The United States has over 27 million entrepreneurs.
People chasing the dream. The American dream of wealth, success and world domination.
Ok, maybe not world domination but the pride and prestige of having your own business and people looking up to you.
But, what does it take to be a successful entrepreneur and run a small business?
Are tenacity and impeccable work ethic enough? Or do you need insider knowledge?
With 50% of businesses failing within the first five years, entrepreneurs must be missing an important piece of the puzzle – or at least half of them are.
Entrepreneurship starts with an idea. It means thinking outside of the box, finding the solution to a problem that’s been out of reach for so long.
Your concept doesn’t need to be entirely new. It can be an improvement on something that already exists. Your main objective is making people’s lives easier in some way.
Does your bakery make a better bialy than the one around the corner? Can your landscaping company offer grass seed 10 cents a pound cheaper than your competitor?
Now, while these things sound like a good idea, they may not be enough.
You need to follow-up on your promises. Being an entrepreneur isn’t all fun and games. You don’t earn the title of “successful businessman” (or woman) without paying your dues – both financially and physically.
And businesses, big or small, take work. And a lot of it.
Don’t expect to work 9 to 5 every day.
Enjoying holidays off with your family? Unlikely. Making it to your kid’s baseball game? Not gonna happen.
Think of yourself as a parent and your business is your offspring and your primary responsibility. You’re grooming it – from infancy to inception.
At the end of the day, it’s your job to clean up whatever mess gets made. Whether your employees sign for the wrong inventory, overlap the schedule for work shifts or piss off a customer, the buck stops with you.
But your role goes beyond soothing administrative headaches. You’ll need to spend time in the trenches- elbow to elbow with the workers.
How can you help solve a problem if you don’t understand what it is or why it’s happening?
There’s nothing employees hate more than a boss or owner who thinks they know everything. You need to be present and relatable.
You’ll be respected and well-versed in your business when you invest time in doing the dirty work.
Ok, so you have the next big idea all laid out. You’re prepared to put in the long hours and hard labor. You’ve got this. What else is there to know?
If a great idea and grit were enough to transform a person into an entrepreneur, 50% of small businesses wouldn’t be failing.
You can’t bring two pieces of a puzzle to the table when only three will do. You need every component to complete the entrepreneurial puzzle.
The last piece is insider knowledge about your niche, the market, and the markup of items and services.
You need an in-depth understanding of your expenses versus your income. This might seem like a no-brainer but it’s a step that a lot of people skip. This happens for a couple of different reasons.
- They think they know it all and don’t need to do the research.
- They’re overly excited about their concept to see through the haze.
- They’re spontaneous. They live on the edge — act now, think later.
None of these will produce the result you’re looking for.
See Also: How to Ensure Growth in Small Business
Don’t Be Blinded by Success
Owning a business is the American dream. It comes with clout, envy, and financial stability.
Entrepreneurs need a sense of adventure and risk combined with logic and reasonability.
Do you have all the pieces of the puzzle to find yourself in the successful 50 percentile? Don’t be afraid to find out.