Many of us look at serial entrepreneurs like Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Richard Branson and the ilk and aspire to be like them one day. Some may call it wishful thinking while others call it day dreaming. Yet, I would say go ahead, dream. Because that’s how great achievements are accomplished. They all begin with a vision, with a dream. The entrepreneurial journey is a mixed bag. You need to be extremely well planned for activities such as picking up trade names, working with company formation agents, setting up your manufacturing/ service units, hiring people while also being responsive to market conditions like new product arrivals, closure/ arrival of competitors, changes in regulation etc. So without further ado, let’s get into what you need to do to let your entrepreneurial dreams take flight.
Do what you love
First and foremost, pick an area of work that you really like. No matter how good an opportunity is in the market, you can’t become an entrepreneur in something you are not passionate about. There is no set framework for becoming an entrepreneur but clearly picking an area that you are not passionate about will not work for anybody. By doing what you love, you can make new and exciting additions to the existing products/ services and create your own niche.
To be a successful entrepreneur you need to dream big but your idea does not have to be big and complex. WhatsApp, Uber, Facebook are billion dollar companies today but they all started with a small and simple idea, to fill a gap in the market, to leverage a particular technology. All you need is to find a simple solution to an existing problem and you have taken you first step to becoming an entrepreneur.
While your ideas need to be simple, the same is not true for your business plan. Rather, it needs to be as detailed as possible and should account for all major hurdles that you can foresee for your business. A lot of projections can fall flat when you enter the market, but this is exactly why you think of contingencies as well when making your business plan. How long can you pull without making a sale or how many ways can you beat your competition are thinking to be thought of before starting your business and recorded in your business plan.
Get a team together
Your entrepreneurial journey may have begun in bootstrap mode but when it comes to forming a core team, you should never bootstrap. If you think a particular individual and his contributions are vital to your business/ team, then certain largesse should be allowed to retain the individual, if necessary. While salaries are important, it is not just money that one works for and understanding the needs of people in your team can help you keep it together.
Build your repute
When you start off nobody really knows you and you can get away with a lot of mistakes. However, as your venture ages, the quality of your product/ service and your clientele’s feedback start forming your reputation in the market, which has to be good. For lack of a good reputation, you may lose a lot of opportunities in the future. This is where a core team focussed on building and maintaining the quality of your products is extremely helpful.
Although I have mentioned a lot of things about building and maintaining a large business, I have to also mention that no company is built overnight. Major multinational companies that you say around these days began in at least 1900s if not earlier, giving them more than a century to reach where they are today. (Internet based companies are an exception, but they do not really have a multinational base). So, even if the pace of your growth might seem slow, it is perfectly okay to take baby steps towards your ventures growth rather than boom suddenly and bust.
Don’t give up
During your entrepreneurial journey, your situations can become quite tough. At times, market or personal conditions might even force you to fold your business. But being an entrepreneur is not about having a company that is active. Rather, it is the spirit with which you work and you must never let it die. So, whether you have just passed out of college or returned from your retirement party, there is no age limit to start being an entrepreneur.
To be honest, even a book is not enough to help one understand the intricacies of being an entrepreneur. Like being a parent, each one goes through more or less the same things, yet the final shape that their journey takes is quite unique in itself, just like the product/ services they offer. To summarize, I would say, that the simplest way to let your entrepreneurial dreams take flight is to believe in yourself, dig your feet in and start doing what you really love. Other things can be taken care of.