What It Takes To Be An Entrepreneur [Complete Guide]

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If you have a best product business idea or a business idea with low cost, and thinking about starting your own business, you might be wondering about what it takes to be an entrepreneur?

The world is teeming with hopeful entrepreneurs—individuals who believe they possess the entrepreneur qualities to initiate a company and transform it into a profitable venture. Although anyone can embark on a business journey, not everyone will achieve success.

Research conducted by Professor Shikhar Ghosh from Harvard Business School reveals that as much as 75 percent of startups face failure. Zippia indicates that 22 percent of small businesses crumble within the first year, half falter within five years, and around two-thirds collapse within a decade.

Given these statistics including entrepreneurship statistics, the crucial question arises: What does it require to be a successful entrepreneur? What steps can aspiring entrepreneurs take to establish a foundation for success?


What is an Entrepreneur?

An entrepreneur is someone who initiates a business venture, usually in the form of a company that manufactures and sells a product or provides a service. Entrepreneurs are often seen as innovators who identify a problem or opportunity, then develop a solution that no one else has recognized.

In the online course Entrepreneurship Essentials, it is highlighted that “entrepreneurs—whether individuals or teams—actively scan the environment for opportunities or discover them in the course of their lives and work. They form hypotheses about what customers want or need and how they can deliver value to the customer.”

Successful entrepreneurs don’t just forge ahead with their ideas. First, they aim to validate whether there is demand.

One way they achieve this is through testing. According to Entrepreneurship Essentials, entrepreneurs “recruit people and invest money to determine if customers will indeed value the product and if they can produce and deliver it at an acceptable cost. They often discover different, even better ideas once in the marketplace.”

What it takes to be an Entrepreneur? [Entrepreneurship Requirements]

Do you dream of becoming an entrepreneur and starting your own company one day? Achieving this goal will not only demand a solid business idea but also require you to possess specific skills and characteristics.

Here are some of the key entrepreneurship requirements that helps you become an entrepreneur:

1.  Key Entrepreneurship Qualities and Behaviors

2.  Essential Entrepreneurial Skills

3.  An Opportunity or Business Idea

4.  Resources and Funding


What it takes to be an entrepreneur?

1. Key Entrepreneurship Qualities and Behaviors

Several researchers have attempted to identify a specific entrepreneurial personality or profile in an effort to quantify what distinguishes some individuals as more successful than others.

In Entrepreneurship Essentials, it’s clarified that there isn’t a single personality profile that guarantees success as an entrepreneur. However, there are several characteristics shared by some of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs.

Distinct from entrepreneur personality traits, some behaviors associated with entrepreneurship include curiosity, pattern recognition, team building, structured experimentation, adaptation, decisiveness, and persistence.

While it could be argued that some people may naturally exhibit these behaviors more than others, each of these qualities can be acquired through proper training and development.

2. Essential Entrepreneurial Skills

Particularly in the initial phases of starting a business, entrepreneurs find themselves handling a variety of tasks—it’s part of the job. Prior to having an accounting department, marketing staff, and product development team, you’ll probably have to take on some of these essential responsibilities.

Investing time in honing specific skills before launching your business can significantly enhance your chances of success. Here’s a list of some of the most crucial skills that all entrepreneurs should possess:

     Communication Skills: The ability to communicate effectively, a skill you’ll utilize daily while interacting with vendors, investors, customers, and various members of your growing team.

     Organizational Skills: Possessing organizational skills that empower you to efficiently work toward your goals.

     Time Management Skills: Having effective time management skills, crucial throughout your career but especially in the early stages when you juggle multiple responsibilities.

     Data-Driven & Decision Making Skills: The capacity for data-driven decision-making, enabling you to make objective, measurable choices about your products, services, business, and customers.

     Strategic Thinking: Cultivating strategic thinking, which aids in identifying opportunities and threats to guide business decisions more seamlessly.

     Accounting Basics: Understanding accounting basics, particularly crucial before having a dedicated person or team managing your business’s finances.

     Resilience: Embracing resilience, as every entrepreneur encounters challenges and struggles, requiring resilience to bounce back.

3. An Opportunity or Business Idea

For a new venture to thrive, the business plan needs to revolve around a robust opportunity. In Entrepreneurship Essentials, an opportunity is described as a proposed venture to sell a product or service for which customers are willing to pay more than the required investments and operating costs.

An opportunity transcends a mere product idea and goes beyond the initial step of entering into business. According to Entrepreneurship Essentials, “it’s a plan that shows how a venture will attract, retain, and reward all stakeholders, including customers, founders, employees, investors, distributors, and suppliers.”

This plan doesn’t conclude once you’ve identified an innovative business idea. Ideally, your concept should be validated before committing resources, time, and effort to bring it to life.

Once validated and pursued, you must consistently reassess your business to determine whether adaptation to new opportunities or threats is necessary.

4. Resources and Funding

To kickstart your business, you’ll require funding to acquire equipment, materials, develop your product or service, refine offerings, and enhance processes. The nature of funding varies based on the type of business and industry you’re entering.

For some entrepreneurs, self-funding is feasible. In such instances, an entrepreneur might allocate enough funds to cover living expenses during the business’s initial phase and the associated launch costs.

Self-funding isn’t the sole option. Various paths include:

     Obtaining an SBA loan from the Small Business Administration

     Garnering capital from investors

     Applying for grants (particularly suitable for nonprofit organizations)

     Engaging in public crowdfunding

     Utilizing a line of credit

Each funding avenue has its pros and cons. Self-funding allows complete control and potential profits retention but bears the risk of failure.

Raising capital from investors, on the contrary, spreads risk and might expedite business launch but involves relinquishing some control. Ultimately, the choice depends on what aligns best with your business.

Final Thoughts

Numerous aspiring entrepreneurs possess interesting, innovative, and compelling business ideas but may lack the skills or qualities needed to bring them to life. Conversely, many others have the skills and qualities but lack a specific idea to pursue.

Even those with a brilliant idea and the necessary skills might struggle to launch their project if funding is inaccessible. Successful entrepreneurship necessitates a combination of these elements.

The encouraging news is that successful entrepreneurs aren’t inherently born—they are crafted. With the appropriate training, guidance, and development, everyone holds the potential to become an entrepreneur.

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