June 22, 2020

How to Become an Entrepreneur

Anshika Awasthi

Owning and running your own business can be extremely rewarding and fulfilling. However, it also means taking a lot of risk and initiative. Developing, designing, producing and marketing products to keep up with the growing needs of the people, constantly trying to improve what you have to offer, while also keeping in mind how it can affect your business, takes a certain amount of drive and a lot of skill.

Entrepreneurs are behind every business, big or small, all over the country, in every single part of the world. Entrepreneurship is the new-age career that has endless opportunities and possibilities—from blogs to food chains to apps and everything else in between, being an entrepreneur opens the door to the infinite.

Who is an Entrepreneur?

An entrepreneur is an individual who exercises initiative by organizing a venture to make the most of an opportunity, and as the decision-maker, decides how much of an offering their business should produce.

An entrepreneur is the leader, the initiator, a challenger and a driving force. As an entrepreneur, you will create something new, either a business venture or an initiative, or even a company. An entrepreneur is somebody who can take an idea and build an entire business around it, manages it and assumes the risk for its success.

Interestingly, though, there is a lot of debate as to what the true definition of entrepreneur is. Some definitions encompass a wide range of individuals who work for themselves such as bloggers and infopreneurs, while others have a more narrowed-down definition which suggests that an entrepreneur doesn’t just work independently, but their business involves innovation and leadership.

Types of Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurship demands a strong determination and an initiative to succeed. Depending upon your aptitude and passion, you can choose what kind of entrepreneurship is best suited for you.

  • Business Entrepreneur- If you have an idea or product that could make a difference to the world of business, becoming a business entrepreneur might be for you. It is usually a different or a new idea that provides a much-needed twist in the improvement of an existing sector.
  • Social Entrepreneur- If you have innovative ideas for social change, or something that can tackle a social problem effectively, you could be a social entrepreneur. As a social entrepreneur, you will have to dedicate yourself to bring your ideas to fruition. Go Fund Me and Change.org are examples of social entrepreneurship.
  • Serial Entrepreneur- A serial entrepreneur is someone who keeps coming up with new initiatives and ideas under the same or different brand name. Generally, a serial entrepreneur is somebody who has had a massive success with one initiative, allowing them to broaden their horizon with a new venture.
  • Infopreneur- An infopreneur is an entrepreneur who collects, organizes and sells information in a niche market, both online and offline. Infopreneurs are rising in number because anyone with an internet connection who can provide valid information and knowledge can pursue this.
  • Lifestyle Entrepreneur- If you are someone who wants to start a venture based on your hobby or passion, becoming a lifestyle entrepreneur might be for you. With the increase in use of social media, bloggers and influencers are on the rise.

What’s being an Entrepreneur Like?

According to the Bureau of Labour Statistics, 20% of businesses fail in their first year and almost 50% fail in their fifth year. Despite this, thousands of new companies come up every year. It is no surprise that becoming an entrepreneur and starting your own business requires you to take a huge leap of faith, but the risks are worth every bit of the rewards.

As an entrepreneur, you’ll most likely be the first person to go to work every day, as well as the last person to leave. A lot of long hours are required to be put in to make sure that everything goes smoothly. But that gets easier over time as your business expands and you can afford to make a few flexible adjustments.

As an entrepreneur, you will have to write hundreds of emails and make a lot of calls in order to look for clients and investors who will help take you and your business to the next level. Generally, being an entrepreneur will mean that you’ll work in an office-based environment, but that may vary depending upon what your niche is. Sometimes, a venture can start at home and grow eventually into a bigger workplace or a virtual workplace.

Entrepreneurs rate their job happiness in 4/5 stars, which puts them on the top 10% of careers. Most entrepreneurs find high levels of job satisfaction in what they do because they find meaning and purpose in their work.

How to Become an Entrepreneur

Although there are different types of entrepreneurships that you can take up, there are a few similar steps that all aspiring entrepreneurs should take. In general, there are 4 steps to becoming an entrepreneur:

Step 1: Finding your industry or niche.
Step 2: Research your market.
Step 3: Education.
Step 4: Building your business.

  1. Find Your Industry/ Niche- Most aspiring entrepreneurs wonder what industry they should get involved in. So the first and most obvious step here would be to find your specific niche. Traditionally, your niche would be something you’ve worked in for a considerable amount of time. Someone who has worked at a restaurant can become a good restaurateur. It also helps if you love your niche because being passionate is important for success.
  2. Research Your Market- To find out about the industry you want to work in, you will need to read up and research about the supply and demand in that particular industry.Find answers to important questions such as how much scope your chosen industry can have, or how much work you’ll need to put in initially. This information is crucial to any business, old or new.
  3. Education- Despite the common myth that successful entrepreneurs do not have a degree in business, 95% of the entrepreneurs in high-growth industries have at least a bachelor’s degree. It is important to learn the chops of the business before starting your own.
  4. Building Your Business- Many aspiring entrepreneurs think that rapid growth is the sign of a successful business. However, a slower approach should be taken to establish a strong foundation for your business. It allows you to make necessary adjustments when needed, deal with new situations, and provides excellent on-job training that no formal degree can. Most upcoming entrepreneurs keep their day jobs while building their business.

Entrepreneur Qualifications & Training

The best part about being an entrepreneur is that there is no specific educational requirement since ‘education’ is a very broad term where entrepreneurship is concerned. But at the very least, a bachelor’s degree in a discipline related to your niche is preferred.

A small portion of aspiring entrepreneurs achieve success without any specific education, but for the majority, education is composed in three tiers, each of which are comprised of different kinds of education—from formal programs to targeted courses:

  • Tier 1- Tier 1 education is also known as ‘industry education’ as it is directly related to the field in which your business will be focused. Tier 1 education can be acquired in any discipline at all, as long as it is focused on your proposed business.
  • Tier 2- Tier 2 of entrepreneurship education focuses on the foundational skills that are important if you want to launch your own business. Skills such as anticipating change and sizing the market, calculating the value of your start-up, and managing risks and rewards are taught in tier 2 education.
  • Tier 3- Tier 3 education is related to business and finance. Every entrepreneur should be versed, if not well-versed, in management, finances, taxes and other business-related topics. Depending on individual abilities, this knowledge may come in the form of a degree, a certificate or a standalone course in courses such as accounting, economics, marketing, advertising etc.

Entrepreneur Skills

When you envision yourself as an entrepreneur, you think of owning and leading your own business that can give you the freedom to work with room for creativity and flexibility. But there are some additional traits required to become a successful entrepreneur-

  • Vision- To be an entrepreneur, it is important to have the kind of vision that it takes to build your own empire. It also plays a crucial role in creating the culture ad framework of your organization.
  • Drive- Being an entrepreneur requires a lot of determination and motivation. Your drive is unique to you; it could be competency, leaving a legacy, or even creating a team of like-minded individuals.
  • Passion- Without a passion for what you do and who you serve, running a business is not easy. Being passionate about your business provides you an alternative and futuristic view of the world which allows you to put in the effort for your business.
  • Confidence- Starting a business means that you need to be confident about it even when things aren’t going too well. It is a determining factor for successfully negotiating and closing deals.
  • Open Mindedness- As an entrepreneur, you must be willing to consider new ideas and perspectives to take your business to the next level, allowing you to take full advantage of the opportunities that may not have been part of your original plan.
  • Decisiveness- As an effective entrepreneur, you will be required to make quick and accurate decisions for the success of your company. Having a clear vision about your business will make small, everyday decisions easier.
  • Optimism- In a career that is as risky and unpredictable as entrepreneurship, it is important that you remain optimistic in order to allow yourself to learn from your minor failures and improve your business.

Entrepreneur Pay

According to the Bureau of Labour Statistics, as of 2018, the average pay of a CEO is around $189,600 per year, top executives earn around $104,240 per year, general operations and managers earn around $100,930 per year and the lowest 10% of entrepreneurs earn an average of $68,360 per year.

Sector-wise, the median salary for CEOs is:

  • $208,000+ per year for manufacturing,
  • $208,000+ per year for professional, scientific and technical services,
  • $173,770 per year for healthcare and social assistance,
  • $110,830 per year in Government.

The median salary, sector-wise, for general operations is:

  • $138,520 per year for professional, scientific and technical services,
  • $116,650 per year for manufacturing,
  • $107,160 per year for wholesale trade,
  • $101,380 per year for construction,
  • $72,890 per year for retail trade.

Note that these salaries may vary greatly depending upon the niche you choose to start your business in.

Challenges of Becoming an Entrepreneur

As a new entrepreneur, there will be some challenges you will face, but we are here to help you tackle them!

  • Financing- as a rising entrepreneur, starting a new business means starting from the scratch. Cash flow might be hard. To tackle this, you will need to have a great network and go through all funding options before you can land on the best one.
  • Teambuilding- It’s not enough to hire candidates, who can fill certain roles in the company, it is also important that they fit into your company’s culture and how they will fit into the overall team.
  • Being the Visionary- As the founder of your business, your team will look up to you for ideas and competent plans. The more time you spend with your team brainstorming, the easier this will get.
  • Dealing with the Unknown- Entrepreneurship is highly unpredictable. Dealing with this volatility is the hardest part of starting as an entrepreneur. But it gets easier with experience.
  • Decision- Making- As a new entrepreneur, you will be required to make hundreds of decisions every day—from big decisions that will more or less permanently affect your business, to smaller ones that can be tackled later. Having a solid team of trusted advisors can help you make these decisions better and quicker.

Entrepreneur Outlook

According to the Bureau of Labour Statistics, the job market for entrepreneurs is expected to grow by 8% from 2016-2026. Of course, employment growth will vary depending upon your chosen industry. CEOs face a decline of 4%, while general managers and operations increase by 9%, management occupations and top executives increase by 8%.

Employment growth will be driven by the formation of new organizations and the expansion of existing businesses, which will create a demand for more managers and executives.

Since the economic activity and employment is rapidly being concentrated in larger and more mature companies, the rate of the number of new entrepreneurships has slightly reduced. Nevertheless, the future is bright for aspiring entrepreneurs.

Conclusion

In an age where a business empire can rise out of just about anything, it is great that a lot of young minds show interest in being entrepreneurs. With new ideas and concepts being created and brought out into this world every day, the future for entrepreneurs is very promising.

About the author

Competitive, real; loves to keep working for what it wants. An extrovert who lives by her own ideas and methods.


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