Starting your own business is a smart move. In the past two years, more than 774,000 new companies have been founded in the United States.
Building a startup from scratch is no small feat. Yet, as an entrepreneur, you have more freedom in where and when you work. Surround yourself with an excellent support team and try to find a mentor who has been there before. You can also start by making an honest assessment of your skills and your weaknesses.
Are you risking failure, uncertainty, and life-changing rewards? If so, you’re an entrepreneur. The word “entrepreneur” might make you think of Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, or Oprah Winfrey, who risked failure, uncertainty, and life-changing rewards in pursuit of opportunity beyond currently controlled resources.
The founders of Apple, YouTube, and Amazon are incredibly successful people who have created quite successful businesses. Each took a risk and was rewarded with immense success. However, not every entrepreneur is lucky enough to be successful.
What do you need to be a seasoned entrepreneur? According to Harvard Business School Professor William Sahlman, you shouldn’t rely on stereotypes. Even though stereotypes can be tempting, the truth is that successful entrepreneurs can come from all walks of life.
A perfect entrepreneur is hard to find. But some common characteristics include curiosity, flexibility, decisiveness, and inquisitiveness.
Should you start a business or study a business? This article lists several questions to ask yourself before moving forward.
QUESTIONS TO ASK BEFORE STARTING A BUSINESS
Where to study business
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What’s the right time to start?
It may never take off if you try to start now. Are you in a position to pursue entrepreneurship? Consider your relationships, financial wellbeing, and physical health. For instance, if you just welcomed a baby into your family, you may not have enough time and energy to commit to the growth of your business.
Perhaps you have been recently laid off, which could be the catalyst for you to start your own business. Your professional experience can be put to good use in this new venture.
As an example, take the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. This threat of illness inspired businesses to take precautions against the spread of germs. One way to do this is by put into effect social distancing and allowing employees to work alongside one another. It is an excellent time for someone who, for example, wants to manufacture and sell transparent cubicle partitions for open workspaces.
Do you have a business idea?
If so, how can you know if it’s an opportunity or not? Before you start a business, you need to brainstorm a few details. If you haven’t fleshed out these details yet, use the following prompts to get your brain going:
Why is it taking so long to accomplish our objectives? Why are costs so high? Can we deliver this new service with a new business model? How can we improve the delivery of this service?
Your idea doesn’t have to be revolutionary. It can enhance a current solution or product as long as it fills an unmet need. For example, your idea can be an improved product, such as a more functional or cheaper version of an existing one. It can also be a needed service, such as a more innovative way to package items for shipping.
Also, be sure that your business idea is a great opportunity. Scholars define an opportunity as a proposed venture that sells a product or service for which customers are ready to part with more than the required investments and operating costs.
To test the practicality of an idea, you need to first come up with a hypothesis. For example, “I hypothesize that businesses will pay $200 per transparent cubicle partition.”
To test your hypothesis, reach out to strangers who match your target market segment instead of using friends, family, and colleagues who might say anything to avoid confrontation. The feedback you receive can inform whether your hypothesis is correct or whether you need to test other ideas.
A STARTUP WITH A DIFFERENCE
When you’re trying to decide whether to start a business, ask yourself these questions. Starting a business can be difficult and risky, but with a bit of research and preparation, you can get a sense of whether you’ll be able to succeed. Having a good idea for a business, a solid team, and a little luck can help.