Great British Entrepreneur Awards Partner Pearson Business School talk all things entrepreneurship!
Entrepreneurship is the process of designing, launching and running a new business, which is often initially a small business. The people who create these businesses are called entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurship has been described as the “the capacity and willingness to develop, organise and manage a business venture along with any of its risks in order to make a profit.” (www.businessdictionary.com)
Due to the high financial risks involved in initiating a start-up, a significant number of these businesses fail within the first few years due to lack of funding, bad business decisions, an economic crisis, lack of market demand, or a combination of these factors.
So… what advice is there for an aspiring entrepreneur?
1. Get started
A good entrepreneur is daring. In many ways, becoming an entrepreneur and starting out on your own is scary, but it does not have to be. Lots of successful entrepreneurs started their own business whilst working another job to pay the bills. There is no shame in starting slowly. Just start.
2. Be Humble and Learn
When you are first starting out, it can be tempting to pretend you know everything. When it comes to qualities such as confidence, it can be easy to put on a front and come across as a strong entrepreneurial character. However, knowledge is something that you need to know for sure. Good entrepreneurs have enquiring minds and never stop learning or asking questions.
“Don’t link your success as an entrepreneur to the success of your idea. Your job as an entrepreneur is to iterate through ideas to get to the right one. Part of that process is successfully proving your ideas are no good. Failure is part of making progress.” – George Olesen, Founder of The Access Platform
3. Keep things Simple
When you have the knowledge and understand the business jargon, it is easy to overuse it. Communicating in jargon works well in specialised environments and can earn professional respect, but misusing jargon can lead to confusion, frustration and costly mistakes. If in doubt, keep it simple.
4. Plan out Every Day
At the beginning of each week, create an essential to-do list. Having a to-do list helps turn abstract goals into concrete achievements. Work the tasks into a schedule, considering due dates and deadlines measured by importance and urgency. Planning out a schedule decreases procrastination and increases productivity by achieving goals, being better equipped to handle unforeseen obstacles and ensuring there is still time for relaxation, recreation and real life.
5. Get a Mentor
Learning from other people’s mistakes stops you making them for yourself and will help your business grow more quickly and effectively. A mentor has to want to help you and most entrepreneurs will help you if they possibly can. If they can’t, chances are they’re busy running their own business and are very busy – something you as a fellow entrepreneur have to appreciate.
6. Grow your Network
Learning and inspiration doesn’t just come from mentors. One of the main ways to get useful information is to learn from other entrepreneurs at the same stage of business as you. Try to avoid competitors and exchange your own information and knowledge for theirs. This will make networking mutually beneficial, perhaps leading to potential opportunities in the future.
7. Seize Opportunities
Successful entrepreneurs make the most of every opportunity. This means being prepared and alert at all times, having a clear description of your business readily to hand, a website up and running and not putting off applying for funding or entering competitions. An opportunity could arise when you least expect, so being equipped to seize one at all times is vital to success.
“When thinking about starting a business, people often think about what could go wrong if it fails. This is sensible and you should limit the downside but don’t forget to factor in what could go right if it succeeds. If you have a one-in-ten chance of making a hundred times your money, that’s a good bet to take, even if you are likely to lose.” – George Olesen, Founder of The Access Platform
8. Accept Feedback
Hearing honest feedback and, more importantly, acting on it is essential if you want to make your business the best it can possibly be. It can sometimes be easy to ignore negative opinions on your business; but sometimes criticism can be your best friend so identifying issues and adapting and acting on these will lead to further success and growth.
The scariest word to any entrepreneur should not be “failure” but “burnout.” In fact, mental health issues have been reported among 72% of entrepreneurs. Because entrepreneurs have higher pressures than a lot of other job roles, it’s especially important to schedule downtime.
Some ways you can disconnect from work are:
* spending time with family
* doing sports such as walking, cycling, running for example
* watching films
Although these activities might not seem important, it is vital to occupy your mind elsewhere to alleviate stress and avoid any mental health issues arising, so you can launch your product and strive for success!
Following these 9 steps will help you to become a successful entrepreneur, working hard and avoiding stress. For more information about Pearson College London and our courses, visit our website. Or for more tips, download our Enterprise Guide, which includes advice from Levi Roots!