extra mile and described what that principle meant to him. He applied the knowledge and was named the winner.
I was impressed by that because, of all the so-called entrepreneurs in the room, he was the real deal.
Thinking about this, I decided to look at my own entrepreneurship efforts (some successful and some not) to see how the “Start before you’re ready” mantra could apply to me. Here’s what I learned:
After his junior year at Brigham Young University, Nick Walter, now 25, landed a great summer internship in the Seattle office of Pariveda Solutions, a Dallas-based tech consulting firm. Though he enjoyed the work and liked his clients and colleagues, he felt stifled. Used to jeans and t-shirts, he didn’t like wearing khakis and polo shirts and most of all, he says, “I hated that I had to be at this office every day for X amount of time doing what they said I had to do.”
So instead of heading down the career track he’d always expected of himself—he’d envisioned the security of a steady paycheck and benefits—he decided to go to BYU part-time for the next two years, while hiring himself out as a consultant and developing his own apps for the iPhone including seven how-two apps he wrote with a friend. One of them, called simply Weight Lifting Videos, has helped net $1,200 a month.Then he stumbled on a more lucrative possibility.