Do you have what it takes to become an entrepreneur?
Entrepreneurship is flourishing in the Middle East. A London Business School study reveals nearly half (45.4%) of the 500 regional executives who participated in the survey have considered setting up their own business. More than two-thirds (71.4%) of respondents described the sector growth as ‘steady’, ‘fast’ or ‘very fast’.
However, going into business for yourself isn't the easy, carefree career path that many believe it to be. The real challenge for any entrepreneur isn’t starting the startup; it’s staying afloat and building the business. For every successful startup, there are many that fail to take off.
How can you gauge if you have an entrepreneurial streak? If you have mostly ayes and few nays as you go down this list, you may have what it takes to become an entrepreneur.
#1 You have an idea you’re passionate about
Entrepreneurs tend to live, breathe and sleep with their idea. If you have an idea, and are passionate about it, you have a better chance of convincing others of its potential.
#2 You have a plan to execute your idea
When it comes to startups, execution is everything. The best idea remains a pipe dream – read useless and a non-starter - if you can’t execute it and bring it to fruition.
#3 You know you can handle risk
Taking risks is part and parcel of being an entrepreneur. The decision to leave their jobs to pursue their dream is riddled with uncertainty, but they work hard to limit their risks.
#4 You know creating a competitive edge is vital
Why would people choose to do business with you or buy your service/product instead of going with a competitor? The answer lies in a clearly defined unique selling proposition that helps your business stand apart.
#5 You know the importance of leveraging technology
Whether or not you’re into tech, an entrepreneur knows that’s it’s vital to take advantage of technology. Remember the best technology helps you, not that which impresses others.
#6 You can self-promote without being obnoxious
Every entrepreneur knows that his or business is not likely to be discovered and become successful overnight. So they use self-promotion, one of the most beneficial and underutilized marketing tools.
#7 You know you must build a top-notch business team
Every successful startup stands on a foundation of teamwork. No one person can build and grow a business on their own so it’s important to get on board a top business team, and give them a say in how the business will function.
#8 You don’t wear more hats than you can handle
Entrepreneurs tend to take a very hands-on approach, preferring to do all that they can on their own. Even if you are a master of multitasking, it’s important to restrict the number of tasks and responsibilities you take on. Delegating is key.
#9 You know the worth of a rock-solid reputation
In these digital times, a good reputation continues to remain every entrepreneur’s most tangible and marketable assets. It can’t be bought; you need to work your way up over time and earn it. But a good reputation brings trust, the cornerstone of a startup’s success.
#10 You’re in for the long haul
A startup can’t be run like a sprint; think of it like a marathon. Business magnate Richard Branson began his startup journey with a student magazine and persevered till he made it big with Virgin.
#11 You make sure you never stop learning
Entrepreneur Jim Rohn famously said: “Work harder on yourself than you do on your job.” Being a passionate life-long learner leads to constant exploration and understanding of how to stay relevant now and in the next decade.
#12 You make it a point to invest in yourself
Be it business and marketing books, reports, journals, magazines, newsletters or webinars, you know that these resources will improve your understanding of business and marketing functions and skills.
#13 You make it your business to network
Be it looking for mentors, business associations and clubs, or meeting other skilled business people, you know it’s important to invest in the best and most effective marketing tool you have – yourself.
#14 You’re willing to accept your mistakes
Just being the head honcho at a startup doesn’t guarantee success as an entrepreneur. You need to remember that failure brings learnings and is a sidestep on the path to success.
#15 You know the importance of following up constantly
Every entrepreneur knows the significance of constant contact, following up and following through with customers, prospects and business alliances. Constantly following up enables you to turn prospects into customers, and then to retain your customers.