What Does It Take To Become A Successful Entrepreneur?

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Swirll
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What do you think separates the Richard Bransons and Alan Sugars of this world from the people who try to succeed in business, but never do?

Would you ever consider trying to become an entrepreneur? Why/why not?
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President Snow
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First, I think that an entrepreneur has to want to take their business national/global. I know this sounds obvious, but a lot of small shops, cleaning, gardening, car valet etc. businesses are started by one person as a job for themselves (self-employment). They never intend to go big. By contrast, there also exist those little shops which go global, store by store (Aldi, Lidl, B&Q, for example).


It's simply a case of start small (one shop, one market stall), keep going with what you know (those shops), increase one at a time. Don't go too fast, do it well & get slightly lucky so they don't all fail, keep going. One shop at a time. Up until you've got a 100. And then beyond.

Also critical is having the right idea. Crucially, you shouldn't be thinking of an idea for a business. Think of an idea for something which is missing in your life, which you personally need, and which you know a lot about.

Start small, but read, read, and read some more. Anyone can start a website. I could create a new social network. But that doesn't mean anyone will actually find it & visit. You need to understand your market intimately and how to spread the word. If you're selling to trade, you need to know about wholesalers. If you're trying on the internet, you need to learn how it works & how to get a website heard about (and I don't just mean "get it to go viral on Facebook". Everyone wants that, but how do you make it happen? Try for an understanding of how to use advertisements to get you initial traffic in order to build up a critical mass of content so that it can be found in Google. Understand SEO very well, or how to push social networking (whichever applies)).

As for personally, don't try to start a business straight away. If you're thinking of starting a graphics design business, have you any clue what it's all about? You need to work as an employee in someone else's graphics design business first, until you understand the mechanics of it well enough to break away. Then look for a unique concept, or something you can do better (not just 'yet another', but something you can do better).

Finally, do all of the work yourself. Starting a business isn't all glamour & employees. Until you're huge, it means doing it all yourself. Bill Gates started by coding his own programs. Zuckerberg created the first version of Facebook himself. Alan Sugar sold from his market stall himself. Dyson designed his own products.


In essence: Know your market. Get experience working as an employee of someone else in that market. Have the right idea, and aim to take it big. Be prepared to do all the heavy lifting yourself, but get help where you need it (if you haven't got a clue about the law, create the product yourself but employ a solicitor to help with the legal side). Get big, one store, one product at a time: don't go too fast.
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