Working for yourself or starting a business can be a terrifying idea. The risks, commitment, sacrifices and sheer determination involved could be enough to turn away even the strongest of Entrepreneurs.
Out of the top ten people on last year’s Forbes 400 list, seven of them founded and built the businesses that made them as successful and wealthy as they are today. This is where starting a business could take you.
#1 Bill Gates – Microsoft
#2 Jeff Bezos – Amazon.com
#3 Mark Zuckerberg – Facebook
#5 Larry Ellison – Oracle
#6 Michael Bloomberg – Bloomberg LP
#9 & #10 Larry Page & Sergey Brin – Google
The first step to achieving growth as an Entrepreneur is having a unique business concept, but that’s just the start. In order to realise the potential of your startup idea, you’ll need to be able to build an effective, efficient business around you, meaning you need to be a Project Manager, strategist, people manager and business analyst all in one.
What are the key responsibilities of an Entrepreneur?
A foolproof way to learn how to be a successful Entrepreneur is to look at the mistakes of startups that have failed before you. Many small businesses fail in their formative years, with almost 45% of companies closing their doors within five years of opening them.
Leading causes of startup failure are:
Not solving a true market problem
Running out of capital
Hiring the wrong team
Getting outplayed by competitors
Pricing your product or service incorrectly
In order to ensure your startup succeeds, you’d need to be confident in your ability to deal with the responsibilities that entrepreneurship requires of you. Your skills and tools would need to evolve to serve your market niche and help you develop a sustainable business plan to fill your gap.
Key responsibilities of an Entrepreneur include making an impact in the following three areas:
Generating and identifying new business opportunities to capitalise on
Navigating the legal environment with starting a business and planning accordingly
Developing an effective marketing plan that is best suited to your organisation
Defining the overall organisational goals, values and purpose of the business
Conducting competitor research, internal and external SWOT analyses to construct a competitive advantage
Implementing, evaluating and adjusting strategies to ensure business sustainability
Compile reliable budgets that can be used to accurately report and estimate costs for inventory management
Compare and contrast the costs and benefits of outsourcing investment recovery
Apply financial insight and ensure a business has attainable and maintainable goals
What is the career path of an Entrepreneur?
When pursuing a career in entrepreneurship, you have the ability to choose your own career path. You could be both the founder and CEO of your company, such as Bill Gates of Microsoft. You could choose to start a business and then find a CEO to run it for you, like Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp did in the early days of Uber. You could also follow in the footsteps of Forbes 400 #3, Warren Buffett, and fund multiple startups with other investors, acting as stakeholders in those companies while their values grow.
The self-made entrepreneurs featured on the Forbes 400 2016 list are worth a total of $1.6 trillion, with 35% of that net worth being found in technology companies and 25% found in finance and investment businesses. Other notable industries include media and entertainment, fashion and retail, real estate and energy.3
The question is: which is the best industry to start a business in?
Finance and investments
Media and entertainment
Fashion and retail
What is the potential salary for an Entrepreneur?
No two entrepreneurs experience the same business process, meaning no two entrepreneurs have comparable salaries. Your salary is entirely up to the decisions you make and how well your startup performs.
To figure out what you should be paying yourself, you need to look at your business’s revenue and your personal needs and make a decision about what you deserve to get paid.
Make use of pay information sites like Salary, Glassdoor and Payscale to compare your pay to people in similar positions and locations to ensure you pay yourself what you deserve. If the business can’t afford to pay you after deducting operating costs, hold off on your salary but consider marking it as a debt the company owes you, to be paid in the future.
What are the education and training requirements for an Entrepreneur?
Depending on the industry you wish to enter into or the type of product you wish to offer, you could require anything from a college certificate or a Bachelor’s Degree to a Doctorate and multiple certifications.
This is why Entrepreneur, Shannon Smuts believes online business courses are the best option for Entrepreneurs looking to achieve real-time business goals.
Jeff Bezos held a Bachelor of Science from Princeton when he started Amazon.com, while Bill Gates didn’t even finish his studies at Harvard before dropping out in his second year to start Microsoft.
No matter your level of education of qualification, there are key skills you need to be a successful entrepreneur:
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