You see your future as an entrepreneur!
As a result, you have decided to start your own business. You have a dream and want to turn it into reality. Probably, your business vision will not yet be clear. There will be doubts, concerns and many questions. Therefore, do not worry, that is normal. Let us work together on your concerns, answer your questions, and help you gain an insight into your future as an entrepreneur.
To the experienced entrepreneur, the world is full of opportunities and interesting challenges. Test and exploit all opportunities. Overcome the challenges that are the obstacles. This is the attitude entrepreneurs must have.
The seasoned entrepreneur appreciates that pitfalls are unavoidable, and success is always achieved at a price. The skills an entrepreneur develops over time enable them to:
- see the opportunities that others may miss
- remain rational under pressure
- make objective, thought through decisions
- never take setbacks personally
How to see your future as an entrepreneur?
The good news is that you are already entrepreneurial. Why else would you be planning to start a business? The challenge is to work out exactly how entrepreneurial you are. Or, to put it another way, how can you structure your ambition and your enterprise to best suit your personality and style?
We are all different, and it’s important from the outset that your business gives you every opportunity to focus your efforts on what you do best. You need to appreciate what you might find less comfortable and make sure you don’t create a business you won’t enjoy.
Here are some questions to ask yourself. There are no right or wrong answers; nor are they questions that demand a yes/no answer. We need to work out where your greatest entrepreneurial strengths lie.
How competitive are you?
Some people just must win at every opportunity. Others are simply content to take part. The more competitive you are, the more likely it is you will welcome the cut and thrust of business life. If, however, you are not competitive, you will have decided to start a business where it’s less important to do marketplace battle with rivals.
Remember that there is a lot more to business than being competitive. Your business does not have to be the best, simply good enough.
How intuitive are you?
Intuitive entrepreneurs can sense what to do and when. They are good at reading their marketplace and, understand exactly what their customers are expecting of them.
If intuition is not one of your strengths, you may need to work harder to measure what your customers are feeling about you.
The more intuitive you are, the more likely you are to try things that no one tried before.
How sensitive are you?
One of the first lessons you will learn as your business becomes established is not to take criticism personally. It is possible for somebody to have the highest regard for you and absolutely no interest in your business.
Equally, you need to be tough enough to take rejection. Any business that wins every deal is not trying hard enough!
How determined are you?
Determined people do not give up. They keep on trying after others have walked away. Sometimes determination is enough to win through although on its own, it is rarely enough. People who lack determination often accept the status quo and will find easy routes to success.
How economical are you?
It’s always good to be careful with money. Starting and growing a business presents countless opportunities to invest in the useful things.
The economical entrepreneur will spend sparingly, buying only the things they really need. Someone more used to spending their money as fast as they earn it will find it harder to be economical.
As a new entrepreneur you will be competitive, intuitive, sensitive, determined, and economical to a greater or lesser extent. You will also find that the business you are planning to start fits you and your personality. For example:
- extremely competitive people often sell or distribute things
- overly sensitive people often supply caring services
- very intuitive people often start consultancies
Do not let other people tell you what your business should look like. Your business must reflect your own personality and style. It must be comfortable and made to measure. Create an enterprise that enables you to focus on your strengths.
How entrepreneurs set goals
You have set one entrepreneurial goal already. You have decided to start the business. Established entrepreneurs break down every aspect of their enterprise (and often their life) and set goals and targets for each of them.
They will then have a few key performance indicators (KPl’s) that they check closely. These may include sales performance, delivery statistics and how much they owe and how people owe them. Software can display this on a single sheet or screen. Many people call this a “business dashboard” because, like a car dashboard, it supplies vital information at once.
Long term goals
Long-term goals summarise the very reasons you have for starting your business. They capture the entrepreneur’s vision for the future in a way that enables them to measure compliance. For example:
- Our annual sales will reach 21 M and we will be making 15 per cent pre-tax profit, in the first 3 years
- Capture 35 per cent of the local market in 5 years
- In five years, we will sell the business for at least $ 750,000
If you have something like above, you have set some long-term goals for your business already. Furthermore it is important that they are both measurable and realistic. In fact, you will need these goals for your business plan, but more on that later.
Short term goals
Entrepreneurs set short-term goals to make sure that the business stays on track. These goals reflect what to achieve on an annual basis. Ensure to align your short-term goals with your long-term goals.
Take above example “In three years, our annual sales will reach $12 M Annual sales”, so your short-term annual goal of $ 4 M looks like this:
- First product – $ 1 M
- Second product – $ 1 M
- Third product – $ 2 M
- We will win one new customer a month this year who spends at least $ 83, 333
- Our products are reviewed in six trade journals this year.
Working out your business potential
Deep down, most of us know how large we would like our business to grow. So, bigger is not necessarily better, although often it is.
In contrast, as you plan to turn your business idea into reality, there are two aspects of business potential you need to consider, income and value.
The starting point for most entrepreneurs is to work out how much they need to earn now and want to earn in the future. When you start your enterprise, it will take a while, months or years, before your earnings overtake the pay, you’d get as an employee. Once you pass that point, your income can keep growing, something less likely to happen if you have a job.
What you need to work out is how much more you can earn working for yourself than you would if you remained employed. Even if you are not currently working, for example, because you are raising a family, entrepreneurship must stack up financially against the alternative of getting a job.
Factors you need to consider when calculating the income potential of your new enterprise include:
- Potential market for your products or services
- Cost and time involved in setting it up
- What you can do yourself and the staff or subcontractors you need
- Competition and how competitors will react to you entering the marketplace
- Time it will take to find your feet and feel comfortable growing your business.
Building value into a business is where the experienced entrepreneur can score over the newcomer. Although a successful business can give you a good income and lovely lifestyle, building a business with a view to eventual sell it, is really the name of the game.
To think about selling your business before it has even started may seem strange. It is, however, vital to create a business that builds value and can, at the earliest possible time, continue to grow without your involvement.
Certainly, factors you need to consider when calculating the value potential of your new enterprise include:
- protection for intellectual property, such as patents and trademarks
- momentum created by an increasing number of customers making repeat purchases
- opening a new market in such a way that a large competitor chooses to buy your business rather than compete with you.
It is important to realise, not to limit the potential of your own business by your own skills or abilities. You simply must be able to recruit, motivate and manage people who have the skills and abilities that your business needs.
Think about your future as an entrepreneur and how you compare with the ideal behaviours. What kind of business goals you plan to set and the potential income of your business.