What steps would you take in order to become an entrepreneur?
I've wanted to become an entrepreneur since I was young, but I am not sure how I would go about " starting a company." Also, I know that I want to start a business, but I am not yet sure what field I want to work in, or what service or product my business could offer. How would I start a company? What do I need to start a company? Do I need any credentials to start a company? #business #entrepreneurship #entrepreneur #investors #startups
G. Mark’s Answer
I've been involved in several startups, and I can share some basic guidelines that I think will quickly summarize what I've learned. First, you need to address a need -- i. e., solve a problem -- that people consider valuable to solve. Without solving a problem, a business is doomed to failure. One approach is called "Design Thinking". Again, material on this approach is readily available, but to give you the essentials, you don't just solve a problem, but you spend as much effort as possible to understand the environment, concerns, goals and experience of the customer. For example, if you're solving a problem for a baker, you don't simply look for a product, like an oven, that you can sell. You interview, observe, learn, experience as much about what the baker does and what challenges he or she encounters, even throughout their day. A good analogy would be the difference between someone reading an article about things a baker uses in the business as compared to being in a family business of a bakery. Second, you need to be passionate about the goal, because a business will be competing against others, and those others will most likely include people that live and breathe what you're trying to get into. This will also make the fact that approximately 86 percent of startups never turn a profit, so this is not a trivial thing. Third, get as much advice as possible. Don't get caught up in being overly optimistic. Or pessimistic. If someone says you have sure-fire idea, find someone else who will criticize it. You need realism from folks who have the most knowledge, experience, and contacts to others with such experience. And listen. I've seen businesses fail miserably because the task got overwhelming, the people lost focus, they blundered around kludging new things into the business, and generally exhausted the patience of their financial backers. And the fourth thing -- something that many people ignore due to the effort and stress and fear -- fail soon, fail often, fail quickly. This means prototyping. Being too conservative, too cautious, not trying new ideas and, worse, not learning from failures and changing the newest version of your product or service or system to take advantage of what you learn is a recipe for failure of the business. So, as Edison said, "I haven't failed -- I've succeeded in finding a thousand ways this won't work." Failure isn't failure but learning to succeed.
<span style="color: rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.75);">Research, learn, adapt. When you're building something from scratch, it's inevitable make some mistakes. Being flexible and able to adapt to the unexpected will help you stay focused on what matters, rather than allowing yourself to get derailed over the little things.</span>