11 December 2019

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Assessing Your Entrepreneurial Profile

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Do You Have What It Takes?

Prof. Faredoon KapadiaFirst, let it be said that, while there is great deal of romance surrounding the notion of being an entrepreneur, not everyone has the aptitude. It is important to understand that there is nothing wrong with not being an entrepreneur. This world functions well because of them, but it would not be as successful if it were peopled solely with entrepreneurs.

Nevertheless, there are some general personality traits that are key for being an entrepreneur.

If the following list seems to fit your personality, you may have what it takes:

  • I am persistent, with a great deal of drive and stamina. I see problems as opportunities. I have a good intuitive sense and thrive on new ideas.
  • I tend to rebel against authorities, I want to be my own boss.
  • I am positive, communicate well and enjoy working with people.
  • I have strong need to succeed both financially and otherwise.
  • I am not afraid to make mistakes and I learn from them.

F.A.Q.’s

  • HOW CAN I BE SURE I HAVE GOT WHAT IT TAKES?

Before quitting your job and using your savings to start a business, you owe it to yourself to approach your entrepreneurial venture with some practicality. Take a more in-depth personality test and talk to small business advisors, who are often available at no or low cost through various business associations.

  • HOW MUCH MONEY WILL I NEED?

Whether you want to buy an existing business, purchase a franchise, start your company or merely offer services to others from a home office. Starting your business depends on first knowing the numbers. People in the same or similar businesses are a good source of information. Use your ingenuity to find out what it cost them to get started and how did they manage to get funds. Other sources include trade association, franchise organizations, business articles in magazines or newspapers. Internet search or business consultants are also a good source.

  • BESIDES BEING AN IDEA PERSON, WHAT ELSE DO I NEED TO BE GOOD AT?

Success in a new enterprise depends on dedication and the consistent application of GOOD BUSNESS PRINCIPLES. Some of these principles include:

1. Being Good with Money.

2. Being Good with People (investors, suppliers, employees, etc.)

3. Being a Good promoter (Marketing, Sales, PR).

4. Being Good to yourself.

Many entrepreneurs burn out before their business takes hold. In this game, pacing yourself and your business is important.

MAKE IT HAPPEN:

  • Check That You Have The Right Idea:

If you have got a great new idea and no competition is insight, you must be sure that the product/service will be of value to customer at the price at which you can afford to sell it.

If your aim is to enter a field with established competition, you have to undertake SWOT Analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) of yourself and that of your competition. You have to be certain that you can provide a better product/service at a competitive price. Finding out all these things is called, “MARKET RESEARCH”. You will need to do a thorough job of it to succeed.

  • Develop a Detailed Business Plan:

This is the key to building a successful business. Having a well-considered and systematic plan allows you to recognize problems as they arise in time to be able to take corr3ective action. The plan should be a living document, flexible over time to adapt changes in Market Place and in your Industry. It should include sections on every facet of your business, whether you are a proprietor or an Executive Director of a new manufacturing venture A GOOD VIABLE BUSINESS PLAN IS MANDATORY.

  • Get Financial Backing for your Idea:

Take your ideas and business plan to a variety of people, starting with friends and close supporters. Be prepared for critical feedbacks and be flexible. Take the inevitable first few comments of “NO THANKS” s opportunities to fine tune the next presentations. One of hallmarks of an entrepreneur is the ability to regroup, rethink and reach the goal in another way.

Seeking publicity for your business is a way not only to notify potential customers but also to get the attention of possible investors. The more people who know about your idea, better the chances that you will attract the right investor.

Be willing to share a portion of the company with the right partners, but we wary (watchful) of finance companies and investors who want full control, or the lion’s share of the proceeds. Consider entering a joint venture with another company or POSITION your company to attract start-up funds from Government sources.

  • Practice Your Net-Working:

Being an entrepreneur does not mean being a lone ranger. Being successful often depends on your ability to net-work with potential customers, suppliers, new investors and those in Government who control certain aspects of the business environment.

  • Plan your Marketing & PR:

An integral part of your business plan involves a marketing plan, how you intend to create the demand for your product/service. Market Research can tell you the “WHAT” and “WHERE” of your opportunities the Marketing Plan outlines the steps by which you will find potential customers and convince them to buy from you. NETWORKING is a form of Marketing and promotion, whereas Advertising & PR are others.

  • Ensure you have the Right Financial & Management Support:

Many a time’s entrepreneurs are better at ideas than at managing budgets, business operations and employees. Anticipate that you will need more capital than you have reckoned on at the start and do not be lavish with spending beyond the company’s means. If you find yourself in a questionable position, make sure you have the network of trusted and experienced advisors to help you see the proper perspective.

COMMON MISTAKES

1. Setting Up Equal Partnership:

Entrepreneurs often share the start-up responsibilities with a partner or partners. However, sharing 50/50 or by thirds or quarters is a big mistakes, because conflicts will inevitably arise and need someone in controlling position to make a final decision. Chose or employ a CEO, someone with experience and skills needed for success and give that person a greater decision making authority and a better salary, even if it is only higher by a small margin.

 

  • 2. Having inadequate people and planning:
  •  

    Entrepreneurs MUST become strong managers when the company gets going. Many businesses fail because the people in charge do not have managerial qualities or strengths to cope with the challenges. Besides stress also can cause personal issues to arise which makes the challenge doubly difficult. Personality assessments can determine if you are cut out for a managerial position. Managerial training can prepare you for your new role as an executive. Without proper market research and a professional business plan, a business is more likely to fall. The more advanced preparation that is done, better are the chances for success.

     

  • 3. Relying too heavily on one or two customers:
  •  

    Having too few customers makes your business vulnerable, because it ties your future decisions of other organizations. If their business falters, it puts your hard work and dedication at risk, through no fault of your own. The advice of personal financial consultants is appropriate here. Having more customers, even though none of them are gigantic, is healthier in the long run.

    4. Causing cash flow troubles through insufficient financing:

    While some people are successful at jump-starting their own enterprise with little or no outside investment, they do so by being fortunate, being modest in their spending and by plough profits back into business.

    The majority of businesses, however, do not deliver the projected first year sales volume. It is better to overestimate your need for capital resources at the beginning and to underestimate your projected sales figures. It is better to be pleasantly surprised at your success than to lose the business and your house because the money is not there when it is needed.

    When contemplating an expansion of your business, be wary of spiraling costs. If you are in a cyclical business or one vulnerable to recession, be sure to be very calculating about your expenses and develop “PLAN B”  well before you need to implement it.

    5. Failing to admit mistakes:

    Entrepreneurs are sometimes the last admit that their idea has not the spark it once did. Having advisors that you trust is important, either on payrolls or on contracts. Be willing to cut your losses and move on if your advisors all agree that they should. Doing so may save the company, if you, can move quick enough to capitalize from your mistakes, or shift the product/service to take advantage of other opportunities.

    6. Understanding the Competition:

    Your competition will not stand still for long, once you have demonstrated their weaknesses in the market place with your product/service. Expect them to plug the hole quickly and even try to outflank you in the process. Your business and marketing plans should anticipate how to deal with new initiatives from your competition. If you conduct ongoing research, product/service evaluations and marketing campaigns, you should always be one step ahead of competition.

    Prof. Faredoon Kapadia is the founder of Atassh Consultants


    Last Updated ( Monday, 25 July 2011 10:23 )  

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