What are essential requirements for a successful entrepreneur?

thorough planning, creativity and hard work

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Consider whether you have the following characteristics and skills commonly associated with successful entrepreneurs:

  • Comfortable with taking risks: Being your own boss also means you are the one making tough decisions. Entrepreneurship involves uncertainty. Do you avoid uncertainty in life at all costs? If yes, then entrepreneurship may not be the best fit for you. Do you enjoy the thrill of taking calculated risks? Then read on.
  • Independent: Entrepreneurs have to make a lot of decisions on their own. If you find you can trust your instincts and you are not afraid of rejection every now and then you could be on your way to being an entrepreneur.
  • Persuasive: You may have the greatest idea in the world, but if you cannot persuade customers, employees and potential lenders or partners, you may find entrepreneurship to be challenging. If you enjoy public speaking, engage new people with ease and find you make compelling arguments grounded in facts, it is likely you are poised to make your idea succeed.
  • Able to negotiate: As a small business owner, you will need to negotiate everything from leases to contract terms to rates. Polished negotiation skills will help you save money and keep your business running smoothly.
  • Creative: Are you able to think of new ideas? Can you imagine new ways to solve problems? Entrepreneurs must be able to think creatively. If you have insights on how to take advantage of new opportunities, entrepreneurship may be a good fit.
  • Supported by others: Before you start a business, it is important to have a strong support system in place. You will be forced to make many important decisions, especially in the first months of opening your business. If you do not have a support network of people to help you, consider finding a business mentor. A business mentor is someone who is experienced, successful and willing to provide advice and guidance. Read the Steps to Finding a Mentor article for help on finding and working with a mentor.

Now ask yourself these 20 questions to help ensure you have thought about the right financial and business details.

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  1. Mission:  Why am I starting a business?
  2. What problem do you want to solve? What kind of business do I want?
  3. What impact do I want to offer?  Who is my ideal customer?
  4. What products or services will my business provide?
  5. Am I prepared to spend the time and money needed to get my business started?
  6. What differentiates my business idea and the products or services I will provide from others in the market?
  7. Globally or Locally?  Where will my business be located?
  8. How many employees will I need?
  9. What types of suppliers do I need?
  10. What is my risk tolerance?  How much money do I need to get started?
  11. What finance options available?  Will I need to get a loan?
  12. How soon will it take before my products or services are available?
  13. How long do I have until I start making a profit?
  14. Who is my competition?
  15. How will I price my product compared to my competition?
  16. How to protect my personal asset?  How will I set up the legal structure of my business?
  17. How do I structure with the least paying taxes?  What taxes do I need to pay?
  18. What kind of insurance do I need?
  19. How will I manage my business?
  20. How will I advertise my business?

Finding a Business Mentor

In the first months of opening your business, you’ll need to make many important decisions. But you don’t have to make every decision on your own. Ultimately, you’re responsible for your business, but you can always consult a mentor for advice.

  1. Government-Sponsored Mentor Organizations
  2. Trade Associations
  3. Look to Your Network

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What is a mentor?

A mentor is someone who has been down the same path you’re taking. He or she is experienced, successful and willing to provide advice and guidance — for no real personal gain. But how do you find a mentor?

Here are some steps for finding and working with a mentor for your new small business venture.

  1. Government-Sponsored Mentor Organizations

The government offers a great deal of free resources and services to support small business owners, both online and in person:

  • SCORE Mentors: Sponsored by SBA, SCORE provides free and confidential counseling, mentoring and advice to small business owners nationwide via a network of business executives, leaders and volunteers. You can connect with a SCORE volunteer through in-person and/or online counseling.
  • Small Business Development Centers: SBDCs provide management assistance to current and prospective small business owners. SBDC services include financial counseling, marketing advice and management guidance. Some SBDCs provide specialized assistance with information technology, exporting or manufacturing. SBDCs are partnerships primarily between the government and colleges, administered by SBA.
  • Women’s Business Centers: WBCs provides business training and counseling with the unique needs of women entrepreneurs in mind. WBCs are a national network of nearly 100 educational centers designed to support women who want to start and grow small businesses.
  • Veteran’s Business Outreach Centers: VBOCs provide veterans with entrepreneurial development services such as business training, counseling and mentoring.
  • Minority Business Development Agency: MBDA advisors help minority business owners gain access to capital, contracts, market research and general business consulting.
  1. Trade Associations

Many trade associations operate mentor-protégé programs that provide guidance to help you build a business. These mentoring programs are often conducted through a combination of formal one-on-one mentoring sessions and group networking with fellow protégés. Business owners might be connected with multiple mentors for a more holistic experience.

Most industries are represented by trade associations, as are genders, ethnic groups and business types. If you need help finding a trade association, contact us.

  1. Look to Your Network

Who do you know? Do you have a previous boss who inspired you or a friend who is a successful business owner? Ask that person to be your mentor, and learn from his or her advice and best practices. Just be prepared to share with them why you chose them in particular, your goals and what you are looking for from them.  Please contact us.

 DAJK Group

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