Entrepreneurs have lots of incentives and causes for following their dreams. Some are operated by income potential, others are fulfilling a childhood dream or using their expertise to build their own business instead of choosing to go to work for someone else. Entrepreneurs are risk takers—they realize that the potentially far-fetched rewards are worth the hard hours and the risks, and they focus on the possibilities, the upsides, and the pride of ownership. They love to build; they have passions and dreams and they don’t sit idly by watching others pursue them without acting on their own. The rising costs of fuel, the increasing commute times, and spending less time with family and more time tied to a BlackBerry are driving the desire for many people to start and run their own businesses. Many face underemployment—in fact, underemployment casts a wide net. Underemployment means not being employed at the rate you want to be—perhaps not using your skills to their fullest or not having as much work as you want. It means having the ability, based on your education level, to get a higher paying job but working in a low-skill, low-wage job instead. Underemployment means working part time when you need and want to work full time. Underemployment has many causes—companies needing part time people to avoid paying costly healthcare means that they may avoid full time workers and create underemployed workers, or businesses seeing an economic slowdown that impacts their bottom line may choose to put people on part time payroll or contractual work because they aren’t sure if they will be able to pay the bills of full time workers. Underemployment isn’t just an American problem; it is affecting Australia, the UK, and many developing nations. That doesn’t solve our problems, though. Of course, being underemployed is not as financially devastating as being completely unemployed, but many of you picking up this book may be in that situation, too. Unemployment rates were on the rise throughout 2008 and many economists predict this may continue throughout the rest of the decade.Yet many unemployed and underemployed folks—or even those fully employed but unhappy in their jobs—have alternatives. The alternative is finding and pursuing your passion—and in comes entrepreneurship. Estimates indicate that 80 percent of new jobs today are created by small businesses, and business people—those who are new to the job market right out of college perhaps and Baby Boomers alike—are finding solace, comfort, and satisfaction of all kinds in their own businesses instead.Running your own business takes perseverance, it takes risk, and it takes planning—and then some! Entrepreneurship isn’t for everyone, but it is for many. However, many people just don’t know where to begin, and that is what this book will help you do. From finding your passion to determining how to make money doing it; from creating a company name and logo to nationalizing your brand; from small time to a global company—this book walks you through all the steps of becoming an entrepreneur, and then the challenge of maintaining your status as one. Be informed, enjoy the journey, read the survey data from the trenches. The survey asked many questions from what kind of technology entrepreneurs use to what they found most difficult, to what they found most useful and whether they met revenue expectations, and when. Most importantly, don’t lose your passion while you educate yourself with as many sources as possible—this book being one. Welcome to entrepreneurship!
The very immediate thing one needs to ascertain while determining to venture into oneself is whether self employment—being your own boss—is applicable for yourself. It might seem as though the instant reply is “yes,” but there are some significant elements to consider prior concluding to this paramount decision. For instance, does one operate effectively within a corporate structure? Do you want to be liable for your own destiny or would you prefer a ladder to climb? Are you willing to put in the time and determination it takes to be financially successful in your own business? Do you have the pliability needed to schedule for, instigate, and operate your own venture—do you have children, a spouse or significant other, and other important adherences? These are certain things to ponder upon as we commence on our discussion of what it takes to be an entrepreneur, what your personal situation is, and why you might just become the next Accidental Tycoon. With this strike, Danielle Babb embarks on “The Accidental Start-up” triggering every amateur entrepreneur. Small-scale business owners are often clouded with myths—the incredible consequences of owning your own business. The second phase of the book explores the common myths, and the real truth behind them. The third chapter is conceivably the most critical one in the entire book—without an aim, one has no passion to follow through on! Without any hunger one has no investment and without any business, you have no dollars. The third chapter improvises the subsided thoughts and turn those ideas into a business, a profitable real life entrepreneurial piece of art! By this point, it has covered what is takes to establish a business; to become an entrepreneur, stay committed, follow a prepared plan, stay positive and prepared to lose. Business plans aren’t the most exhilarating part of starting a business, and many business owners start a business and become quite successful without them. Planning isn’t necessary, but it initiates the growth and development rate in the market and achieving the objectives. The business plan should be evaluated often, to grant you the opportunity to make revisions if your goals change or if anything in the external environment affects your business. Many entrepreneurs feel the task of raising capital is intimidating, overwhelming, and also at times obstructs their way to achieve the goals. Raising capital is certainly a unique skill to pursue, indeed incredibly valuable and effective for both the budding and the experienced entrepreneur. The sixth chapter deals with raising funds along with presents the merits and demerits, and the gradations attached to it. The seventh chapter furnishes roadmap, though, as do the others. This chapter is devoted to some advice to keep you on track, and out of trouble so you can have an exciting year two, three, and so on, too. Money is the cornerstone of your business, giving you the ability to grow, expand, and create a life for yourself. Many of you may have the potential to feel successful in your business regardless of the money that you make. Everyone has a separate sentiment as to what success means to them, but for many of us, our end line at least indirectly affects how we feel about our level of success. Without advertising and marketing, your business may be doomed. Word of mouth is a form of marketing—it is the way that most businesses truly grow—in which people spread the word and say good things about your business. Word of mouth can make or break a company. Ask any restaurateur what happens if someone gets sick from their restaurant or a neighbour has a bad experience. There are many variations of this, but a good friend who is also an entrepreneur said it best: One unhappy person will tell ten; one happy person will tell two.In this chapter, we’ll look at what’s available for you to use to market and advertise your business; and the fundamental differences between different options. We will examine the effectiveness of common techniques and the details of lesser known alternatives. We will learn from those who have been successful what works—and from those who haven’t, what doesn’t. By this point, you’ve started your business, you’re moving along nicely in your business plan, and you’re trying to figure out what to do next. Obviously you want to meet your financial and personal objectives for this business. You don’t want to go back into your unemployed or underemployed Corporate America status. You don’t want to go back to working for someone else. But at the same time, you also recognize that without forward progress, your business will stagnate. You need to begin to think about how you want to grow your baby, although it is possible that it is growing rapidly on its own. The next chapter deliberates about the growth opportunities that small businesses have, and how in various ways they can expand not only their target market but their achieve their goals within their current market. Studies reveal that companies cutting down on customer services are receiving poor responses that unroll like wildfire. Old customers are returning to them only because they have no other scope. When alternatives are provided that offer service-oriented products, customers who are not influenced by its price, gather to those businesses as early as possible. One does not prefer to be on the side of the aisle where you have to change service sometime thereafter to persist or acquire new customers to replace the ones who left. It’s of great significance that you evaluate what customers want and provide which is required in the initiate stage and create it as a measure to decide on for the betterment of the company. As the general public’s wants and needs are dynamic and ranging variedly, you will have to be an observant, instantly amending and modifying as required—and before the market reacts that you must do so. Studies also show that, even if the price is a bit higher, individuals are inclined more often to fall back on to companies that they know will provide supercilious service, particularly if it would make their lives uneasy or add discomfort, worthless time to their day should the company not come through with its product or service. Rising costs, decreased productivity, decreased efficiencies, a decrease in demand for your product, less consumer spending, higher jobless rates, unforeseen competitors, competitors that get big quickly, and too many loose barriers allowing new entrants into the marketplace. These factors do not end the venture. You just need to keep an eagle’s eye out for them, stay on top of any potential issues, and instantly take action should something not appear to be going well. Better to look into a potential problem than have to chase after a known one that is quickly getting out of hand. There are quite a few tools that we use to monitor and protect businesses. Among the time tested, established, and proven is Porter’s Five Forces model, developed by Michael Porter to help understand a business’s competitive advantage. Some argue it doesn’t have much to offer in the Internet era; but I believe much of it can help us at the very least assess where we are today. The wonderful feeling of success. Is there anything sweeter? Of course, what you decide or determine is success ultimately depends on what success means to you. I told a story early in this book about a friend who quit most of his contracts because success meant more time with his family.
It is difficult to end a book like this—there are thousands more concepts and ideas we could discuss, including strategies and goals, ways to keep oneself determined and entrepreneurship. Of course I have many more stories and input from survey respondents to share—ideas and experiences from those who, like us, are out there becoming and creating what we want and running our own businesses and creating our own pathways in life. What about final thoughts from our survey respondents? Among the things noted as the most difficult aspects to owning your own business were some of the following: Controlling the volume of work; Uncertainty about the future; Economic conditions that are not controllable; Finding new contracts; Managing personal time and finding a work/life balance; Irregular income; Monthly expenses without having a chance to save; New entrants driving down the value of your business; Finding good employees; Finding patience; Interruptions Business development; Self discipline and procrastination; Managing expenses; Networking; Growing the business; Turning off the mental switch; Long hours. Another aspect of this book is the resources and glossary section. I encourage you to read through the resources section, and to use the forms as guides to check and to help you be sure you are including all that you should in your own work. Be cautious out there, but have fun. Be excited, but remember your checks and balances, and continually assess where you’re at and where you’re headed. Embrace technology, but don’t forget about your core business and your clients—keep your customers first, but don’t forget to take care of yourself, too. Enjoy life as an entrepreneur!