21 Dec

Becoming an Entrepreneur

Becoming an Entrepreneur is easy.  You decide you are good at something or have something people want.  You start a business, and they come to buy what you have or do.  It is that simple.

Not exactly as that reality probably happens to about 1 in several million. For the rest of us, it is a bit more challenging.

So what do you do if you want to be an Entrepreneur?

Becoming an Entrepreneur, or owning your own business is hard.   While certainly, the steps above are a part of it, more must be done.   Before we even begin to get into LLC’s or INC’s, bank loans or self-funded, we need to look at the who, what, when, where and how.

WHO – most likely the who in this endeavor is you.  It could include a partner or a family member.  Regardless you are the one doing the planning and dreaming.  This part falls on you.  Who is going to do the following:

  • Assess your processes, manage your processes
  • Identify customer opportunities, acquire customers
  • Improve your processes, lead your business
  • Provide customer service and customer care.

WHAT – what will you produce or provide.  Is it something you invented, something you are good at?  Will you purchase another business or a franchise.

WHEN – When will you do this?  In 6-months, a year, five years.  Most people like schedules.  They make them accountable and help accomplish things.  Determining when is as important as everything else.

WHERE – Where will you do this?  Will you do it here in you currently live, someplace you want to move too?  Will you need a shop, a store or can you do it from your home.

WHY – Why are you doing this?  Is this a hobby and you like it (not exactly a good idea by the way), are you unemployed with no job prospects?  Do you want to change the world or change someone’s life?  Why becomes a part of your mission and vision.

HOW – How will you do this.  How will you provide your product and services.  Will it be direct to the customer in person, on the Internet, a combination?

Many people become entrepreneurs with little planning and little thought.  They wake up one morning and have an “aha! Moment.  “I will do this, get rich and have complete independence. “  They don’t think about the financial investment, the time investment, the commitment, sacrifice and doing without.  Many wrongly think they can go to their local bank and poof, a Small Business Administration loan is theirs.   They know how to do what they do very well…what they don’t know how to do well is run a business.

Sometimes they take a class at the local Business Development Center sponsored by a local educational system.  Sometimes they engage with former business owners for advice and mentoring.  Sometimes they read a book.  Sometimes they think they can do it all by themselves.

Consider this simple fact: According to the Small Business Administration, 95% of all new businesses fail in their first 5 years.  Of those that last longer than 5-years, half of those will fail.  The why is simple; the Entrepreneur does not do the things I mentioned above.  Further, when they struggle they don’t ask for help out of embarrassment, ego or a combination of the two.

Does this mean you should give up on your dream of being an Entrepreneur or Business Owner?  If you are already thinking yes, then that should probably be your answer.  If you are thinking you need to learn and do more then you are most likely someone who has a chance to be successful.

I’ll share more in the future about being an Entrepreneur.  However, in parting this time I want to share something I saw on the Internet on a well-known social media site (and if you don’t like social media or the Internet you want to rethink that if you want to be a business owner).  The saying was this, and I think it describes well the motivation and commitment an Entrepreneur must have:

I do it because I can

I can because I want to

I want to because you said I couldn’t.