THE SENSE OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP
Hope everyone are on track to success and keeping up with it. When we talk about success, last decade saw a splurge of youth coming out of the box, risking it out to start their own ventures. There were more of youth wanting to be returning back to India and do something productive for their home country towards its unimaginable growth. It had been more or less a very daring and successful attempt at it. Ten thousands of companies are registered across the country every year and thousands in Kerala. Out of 729 new firms registered in the state just between October to December, the highest number of companies (104) were registered for computer and related activities, 80 companies were registered for manufacturing section, 63 were registered for construction and 45 for wholesale trade. 63 chit companies were also registered. The lowest number (5) of companies were registered for business in stock, shares and securities.
Among this inspiring increase on new businesses, Forbes states that 8 out of 10 entrepreneurs who start businesses fail within the first 18 months. A whopping 80% crash and burn.
In this article, let’s have a look at how we can strategically start a new business and what skills youth might require to sustain it.
What is the definition of Entrepreneurship? In political economics, “Entrepreneurship is the process of identifying and starting a new business venture, sourcing and organizing the required resources, while taking both the risks and rewards associated with the venture. It is the capacity and willingness to develop, organize and manage a business venture along with any of its risks in order to make a profit. The most obvious example of entrepreneurship is the starting of new businesses. More recently, the term entrepreneurship has been extended to include conceptualizations of entrepreneurship as a specific mindset resulting in entrepreneurial initiatives e.g. in the form of social entrepreneurship, political entrepreneurship, or knowledge entrepreneurship.” The difference could be subtle, but fundamental. Hence, reflecting upon these definitions, entrepreneurship doesn’t necessarily involve starting your own business. Many people who don’t work for themselves are recognized as entrepreneurs within their organizations. Hence, Entrepreneurship is an attitude and a state of mind.
To reach that area where only 20% sustains and survives, it takes a lot of serious planning and executing to be done.
If you have a NO for any of the following questions, you would need to seriously re-think about becoming an entrepreneur.
a) Are you positive, even in the worst situations you have come across?
b) Do you volunteer/ or take initiative?
c) Do you have hands-on business knowledge in the product you are to entrepreneur?
d) Are you resilient or persistent in trialsome times?
e) Are you self-motivated?
f) Do you make good decisions of your own?
g) Are you risk-tolerant? Are you comfortable in taking risks?
h) Do you have a strong vision that will positively affect the society tomorrow?
i) Are you a good leader and motivator?
j) Are you a good communicator? Do you empathise?
k) Are you emotionally intelligent?
l) Do you withhold to ethics, values and integrity?
m) Are you a good listener?
n) Are you creative and innovative?
- o) Do you have the talents, skills, and abilities necessary to achieve your goals? Planning and Strategising
Let’s start from the core element which should be addressed – What is your VISION? The very first thing a budding entrepreneur should reckon is to whether his idea will make any difference in the market – how innovative and useful his product/service will be. Inorder to understand that, a study, research or a survey of the market becomes highly significant and inevitable. Entrepreneurs who take this lightly end up in trouble. At the same time you believe in your instincts or gut reaction, you need to step outside your habitual thinking style and start thinking in your customer’s shoes. Run through the research data available at hand and experience you have gathered over these years on this topic. Ask questions to yourself, “why should they buy my product/service”, “what positive difference does it bring to them”, “is it cost-effective?”, “what would be the initial challenges that might surface?” etc. There should always be an alternative plan ready at any given point of time. Contingency plans help you save time, money and effort.
Every budding entrepreneur should SELL. Like Peter Drucker says, we start practicing sales skills from the time we first cry for milk when we were babies. The best way to start selling your new product or service is simply to call on a prospective customer and start pitching. Selling skills, no matter whether in literal or extended sense, is an inseparable part of business life. Similar to swimming, learning selling skills is more done practically than in theory or during your management lessons. Yes, it is done out in the field bleeding – indomitable to your will and vision to achieve your goal. Focus on the dynamics of your industry while selling. The faster you learn, the better the growth of your organization. However, you also should keep in mind some elements that will only reap when it is the ‘right’ time. Resilience will help you get through this. Have the emotional intelligence to pitch differently with each client. Very importantly, do your homework before you enter your prospect’s premises.
SELF-ANALYSIS holds your key to success. When you resolve to start a new venture, the stake could be large financially, socially and emotionally. Go slow and steady in the beginning. Reflect on your downtime. Do not burn yourself out. Take time out to practice those jargons that you mugged up through your MBA – business planning, money management, managing people, directing business operations, and directing sales and marketing operations. Understand specifically how the plunge is and have quarterly reviews for performance development. Read industry related books, blogs, magazines, attend seminars, have mentors, join organizations like toastmasters, network with like-minded people and do everything that will help you one step ahead and closer to your dream.
HIRING can be the most intriguing, challenging and riskiest factor. Learn how to recruit. This is somewhere you need to put in a lot of focus, time and energy into. You company is your people. If you do not have the right talent in, then you are nothing less than shooting in the dark. Assess your candidates – check whether it’s worth to invest in them, whether they understand your vision and are ready to go extramile. An employee should not be indispensable.
Let’s continue in the next segment of the same topic and try reasoning out what are the other prerequisites for an aspiring entrepreneur.