Becoming a world-class entrepreneur is everyone’s dream. You can choose a specialization and grow a career in various fields like medicine, law, and engineering. But at the end of the day, you’d rather not just let your savings sleep in a bank.
Starting a business is an investment that could eventually lead to financial freedom. After all, the richest people in the world got to where they are now due to their businesses.
But if you think it would be easy, then you’ve never been more wrong in your life. According to the data provided by the U.S. Small Business Administration, only 80% of startups survive their first year. So, in order to avoid being a part of that 20%, you have to take extra precautions before plunging into the industry of commerce. And to help you with that, here are the four initial steps you have to take before becoming an official entrepreneur.
Start with stocking your information arsenal.
Knowledge is power. Just like in traditional careers, information is one of the most vital factors you have to capitalize on. Knowing the ins and outs of the industry will not only help you survive but will also make your growth more efficient.
Not everyone has the luxury to get a degree in business management, much more a master’s or a Ph.D. But there are plenty of online classes and seminars that could help you at least get a grasp on the basics. The certifications you’ll get from these seminars can build your credibility and help you improve your skills at the same time.
Of course, doing your research on the specific target market, you’re planning to cater to is also essential. The best way to ensure your marketability is by knowing the market, after all.
Reinforce your security with financial safety nets.
People usually say that high risks lead to high rewards. But what if you can eliminate as many risks as possible? Making sure that you are financially protected in case your first venture fails is a practical way of ensuring your long-term success.
Keep in mind that Amazon reportedly only had its biggest profitable turnaround after nine years of fluctuating revenues. Steve Jobs took two decades of perseverance to build his multi-billion enterprise. The point is, it will take time. And to make sure that you’ll still have enough to get to where you want to be, you need to be financially prepared.
This is where personal and business insurances come in. You also have to remember to prepare an emergency fund and multiple contingency plans in case things don’t go your way.
Ensure your efforts’ mobility through network building.
This is how you’ll be using all the information you have accumulated. Remember that business is all about networking. Knowing people can help make your life easier.
Whether you use it to get investors and partners or to find the right talent pool you can build your team from, having a reliable network in the industry can help boost your efficiency. You can join both physical and digital professional organizations. The people you’ll meet at seminars can also be long-term connections you can count on.
And keep in mind that it doesn’t end with commercial connections. Knowing lawyers can help you make more sound decisions. It’s best to have a list of contacts that could help you when you experience some trouble. These include lawyers, accountants, doctors, and even a bail bond service in case things go awry. And having media personnel on speed dial can help you survive the industry’s politics once you’ve gained traction.
Strengthen your leadership through practical experiences.
One of the key factors in entrepreneurial mastery is leadership skills. More than anything else, your management and ways of leading your team can be the most detrimental factors of your venture’s success.
As much as theories learned from textbooks can help, the best way to hone your prowess in leadership is still through practical applications. Working in a successful business and handling multiple projects can prove to be the most useful means of gaining the foresight you’d need to maintain your own startup. Starting from the bottom and climbing your way up can also give you insight regarding your future team’s needs and how best you can provide them. Volunteering in community projects, especially in a leadership role, will not only help you improve your leadership skills on a more diverse scope but also help in building your network.
Before you go
Anyone with capital can start a business. But to truly be a successful entrepreneur, you’d need more than just money. You need to invest both time and effort, too. Because at the end of the day, preparation is what leads to success.