Let us cut right to the chase; being an entrepreneur can be quite intriguing and attractive. Many books have been written about the allure of entrepreneurship and how people can only build generational wealth by being entrepreneurs.
The rate of unemployment in many nations is also contributing to the allure of entrepreneurship. People, now believe that if they cannot get employment, they can create a source of income and create jobs for others. There is, of course, the added attraction of being your own boss and calling the shots.
All these are well and good, but entrepreneurship is not a walk in the park as many seem to believe it is. This, however, does not mean that it is impossible to do.
One just needs to be armed with the right information.
What are the things every new entrepreneur should know before starting their first business?
1: Have A Business Plan
You have probably heard the saying, “He who fails to plan, plans to fail.” This saying cuts across every aspect of life; including business. Immediately you pick your business name, the next thing you want to have is a plan.
If you want to build a long-lasting business, you cannot just get right into it without proper plans and that is what the business plan will serve.
In simple terms, a business plan is a written document that highlights your plans for your business; it serves as a guide to you in organising your business and also to attract investors to the potential of your business venture.
The business plan typically contains a summary of your business and what your business will be offering, a comprehensive market analysis, your management structure, the products or service offered, marketing strategies, a step by step funding analysis as well as the funding request, projections, and appendix, if you choose.
It goes without saying that you would have done extensive research on your business before you can write a business plan, which will serve as a preparatory ground for you for when you do start up.
2: Have A 5-Year Plan
A 5-year plan is, as implies, a plan highlighting goals to be reached within a period of 5 years.
It is basically asking yourself what you want to have achieved in five years, where do you see your business in five years and how do you plan on reaching the goals set?
The reason for this is so you can have a goal to look forward to; something to work towards that will serve as your motivation if you are ever tempted to quit.
The plan will also push you to work hard; this is why it is important to set high but realistic goals. Don't take the easy way out and set easy goals but also be realistic with your projection; finding a balance is important.
3: Get A Co-Founder And Avoid Founder Drama
Many entrepreneurs want to be Bill Gates so bad that they fall into what is called the “founder drama.”
It is important to note that while it is admirable to want to hold on to the reins because you are the driving force behind the vision of the brand, you need to get a founder if you want to scale.
When the business needs to scale, you will need to bring in investors and the board of investors will definitely want to ensure their investment is properly managed by wanting to elect a new CEO, who will be in charge of management.
But bringing in a founder from the start will help deal with that founder drama and you can either function as the CEO or release the reins to someone of your own choosing from the start.
4: Have Enough Money Saved
The fact that entrepreneurs live luxurious lives is a myth, especially if they are still startups. If you want your business to grow, you are going to have to be very prudent with money.
And this starts even before you start your business. Have enough money saved before you even think about starting. You are more likely to get more investors when they see you have money at hand to start; it shows seriousness and that you believe in your business enough to invest in it.
5: Use OPN
OPN means Other People’s Network. You cannot do it all, so take advantage of what other people around have on ground.
For instance, you should take advantage of the internet and social media; the internet has made the world a global village and you can have wider exposure through digital marketing. Eg use classified ads website to promote your business as they are cheaper.
On the other hand, use the network of the people in your life. Who do your friends and families know or what resources do they have at their disposal that can help your business? Take advantage of that.
However, if you are actually working with friends and family; you should make things legal.
6: It Is Hard To Start Without A Co-funder or Partner
Most businesses that have lasted and transcended generations are the ones with co-funders or partners.
It is easy to want to start on your own and assume you will make all the money and call all the shots, but you are going to get not only more resources at your disposal but also the opportunity to scale faster if you bring in a partner.
Co-funders and partners will be bringing in their own expertise and their own capital to join with yours to create a more formidable business.
Of course, this could also pose a problem. So it is important to find people who share similar values with you. Also, make all agreements legal.
7: Startup Life Is Not For Everyone
Contrary to the myths surrounding entrepreneurship, not everybody is cut out for entrepreneurship. Starting up a business is really not for everybody.
Don't just start a business because you are unemployed or because you listened to a motivational speaker; ask yourself if you are cut out for entrepreneurship before starting up a business.
8: Have Passion
As mentioned earlier, being in business is not smooth and not as easy as it is made to sound in books or when you listen to inspirational speeches.
It actually takes a long and lonely road. This is why it is important that you don't just go into any kind of business just to make money.
I believe making money can be a strong motivation and it should be but it cannot be the only motivation; there has to be genuine love and passion for whatever venture you decide to go into.
Make sure not to go into a line of business because everybody is into it or you hear it is lucrative; without passion, it is only a matter of time before you lose steam and be tempted to give up when you face