Top Tips For First-Time Entrepreneurs

Written by Sarah Oladokun Setting up your first business venture is very exciting, but can also be extremely daunting. It’s an incredible experience to grow an idea from an initial concept to a full-fledged product, and with the right preparation, you can genuinely enjoy the ride. With that in mind, here are a few tips to help you take that leap. NEW POST ALERT: Do Graduates Have Unrealistic Salary Expectations? Know When to Say No Many first-timers make the mistake of jumping at every opportunity that comes their way, and end up either getting sidetracked from their main goal or diluting their key brand messages. Stick with your original project and have faith in your idea. It’s better to at least get one aspect right than to do a lot of mediocre things. Spreading yourself too thinly over multiple projects will weaken your core concept and jeopardise your business. Be wary though, as if you do repeatedly feel the need to jump, something may be wrong with your original concept. The best businesses are based on genuine interest and love of the industry, whatever that may be; so don’t start a business simply for the sake of starting one. A business built around your strengths and passions will have a greater chance of success, as well as leaving you feeling more fulfilled at the end of the day. Last but not least, have a think about whether it would be prudent to undertake a little business-specific education before taking the jump and becoming an entrepreneur. Arming yourself with as much knowledge and understanding of the business world will mean you’re ready to deal with all the ups and downs as they come. Make a Clear Business Plan No bank or investor is going to give you money on the sole basis of your idea, and no one’s going to lend you any unless you’ve got some collateral you can put up. Back in the 80s when many of the big entrepreneurship success stories began, it was a much different economy and you could pretty much enter a bank, mention that your business was something to do with the internet, and walk out with a big cheque. Unfortunately, those days are now well and truly over. After years of financial disparity, it’s now become harder than ever to secure investments or financial backing. You need to have a clear plan to persuade investors that you’re worth investing in. When it comes to becoming your own boss and being an entrepreneur, there is no ‘one size fits all’ guide to writing a business plan, but start by writing out your goals, where you are now, and signpost exactly how you intend to get from A to B. Include as much detail as is relevant, but don’t just blurt down every little thing you can think of – editing is the key to clarity. The steps to becoming an entrepreneur can most definitely be the scariest but with the right mindset, and plans, you will get there. All the best!