Have you ever dreamed about heading out on your own? Creating your own company? Getting away from the corporate world and being your own boss?
These days, it’s easier than ever to strike out on your own and create your own company. The given is that you need an idea. No one decides to be an entrepreneur – whether they are starting a consultancy or a company that creates products – without an idea in which they believe strongly. But besides the “big idea” and the skill set that you need to bring it to fruition, there are several other factors that will help put you on the path to success:
- Drive: This is one that most entrepreneurs have innately, or else they wouldn’t be considering this path. Drive is what you need to get you through the tough times (which you will have) as well as to rally the people around you who need to be your supporters. Whether it’s your family, investors, suppliers or advisors, no one is going to believe in your vision unless you do first.
- A team to advise you: No one works in a vacuum. Entrepreneurs need a team of people who will help them through the thicket of regulations, questions and uncertainty. This team will include professionals, such as an accountant and an attorney, to ensure that you are abiding by all applicable laws. But it also should include a group of fellow entrepreneurs, either those who are currently in the trenches, or those who have already made it, to act as a source of advice and support. No one can make their venture a success solo. In addition to valuable professional advice, the encouragement and real-world expertise from someone who has “been there, done that,” can make the difference. And with the virtual world we live in, it’s easier than ever to assemble a core group who can help you. Whether they are down the street, or across the globe, via virtual contact, there is a world of support at your fingers.
- Financial backing: Before embarking on an entrepreneurial venture, ensure you have your financial plan nailed down. And make sure it has been looked over by a competent professional who can give you real world advice. Whether you are tapping your own savings, seeking a loan from the Small Business Administration or looking to friends and family members to invest, make sure you have a solid and detailed business plan that clearly states your plans for repayment. And don’t forget the importance of having adequate personal savings. No matter how grandiose your vision and no matter how “perfect” you think your plan is, things are bound to go awry and having a safety net – whether it’s savings, a second job or a spouse’s earnings, is a good idea to cushion the inevitable. This step is crucial – nothing can sink an entrepreneurial venture faster than failing to adequately plan financially.
- Commitment: There will be hard times. It’s inevitable. There will be suppliers who don’t follow through. Customers who don’t behave as you had hoped. Investors who doubt your vision. Heck, friends and family members who doubt your vision! The key to being a successful entrepreneur is being nimble enough to accommodate market conditions, but steadfast in your belief that you are on the right path.
Successful entrepreneurs know that the road is not smooth or easy. And perhaps that why success if so incredibly sweet – because you knew you overcome the naysayers, the challenges and the obstacles and persevered.