Article by Areeba Shakeb from Entrepreneurship Wing, GAEE JMI

An entrepreneur is a person who starts a new business, bearing most of the risks and reaping the best of its rewards. He/She/They is often regarded as an innovator, a source of new ideas, goods, services, and business or procedures. On the other hand, “entrepreneurship” refers to the process of starting a business.

Entrepreneurship is on the rise; there are more than 400 million entrepreneurs in the world today, which means that one out of every 18 people owns a business. 

Some are diving into this ocean of hurdles, obstacles and success because they want to be the master of the ocean, while some want to make it big in life, solve problems, bring about change and do something that feels fulfilling. 

However, one should be prepared with the right gear required and follow a set of instructions before diving into this ocean of possibilities.  If you are well aware of the risks involved and the sacrifices that are to be made, here is a step-by-step guide that will guide you as you contemplate and embark on this journey;

  1. Determine if you should get an education

In a survey conducted by the Kauffman Foundation, 95 percent of the business founders surveyed had at least a bachelor’s degree, and 47 percent had even more advanced degrees. 

It is recommended that you join courses that best suit your passion for entrepreneurship pertaining to a field of your choice. However, it is not mandatory to have formal education to be an entrepreneur, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore education entirely. 

82% of successful business owners admit they have the right qualifications and backed up experience to run a company, even with limited cash flow.

Profound knowledge and firm command over some fields can be highly beneficial for someone who wants to start a business. If you’re going to start a tech company, experience in the industry, computer programming, and marketing would be immensely valuable. 

However, this does not mean that getting formal education from the best universities is a prerequisite– one can gain sufficient knowledge by reading, researching and observing on an individual level as well- provided that passion is the driving force encouraging you constantly.

  1. Finding the right business that suits you is vital.

Entrepreneurship is a vast umbrella that houses innumerable facets, and one can be an entrepreneur in just about any area. However,  thoroughly read, gather information and conduct an ample amount of research and pick the facet that best suits your capabilities and interest. 

Being passionate about what you choose is immensely vital, for success does not stem solely from being capable, skilled, etc.- one has to be highly passionate as that adds up to the conviction that leads an entrepreneur to take risks firmly. 

Obstacles and hindrances have to be dealt with, sacrifices have to be made, and risks have to be taken.

  1. Plan your business

Many business plans begin as fantasies and dreams, but before you embark on your journey towards achieving your dream, you must have a plan. A business plan lays out marketing plans, sales plans, a plan for smooth operations, objectives, and your strategy for achieving those objectives. 

This plan is essential for getting investors on board, as well as measuring how successful your business is. It acts as a blueprint for a successful business. 

  • You should look out for potential competition, either in the present or in the future and be realistic, objective and logical whilst marking out your plan. 
  • It is crucial to curating the foundation of a financing proposal for investors to use to evaluate the company.
  • The plan must convince you, your potential investors, potential partners and potential joint ventures that your vision is not just a dream but can be implemented as a viable solution.
  • Analyze and list down your capital needs, funding requirements, concept, products, marketing plans, the prospects of making profit, etc- and then add ways in which you can solve these objectives.
  • Be ready with an illustrious and compelling justification for viability.
  • Take into account every possible market opportunity. 
  • Having your financial projections laid out is exceptionally crucial ( how will your initial growth be? Slow, moderate etc?)

According to Forbes:’The time of year you pitch, the detailedness of your data, and the value of your pitch deck are a few of the strongest factors affecting the amount of funding a business receives.’ 

B.  Find your target group/audience

Paying attention to your customers is important since 14% of startups fail due to not regarding customers’ needs.

Determine the audience that your business may appeal to. The age, gender, income, ethnicity, culture, geographical aspects of your target audience will play a considerable role in determining where, how and why. Do research which group fits your business model best, and gear everything to attract that demographic! 

  1. Identify, Analyze and Think of solutions to a problem.

Most successful entrepreneurs have one thing in common- they have provided concrete solutions to common problems. Entrepreneurs ought to have theoretical and practical knowledge to solve the problems, but how does one identify a problem ?

A.  Identify your target customer’s pain point.

B.  Inspect and analyse if someone has come up with a solution already. 

Apart from this, some factors can be country-specific- analysing those factors accordingly is equally essential. Eg: In a country like India, analyzing if the solutions you will provide will hold an emotional value or not.

  1. Network

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, approximately 20% of all small businesses fail within their first year. 

To avoid becoming another statistic, do everything you can to keep your business flourishing and relevant even before starting it. Networking is an excellent way to accomplish this.

While networking is important in all fields, it is exceptionally pivotal for entrepreneurs. Networking is how you meet other people that might have skills you can use in your business. 

You can also find potential investors through networking to help get your business model off the ground. To find the right networker, you should carry your business cards everywhere, be approachable and friendly, attend conferences and look for qualities you want in your potential networker.

Your network can also support your business once you open, helping send new customers your way.

  1. Sell your idea

The second most prominent reason why startups fail (29% of cases) is due to running out of funding and personal money. 

Consumers want products, but they don’t always know which product to pick. Your job as an entrepreneur is to convince people that whatever you’re selling is the best option available. You’ll have to find out what makes your product unique and then sell it based off the value it adds.

Establish the amount of capital you will need and learn to pitch. 

Pitching a concept successfully requires much more than just putting together a flashy presentation. Before an investor gives you and your company money, they must know that your idea isn’t half-baked and impossible to implement. This is where the business plan comes into play. 

This written document further covers every aspect of your company, from its name to its marketing strategy. It investigates the industry, identifies the assets required for success, and forecasts the company’s future. Beginning with a business plan will help ensure that you are aware of every detail that an investor will inevitably want to learn from your pitch.

Learn the art of persuasion, practice your presentation (make it unique such that it stands out), study about your investors and their interests, practice and try to explain your idea to a layperson, be an expert, be humble and demonstrate your passion. 

It may not seem easy, but you can always close your eyes, pinch your nose and take a dive. Learn to resolve disputes, solve problems in your day to day life, learn to make decisions actively, manage your time well, deal with people smartly, be passionate and understand that you’re about to dive into an ocean of possibilities. 

Article Summary:  Entrepreneurship is on the rise; many people seem to loathe the idea of being bound to a 9-5 job and instead aim to be their own boss. However, you may have contemplated and analysed that you want to start a business; but may not be able to understand how. 

The author has laid out a step-by-step guide that covers some of the most prominent pointers concerning entrepreneurship. She begins by highlighting some general prerequisites and then gives helpful solutions and suggestions along with bringing to the fore the most essential steps and statistics that one should follow and be cognizant of.

Areeba Shakeb is a B.A.(Hons.) Psychology student at Jamia Millia Islamia, Delhi, and a member of GAEE JMI, an autonomous branch of the Global Association of Economics Education in India. The views expressed are personal and do nor reflect the opinions or views of GAEE or its members.

Follow Us & Stay Tuned: