Posts Tagged ‘entrepreneurship’
Do you think your personality has what it takes to become a successful entrepreneur? According to Entrepreneur.com, your personality has a lot to say about who you become, the potential you have, and how successful you will be.
It has been shown in various studies that certain personality traits can outshine shortcomings in education, skill, and experience. It also makes logical sense that if a person chooses a business venture that coincides with their personality, he or she will experience a greater amount of success.
Entrepreneur.com explores four general personality types of people who typically start, own, and run the majority of successful businesses. Read Entrepreneur.com’s summation of entrepreneurial personalities and see if you have what it takes:
1. The Trailblazer:
You are very competitive, ambitious and goal- oriented–so much so that you tend to be aggressive and sometimes take a steamroller approach. Independent, persistent and decisive, you aren’t happy unless you’re in charge. Trailblazers are logical, analytical, practical and realistic–you tend to base decisions on facts rather than feelings. You are a calculated risk taker.
Good industries for you could include the medical, technology, finance, legal and consulting fields. Being a strong strategic thinker, you focus easily on marketing strategy and operations. Your challenge is likely to be working with people–you are usually a better leader than manager and need to surround yourself with others who can manage the people side of the business.
2. The Go-Getter:
You have a higher-than-average level of both dominance and sociability and are very driven and independent. You are competitive, but your drive to succeed is sometimes tempered by your interest in and concern for others. Go-Getters are typically good leaders and good managers, excelling at motivating themselves and those around them.
You can do well in retail, but may prefer being the outside rainmaker. You work well in ambitious and unfamiliar environments. This means you can invest in, buy or start a business that’s totally new to you and still make a success of it. You don’t need to be an expert in the field to start the business–you are a good collaborator and can learn as you go.
3. The Manager:
You are dominant and independent. You are also very goal-oriented and can be quite analytical, focusing more on processes and outcomes than on people. You have a tendency to look at people as vehicles for helping you accomplish your goals. You can deal well with customers, especially repeat customers, so you’ll probably be great at growing a business.
You like doing things on your own, are a great behind-the-scenes leader and love working with systems, concepts, ideas and technologies. You excel at competitive selling because you enjoy overcoming rejection and achieving goals despite obstacles. Managers enjoy working by themselves, and managing others can be a challenge, so you need to hire employees who are better than you at listening and working well with others.
4. The Motivator:
You have a high level of sociability, an above-average level of dominance, and are both driven and independent. This gives you the ability to work well under pressure and in autonomous situations. It also means that you will be a great consensus builder, a good collaborator and a driver of change. Just like the name suggests, you are the consummate motivator who does well working by, with and through others.
Motivators excel at leadership or sales. You can be convincing and avoid most confrontation by creating a strong emotional argument. Motivators do well in the toughest of customer service roles, as you are able to see both sides of the argument. You do well in business with partners, or in a business that involves others. Motivators are good at nurturing relationships and often do best in a business that involves keeping clients for the long term. You thrive in a team environment.
Who should you hire? Such a complicated question – a person you hire could mean anything from your new small business propelling forward in a new direction or your new small business chugging straight toward a dead end.
If you are a small business owner, the people on your team are so incredibly important to the success of your business. It is crucial (and also highly difficult) to hire people that will add value and substance to your business.
So how do you do it?
Share your vision
I recently attended a lecture on entrepreneurship given by William J. Rossi, a program director and professor at the University of Florida. His lecture explored the attributes and mindsets of entrepreneurs. The most important attribute Rossi discussed was the ability an entrepreneur has to share his vision with his employees, and make them feel like a part of something bigger.
The greatest entrepreneurs have a vision. They visualize and imagine a direction they will travel in that will eventually better the quality of life for consumers. So what does this have to do with hiring the right people into your business?
A truly successful entrepreneur understands the importance of motivating others. People in managerial positions give their employees deadlines, expectations, revision requirements, etc. Entrepreneurs however, trust people to do the job themselves, but it’s more than that – entrepreneurs give their employees a reason to do a good job, they are part of the vision.
“A leader focuses on motivation and inspiration. He energizes people to overcome bureaucratic, resource and political barriers because they believe in an agenda and want to accomplish it,” Rossi says.
Hiring the right person
So to tie it all together, when you hire someone who you believe to be qualified for the position, you have to take it a step further. You have to invite your employees to contribute to the overall direction, ask their opinions, take their advice, and allow them to participate in the bigger picture. This could apply to anyone, whether they work in marketing, finance, sales, manufacturing – everyone should be passionate about the “vision” you have created.
By giving people an overall sense of purpose, they are more likely to excel at individual tasks. When someone feels like they are a part of something bigger than themselves, they will undoubtedly do everything in their power to succeed.
Be a leader, not a manager.
Entrepreneurship can be terrifying. Venturing off on your own can be a scary step and it’s important to be confident in what you’re doing. If you’re tired of working for someone else, the suffocating limits, and lack of moneymaking opportunities, you should seriously consider the world of entrepreneurship.
Rosalind Resnick, author of “The Vest Pocket Consultant’s Secrets of Small Business Success,” wrote a great article featured in the Small Business section of The Wall Street Journal. The article is truly inspirational and has hard facts about why entrepreneurship could be the best route for you.
Liberation at its finest
Entrepreneurship can be the key to liberating yourself from that dreaded cubicle. As a small business owner, you’re free to “unplug and work anywhere there’s WiFi reception,” Resnick says. You have the luxury of working where you please–which can increase your efficiency and ability to focus on the crucial tasks at hand.
Give yourself a raise
If you own your own business, you call the shots and you take on all the risk. There’s no limit to your salary and a raise can be dictated based on your own actions and the opportunities you create for yourself.
“While getting a business off the ground is never easy, every dollar that you put in and every hour that you work is an investment that returns profit back to you,” Resnick says.
If you still feel uneasy about the idea of taking on the world with your hands in your empty pockets, think of it this way: a “real” job may only last about four years, and you’re not getting paid enough. If you own your own business, you’re absolutely entitled to reap the benefits of your work. Answering to someone else can only stifle your true capabilities.
If you’re the kind of person that responds better to hard numbers rather than abstract ideals, here’s some information you might want to pay attention to. Recent changes in the tax laws make business expense deductions pretty sweet. “Under expanded bonus depreciation rules, qualified investments in fixed assets, purchased between Sept. 9, 2010, and Dec. 31, 2011, can be fully written off for federal tax purposes,” according to Michael J. Goldberg of New York’s Ganer, Grossbach & Ganer LP.
All in all, starting a business isn’t about the benefits, or the adventure, it’s about you. You can use your small business as a test to show your true potential. Take some risks and see what you can do.
Starting a small business is not easy. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, over 50% of small businesses fail in the first year and 95% fail within the first five years. Not to start off this post with straight negativity or anything, but you need to be realistic.
There is no guarantee of success when you’re starting your own business. There is no formula, no secret recipe, no checklist that will ensure your success if you follow such and such steps.
However, there is hope. If you can see yourself fitting into all of the following categories, you may very well have the potential to succeed as a small business owner:
Someone who is capable of stepping up to the plate, initiating and developing projects, organizing and balancing time and responsibilities, and being detail oriented.
Someone who can get along with various different personalities, a diplomat who is capable of developing a relationship with any kind of person whether they are a dissatisfied customer, a sporadic vendor, an irate banker, or an unreliable consultant.
A decision maker:
Someone who can perform under pressure, someone who can make a quick, independent decision with a pressing deadline. If your website is down, you can make the calls to have it fixed and up and running while also coddling the dissatisfied client who couldn’t place an order online.
Someone who understands the importance of organization, an organizer who knows what is demanded of him or her five minutes from now or five days from now, who can organize finances, inventory, schedules, marketing strategies, and dodge any major mishaps.
Someone who can take the emotional trials of running a small business, a person who does not take no for an answer and is not intimidated by responsibility or work overload.
As an entrepreneur, you can’t underestimate the difficulty of starting a new business and succeeding. It is important to be patient, work hard, stay organized, be open-minded, and keep pushing forward.
Those of you interested in venturing out into the business world on your own will be faced with many challenges. You may be wondering if you’ll even make it. It’s a huge risk but truth be told, it’s absolutely worth it. Owning your own small business can be one of the most rewarding things you’ll ever do.
So what does it take to be a successful entrepreneur? Passion is great, but there are several other qualities you need as a person, before you can succeed in business.
A Knack For Solving Problems
Most entrepreneurs start their businesses by finding a need or a problem in the market, and satisfying it. By solving consumer problems, you contribute the community – which is the most profitable venture out there.
You have to be able to do things on your own. Entrepreneurs thrive when faced with intense responsibility and workload. They can manage their own time, and love being their own boss.
Hunger for Hard Work
The beginning stages for entrepreneurs include long hours, little pay, stress, and frustration. They focus on accomplishing tasks and getting work done before anything else.
All entrepreneurs exude a level of self-confidence that earn them respect and recognition. Having confidence in yourself and your abilities will take you farther in life than any other quality. You will never out-perform your self-belief.
This is a no brainer. Distractions are not an option. Successful entrepreneurs know to resist temptation when it comes to unimportant things. You need to be able to focus on the most essential tasks, and save the less important things for later when you have time.
Openness to Change
The economy is changing, the market is changing, consumers are changing, and companies are changing right along with them. Any successful entrepreneur understands the critical need to “go with the flow,” and have the ability to change as their business grows.
There really is no secret formula to follow to achieve business success. Success can come from a combination of many things like hard work, good networking, and even luck. However, the more we study small businesses that do succeed, the more we realize that the successful ones have a lot in common.
Small Business Trends published a blog post based on the new study released by the Kauffman Foundation called The Making of a Successful Entrepreneur. It has great insights into what successful entrepreneurs and small business owners have in common. It can show you what most affects the success or failure of a startup business.
Here are a few key points from the survey as according to Small Business Trends:
The survey polled 549 founders of successful businesses in high-growth industries, including aerospace, defense, computing, electronics and health care. Here’s what they said:
Their most important success factors: previous work experience, learning from their successes and failures, a strong management team and good fortune;
- 98 percent said prior work experience was an “important” success factor; 58 percent said it was “extremely important;”
- 40 percent said learning from failure was extremely important;
- 82 percent said the management team was important; 35 percent said it was extremely important;
- 73 percent said luck was an important factor;
- Professional networks were key to success for 73 percent of entrepreneurs surveyed, while 62 percent said personal networks were important;
- 68 percent said availability of financing/capital was important, but only 11 percent had received venture capital, and just 9 percent had obtained private/angel financing.
What about the most common barriers to entrepreneurial success? The one most respondents cited (a whopping 98 percent of them) was the failure to take risk. Others included:
- Not putting in the time and effort required (93 percent)
- Difficulty raising capital (91 percent)
- Lack of business management skills (89 percent)
- Lack of knowledge about how to start a business (84 percent)
- Lack of industry and market knowledge (83 percent)
- Family or financial pressures to hold a traditional job (73 percent)
As I mentioned in 5 Tips for the New Business Owner – Part 1, any new entrepreneur or small business owner needs as much advice as he or she can get. The lack of resources available for starting entrepreneurs and business owners can be a frustrating and difficult obstacle to overcome.
Here is the second half of the 10 tips to follow when launching your first startup business, as according to Scott Gerber, a writer for the Young Entrepreneurs column in Entrepreneur.com.
6. Learn under fire.
No business book or business plan can predict the future or fully prepare you to become a successful entrepreneur. There is no such thing as the perfect plan. There is no perfect road or one less traveled. Never jump right into a new business without any thought or planning, but don’t spend months or years waiting to execute. You will become a well-rounded entrepreneur when tested under fire. The most important thing you can do is learn from your mistakes-and never make the same mistake twice.
7. No one will give you money.
There, I said it. No one will invest in you. If you need large sums of capital to launch your venture, go back to the drawing board. Find a starting point instead of an end point. Scale down pricey plans and grandiose expenditures. Simplify the idea until it’s manageable as an early stage venture. Find ways to prove your business model on a shoestring budget. Demonstrate your worth before seeking investment. If your concept is successful, your chances of raising capital from investors will dramatically improve.
8. Be healthy.
No, I’m not your mother. However, I promise that you will be much more productive when you take better care of yourself. Entrepreneurship is a lifestyle, not a 9-to-5 profession. Working to the point of exhaustion will burn you out and make you less productive. Don’t make excuses. Eat right, exercise and find time for yourself.
9. Don’t fall victim to your own B.S.
Don’t talk the talk unless you can walk the walk. Impress with action not conversation. Endorse your business enthusiastically, yet tastefully. Avoid exaggerating truths and touting far reaching goals as certainties. In short, put up or shut up.
10. Know when to call it quits.
Contrary to popular belief, a smart captain does not go down with the ship. Don’t go on a fool’s errand for the sake of ego. Know when it’s time to walk away. If your idea doesn’t pan out, reflect on what went wrong and the mistakes that were made. Assess what you would have done differently. Determine how you will utilize these hard-learned lessons to better yourself and your future entrepreneurial endeavors. Failure is inevitable, but a true entrepreneur will prevail over adversity.
Your small business has a great chance in succeeding. By following the tips from this post and the previous five tips, you will give yourself the best chance to jump start your new venture.
For those of you who are just beginning to start up your own small business, you may be feeling entirely overwhelmed. There are very limited resources for young, new entrepreneurs. However, there are a few ideas to help you get started in the right direction and nurture your small business.
Scott Gerber, a writer for the Young Entrepreneurs column in Entrepreneur.com recently posted a great article about 10 tips to follow when launching your first startup business. I have included the first five below, and will post the next five tips very soon.
1. Focus. Focus. Focus.
Many first-time entrepreneurs feel the need to jump at every “opportunity” they come across. Opportunities are often wolves in sheep’s clothing. Avoid getting side-tracked. Juggling multiple ventures will spread you thin and limit both your effectiveness and productivity. Do one thing perfectly, not 10 things poorly. If you feel the need to jump onto another project, that might mean something about your original concept.
2. Know what you do. Do what you know.
Don’t start a business simply because it seems sexy or boasts large hypothetical profit margins and returns. Do what you love. Businesses built around your strengths and talents will have a greater chance of success. It’s not only important to create a profitable business, it’s also important that you’re happy managing and growing it day in and day out. If your heart isn’t in it, you will not be successful.
3. Say it in 30 seconds or don’t say it at all.
From a chance encounter with an investor to a curious customer, always be ready to pitch your business. State your mission, service and goals in a clear and concise manner. Fit the pitch to the person. Less is always more.
4. Know what you know, what you don’t know and who knows what you don’t.
No one knows everything, so don’t come off as a know-it-all. Surround yourself with advisors and mentors who will nurture you to become a better leader and businessman. Find successful, knowledgeable individuals with whom you share common interests and mutual business goals that see value in working with you for the long-term.
5. Act like a startup
Forget about fancy offices, fast cars and fat expense accounts. Your wallet is your company’s life-blood. Practice and perfect the art of being frugal. Watch every dollar and triple-check every expense. Maintain a low overhead and manage your cash flow effectively.
Starting your own business can be exciting, frustrating, and overwhelming. Follow these tips to jump start your new venture and watch your small business succeed and prosper.
For those of you venturing into the world of entrepreneurship, finding a successful idea for your small business can be challenging. First off, you need a product or service you will be successful at selling. Secondly, it must be a product that can be marketed and advertised towards a reachable audience.
Noobpreneur.com, a resource website for small business owners and entrepreneurs, recently published an article about the top 10 small business ideas for 2010.
If you are interested in starting up your own business, being your own boss, and seeing results, here are the top 10 ideas for you to consider and learn from, according to Noobpreneur:
1. Online business (and make money online)
I heard and read too many real life success stories of people who have gone from zero to hero making money online. I also heard and read too much opportunities online that are still pretty much low in competition but high in demand – every entrepreneur’s dream. For those reasons, I cannot see why online business should not be the #1 business idea of all.
2. Green consultancy
As more and more businesses are going green today, starting up a business helping other businesses to go green – e.g. implementing green practices, reducing inefficiency in energy consumption, etc. – is not only a smart business move, but also a socially-responsible one.
Nothing new here, but outsourcing is indeed increased in demand and importance. As businesses cut costs, outsourcing service providers are well-sought after. Related to #1 (online business – make money online,) doing business operations (or errands) can be astonishingly profitable. A tip: Instead of going solo, hire a team to do tasks – Your main job: Cash in the opportunity, as the opportunity is (still) wide open to explore.
4. Everything organic
Organic clothing, organic food, and others are the type of products that continually grow in demand. Offering organic version of something niche – e.g. organic chewable pet toys – can offer you a great chance of success.
5. Internet-related services
Thousands of sites are established every day on the Net – most of those site needs domain names and web hosting services – Why don’t you start one? Starting up a web hosting company won’t take more than $500 (if you are on a reseller plan of a web hosting provider) but can make you $2000 per month – Yes, Internet-related businesses are HUGE in potential. Some other ideas: starting up a web design/development business, an SEO/link building services, a social media marketing business, etc. can help site owners to do well online.
6. Green construction
Green homes and buildings are in demand and start gaining momentum in construction business trends – why? Because they use less resources, create less waste and promote healthy living for those who live inside.
7. DIY green energy
Green living dominates this list, indeed – This time, Do-it-yourself green energy, which is essentially self-made green energy generator, commonly using either solar or wind energy. Supporting those who are interested in DIY green energy by providing how-to guides, materials, and/or accessories can make a great and sustainable business idea.
8. White label fundraising
There are times when you are really want to make a difference by running your own charity, but don’t know how. There are white label fundraising companies that, in essence, partner with non-profit organisations and charities to provide a chance for someone to raise funds for his/her favourite charities or non-profits without all the hassle of resource management and reporting. Even better, he/she will receive good income to cover the fundraising activities by receiving a percentage of the raised funds. A win-win solution for all and being the one who meet the organisations with independent fundraisers makes a good business idea.
Freemium is a business model (usually online business) that allows free but limited access to a product or service, in which a premium is charged if you want a full-featured access. Twitter will do it, Flickr has done it, and you should join the bandwagon. The premise: free is what attract people, and getting 1% of those people to pay for the premium should boom your business – think about it: you can create revenue offering something for free, with no obligation or any hidden policies.
10. Personalised products and/or services
People enjoy personalised products and/or services that are made specifically to their specifications. With growing interest in everything custom and personalised, starting a business offering design-your-own, make-your-own or choose-your-own products and/or services is a smart move. A couple of examples: Tutti Frutti fro-yo (off line) and Custom Ink custom t-shirts(online)
Whatever you choose, your business needs a successful online presence. The three most important components of having a successful website it an easy to use content management system, a social media marketing strategy, and effective search engine optimization methods.
Many people are diving into the world of small business ownership. Whether this has to do with the state of the economy and job market, or the innate desire to “be your own boss,” the result is a boom in people wanting to own their own business.
There is a difference between a small business owner and an entrepreneur. Steve Smith, a mentor for small business owners and entrepreneurs for the consulting team OneCoach International, wrote an informative brief on Focus.com
The brief discusses the qualities that separate small business owners from entrepreneurs. Read the excerpt below and learn how to transcend the booming market of small business ownership and dive into the world of entrepreneurship:
The term entrepreneur simply means: one who has an idea and takes the financial risk and accountability for the outcome of their pursuits. The real meaning can be better understood in the characteristics an entrepreneur should possess in order to achieve the results they desire.
Desire to succeed
The true entrepreneur never gives up in their quest to reach the benchmark of success they have set for themselves. The real test is not in being successful but in being willing to do it again if the 1st, 2nd or 3rd attempts fail.
Determination & work ethic
Their relentless desire to succeed is fueled by a ‘dogged’ work ethic. They think nothing of putting in 15+ hours a day pursuing every aspect of their idea. While this level of determination is all but a requirement in the early phase of getting your idea off the ground, it can also be a blind spot in terms of being able to set priorities and stay focused on specific activities that drive accomplishment.
Having an innovative mindset
Few business ideas today are truly revolutionary. Most are an adaptation of an existing idea. The entrepreneur will frequently borrow an existing business model and make significant improvements to it in order to create a niche that they can grow. They are constantly looking for ways to realize their dreams by innovating what’s already in play, even when they’re not sure that the market is ready for it.
Willingness to go it alone
Entrepreneurs see opportunities differently than most people and will pursue a course of action that maybe unclear to close friends or family members. Frequently, their community will question their motives, ambitions or even sanity in an attempt to keep them from being hurt by their unshakable quest to see the venture to completion. The true entrepreneur understands this level of ‘loving scrutiny’ and presses forward despite the lack of perceived support for what they see very clearly as their road to financial freedom
Acting on creative ideas and solutions
This is one of the key factors that separate entrepreneurs from all other well intentioned business people. Entrepreneurs have an ability to find creative solution to situations that appear daunting and take action on them; sooner rather than later. Their ability to see unique approaches to the opportunities they take on enables them to act on decisions that are critical to the project’s continued momentum. The downside of this ‘go-getter’ mentality can be a pattern of frequent and unneeded ‘trial & error’ because not enough consideration is taken to research and test an idea before jumping into it with all four feet.
Making decisions in the absence of complete information or solid data
At the beginning of an idea, there may not be enough information available to comfortably decide on a particular course of action. The entrepreneur knows this and is confident in making decisions under these circumstances. They recognize that intuitive thinking or ‘gut feelings’ play a role in forging ahead into the unknown and see this as exhilarating as pursuing the idea itself. The entrepreneur knows that there is no better way to kill a promising idea in the early stages than to become paralyzed in the decision making process.
Jack of all trades
The entrepreneur knows how to do many things. They also know how to improvise and find others who can fill in their knowledge or skill gap with whatever is needed to keep moving forward. And while this ability to juggle and assimilate to a variety of situations enables to entrepreneur to keep things in motion, the downside is often an inability to accurately assess a true area requiring expertise outside the entrepreneur’s capabilities. In some cases, critical decisions may be made hastily or incorrectly causing unintended setbacks.