Do you dream of being your own boss? Have you often been told you have leadership potential (AKA you like to tell people what to do)? Do you have the determination it takes to own a business?
If you have the drive and determination it will take to run your own enterprise, then perhaps the life of an entrepreneur is for you. While entrepreneurs are now most commonly associated leaders of tech startups, you need to have an entrepreneurial spirit to successfully launch your own business.
If you're considering starting your own business, it simply cannot be done without knowing the basics of business administration and accounting. You cannot make money without knowing how to invoice clients, abiding by regulatory guidelines, and organizing yourself and the work you do professionally.
Fortunately, this does not mean you need a business degree from a four-year university or college. Taking business classes at a vocational school gives you the right amount of knowledge you need without all the extra classes required by most universities, most of which have nothing to do with your career path. Instead, you will quickly gain the knowledge you require to be successful and get on your way to your dream of being an entrepreneur and business owner.
Entrepreneur and 'gig economy' are the latest buzzwords in business and it is easy to dismiss them as irrelevant to the average person's career goals. However, there are opportunities available to people that have a good idea and the motivation to succeed no matter the burden it places on your personal time.
Whether you're wishing to work for themselves or starting a business from scratch, you need to know the basics of all aspects of business management, administration, and accounts. It is unlikely that in the early days you will be able to hire others to undertake those tasks for you, so a solid foundation in everyday business processes will provide a way to keep costs low while building your dream career.
What attributes are essential for a good entrepreneur?
If you want to be an entrepreneur, there are certain personal attributes that are vital to your success. By developing these skills, you are well on your way to having what it takes to own a business.
Perseverance is high on the list of soft skills required to become an entrepreneur. If you choose to run your own small business, all responsibility will be on your shoulders. You need to be able to pick yourself up and keep working when things go wrong. You have to be willing to work long hours, especially in the first two years, and you can forget about any semblance of work/life balance. The reward for your perseverance will be a successful business that you have built, all by yourself.
Getting your business off the ground is going to take a lot of hard work. You can expect to work late nights and early mornings completing paperwork outside of your regular business hours. Even if you decide to take on a retail franchise, you'll find lots of tasks that will be required your attention out of hours. You'll need drive and motivation to keep up momentum.
When you open your own business there are always plenty of problems to solve, and most of the time you will be the only person you can rely on to do it. To own your own business you must be able to put your critical thinking into action to resolve problems, come up with creative solutions and negotiate with suppliers and clients.
Above all, to run a business you have to be organized. You will need to have systems in place for data storage, accounts, staff procedures, risk management and other business processes. With the multiple responsibilities you will need to attend to, it is essential that you can manage your time and your tasks effectively to ensure you get everything done.
Some of these qualities are just intrinsic in who you are as a person. Others absolutely can be taught through courses that will help you learn, for example, the best way to be organized through understanding computer programs and other business processes better. Having the drive to succeed is the first step. The second step is to give yourself the education you'll need to be as successful as you possibly can.
What type of business owner could I be?
Starting a business can require significant financial outlay and a solid business plan, but there are also plenty of options if finances or ideas are short. Most freelancing opportunities have minimal running costs, and if you've got a small amount of money you can purchase stock as you go for an online store. If you've got the money but no great idea, purchasing a franchise could be perfect for you.
Small Business Owner
If you have a great idea and some financial backing, you could always establish or purchase your own business. Regardless of the industry you choose, you should ensure you've done your research and that the business is viable. Just because something interests you, does not mean it is a viable option or something that will make you money. Obviously, you can open a business in pretty much any industry you have experience in, with examples including restaurants, bars, retail shop fronts, consultancy firms or online stores. Your experience in the particular industry, plus your knowledge from business, retail, IT, or any other classes you take, will give you a leg up to succeed.
When it comes to the actual business, depending on the industry you choose, you can opt for an online store or business to keep overheads low, or you can invest in 'bricks and mortar' shop fronts if you have the capital.
A freelancer is a sole trader operation who completes contract work, usually based online. One benefit of freelancing is the low cost of overheads, especially because you can work from your home. If you take on virtual assistant work that includes data entry, bookkeeping, and other administrative tasks, you will only need to ensure you have good internet, as well as the right computer hardware and software.
To get started, sites like Freelancer, Fiverr, Airtasker, and Upwork can provide great experience and a way to find work. In the long run, you will want to develop your own network of clients so you can stop using the bidding sites.
As a freelancer, one of the most important skills you need to have is time management. You must be completely self motivated. Working from home is great, but can be distracting. It is not always possible to work out of a coffee shop either. If you are a freelancer and find working from home is difficult, you might eventually find an office share space from which you can work. These are typically s not cost-prohibitive, they have high-speed internet, and they can give you a separate business address to use if you don't want to use your home address.
If you want to own a business but don't have an idea or want to reduce your risks, then you may want to explore the option of purchasing a franchise. Buying a franchise means you get an established brand and business model with proven returns. Franchises often also provide extensive training and mentorship to help you succeed.
If you are purchasing a franchise that is brick and mortar, one of the most important things you can do is make sure your location is going to be successful. Many franchises will have their corporate teams give you options as to where is available to put a franchise.
Remember, you are capable of doing on the ground research. You will have the best knowledge of where a good place to operate might be. One of the biggest mistakes a franchisee can make is putting their franchise in a location no one will travel to for that service.
You're also sure to find a franchise to suit your interests. From food to fashion, dog grooming to yard maintenance, just make sure you find a business that you will be passionate about.
Take the first steps toward your dream today
At CCI Training Center, you can take the classes you need to become a successful business owner in any industry you are interested in. Our instructors all have real world business experience and can guide you through your courses, as well as give you applicable advice on a variety of entrepreneurial businesses. Many of our students credit CCI Training Center with the beginning of their professional network. It is not uncommon for our students to find business partners and clients through their classes at CCI Training Center.
No matter your current situation, your dream of becoming an entrepreneur does not have to stay a dream. CCI Training Center classes are offered year round, and normally only require one to two days a week of in class instruction. You can keep your current job while preparing for your future.
Next week we'll look closer at the technical skills you'll need to get started. For more information on how our business and accounting program can help you become your own boss, fill out the contact form or download our e-book here.
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