Every winner started off as a beginner with big dreams. This applies to people across all walks of life – entrepreneurs included. For people who have always desired to operate a business, starting one is a dream come true. It may be exciting and fulfilling, but it also has its share of risks and obstacles.
Entrepreneurship is no small task, and it requires a lot of time, effort, and resources to be successful. According to research on small enterprises conducted by the Small Business Administration (SBA), roughly 50% of companies underperform in their first year of operation, and 95% fail during the first five years. So, as a first-time business owner, you’ll need to think of the next two or maybe three steps to take to ensure that your business doesn’t fold.
Fortunately, this article talks about first-time entrepreneurship while bringing tips and advice on becoming a successful entrepreneur.
Important Truths About Entrepreneurship
Before you establish a business, small or big, there are certain things you should know. Knowing these things will help you make solid decisions when you eventually start the business.
Here are five things that you should know about entrepreneurship as a first-timer.
1. There are always risks
Being a business owner involves making lots of decisions. Every business decision made is tied to one or more risks. If you decide to add a new product to your stock, you will likely make more losses than if you choose not to add the new product.
However, the likelihood of making more profit and gaining more customers has also increased. If you decide not to add the new product to your stock, you risk losing some customers. Not choosing a particular matter is also a form of decision, and yes, it is associated with risk.
2. Income is not steady
As an entrepreneur, you cannot predict the profit you will make in say, three months. It is also not easy to obtain an average income. Whatever you gain in a month is not a factor of your entrepreneurship skills alone. Other factors influence it, such as the level of demand for the product or service, the climate, economic status of the nation, etc.
If there is general inflation in the country, products will be more expensive, but that doesn’t necessarily mean more sales. Likewise, if you sell coats, you could make more sales during the winter than in summer.
3. Constant marketing is required
As mentioned earlier, entrepreneurship requires a lot of effort. You need to constantly advertise and promote your products if you want to continue making sales. The moment you stop promoting your business, you will give competitors an edge over your business, making you lose customers!
4. You need essential skills
Entrepreneurship doesn’t require a résumé, but this is no reason not to learn managerial skills. Because you are your boss, you must act like one. Entrepreneurship is leadership, and so, leadership skills are required. Time management, good customer relations, discipline, excellent communication skills, and reliability are needed for virtually all businesses.
5. Entrepreneurship doesn’t guarantee success
Since entrepreneurship involves many risks, you are bound to fail at certain stages, which is fine. Most successful entrepreneurs are big risk-takers and have failed in multiple capacities. It is okay not to get something right initially. It’s all part of entrepreneurship.
Knowing all of these facts, if you decide to go on and run that business, thumbs up to you! Acknowledging the difficulties and constantly keeping your business on the run is just the right attitude for a potentially successful entrepreneur.
Advice For First-Time Entrepreneurs
With the right steps, you can grow into a successful startup founder.
Well, there are also tips from investors, entrepreneurs, and financial advisors to help you face and conquer most of the challenges you will face when building your startup from scratch. These are a result of years of experience as risk-takers. So, take your time, read and consider the following advice.
● Take risks
Some risks are pretty scary and can cause you to lose a lot. But you have to take risks if you are a true entrepreneur. Of course, not all risks should be taken. However, there are calculated risks in business operations that you should take.
Not taking risks is simply staying within your comfort zone, and entrepreneurship, on the contrary, requires you to push far beyond it. You can imagine the delight you will feel if a particular risk that you took made a tremendous positive impact on your business.
● Pen down ideas as they come
You never can tell which of your pool of ideas will take your business to the top. This is why you need to take notes of them as they come; ideas come and go just like opportunities. You can even keep a small journal to write down your ideas and review them anytime you decide or try something new.
● Network in all directions
Networking will help you expand your connections and learn from individuals who have accomplished the achievements you aim for. But networking in all directions provides you with much more benefits.
Networking horizontally among other startup founders can build your social interactions, and you can learn from one another. Networking vertically allows you to learn from experts and is an opportunity for less experienced entrepreneurs to learn from you–you will have more knowledge or skill than at least one person, even if you are a first-time entrepreneur.
● Manage your expenses
You may be so passionate about the success of your new business that you eventually overspend and probably incur debt. Make a list of essential items that will boost the growth of your business, and set some money aside to buy them. Create a modest budget, stick to it, and modify it as needed.
● Create an exit plan
As an entrepreneur, you should know when to stop, pause, or push harder. Allowing your pride to drag you down is a bad idea. If your project fails to develop, reflect on the mistakes you made, and you might discover that it wasn’t a mistake; it was just a situation that was beyond your control. You can always learn from past failures and move forward. So, if it is necessary, forgo that idea and try something new.
If you are a first-time entrepreneur, things might not go as smoothly as you wish. Successful entrepreneurs don’t exactly have it easy either. But with these tips, you can get the motivation to work hard and work smart. Putting these tips to practice gives your startup a higher chance of success as it grows.
Are you a first time entrepreneur? Do you need help setting up your legal, HR, and finance operations? At AbstractOps, we specialize in helping early-stage startup CEOs and first time entrepreneurs like you to manage these operations. Need help? Send an email to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.