10 things you must do before becoming an entrepreneur

“An entrepreneur tends to bite off a little more than he can chew hoping he’ll quickly learn how to chew it,” says Roy Ash, co-founder, and president of the American company Litton Industries.

Starting or building a business is like planting a flower. It requires you to invest your time and money. Also, you must take care of it while expecting nothing in return, at least for the first couple of months or a few years.

However, when your startup blossoms, it makes all the patience and hard work worthwhile.

Little wonder, Jessica Herrin, founder, and CEO of Stella & Dot said, “You have to see failure as the beginning and the middle, but never entertain it as an end.”

Have you ever wondered why a good number of startups fail and eventually cease to exist after only a few years of being launched?

Well, one of the main reasons is the lack of expert startup advice founders receive.

In this post , I’ll share with you 10 things you must do before becoming an entrepreneur. This, I believe will help you become a successful person.

1. Identify your mission

Before you commence the execution of all the great ideas in your head, you need to identify your mission in order to execute properly. Identifying your mission is an amazing motivator and it draws you to your goals than you pushing yourself towards it.

Amber Hurdle said, “Your mission statement outlines why your company exists. It doesn’t have to be all fancy-pants, just a clear statement of what you do.” So, identifying your mission means stating, in clear terms, what your company intends to do, the services you intend to provide.

2. Save a lot

Once you have your goals, vision and mission all sorted out, you want to save a lot of money for execution. Don’t start your business with the presumption that you will get funding right out of the gate. Note that it is a bad idea to think that once you start running your business, it’ll generate enough money for the successful running of the business.

Remember Jessica Herrin’s advice?

“You have to see failure as the beginning and the middle, but never entertain it as an end.” Of course, you can try pitching your ideas to a few investors who might be interested. However, you can’t fully rely on the possibility of being picked or not. Hence, the need to save a lot so that you can fund your business.

3. Learn how to sell

Sales are about the most important thing in business. After all, we all go into one form of business or the other because we want to make some money, right?

Hence, you’ll have to learn how to sell and market your product. You need to be able to communicate clearly and effectively to your customers, investors or whoever you are dealing with. You can read books, attend conferences and seminars, seek advice from mentors and other successful entrepreneurs on some of the best marketing methods and strategies to make a business thrive.

4. Network and build great relationships

Meredith Mahoney said, “know where you want to go and make sure the right people know about it.”

Robert Kiyosaki, an American businessman, and author said “The richest people in the world look for and build networks, everyone else looks for work Marinate on that for a minute.”

Networking with other people increases your chances of exposing your business to the right audience. For example, have you witnessed a situation where a friend calls you to say, Hey! Can you recommend a good content writer or a good food vendor and the likes?  

So, whatever industry you’re in and whatever phase you’re at as an entrepreneur, everything to you should be about relationships.

5. Educate yourself with finance

You need to learn how to manage your finances and separate your business account from your personal account. For instance, say you get one or two investors who are willing to invest in your business, a financial plan or document are a few of the requirements they’ll need to determine if they want to go ahead or not.

So, make sure you read up on how to effectively manage your finance. You equally consider getting help from a mentor, if you have one.

6. Learn how to take risk

Taking the step of becoming a businessman or woman is actually a risk in itself. I mean who likes the idea of leaving a job with a guarantee of a stable income for a venture that is built under the possibility of survival?

I’m sure that doesn’t sound like a fun thing to do. However, that is the first risk every entrepreneur should prepare his mind to take. As an entrepreneur, you need to not only face risks head on but actively embrace them. Sometimes it pays off, sometimes it doesn’t.

7. Build your audience

That you are doing the exact business as your friend doesn’t necessarily mean that your audience is the same. You have to build your own audience. However, in building a brand, you should understand that you are a brand so whatever you post and do online is part of the parcel of your brand identity.

To build your audience, you can start by publishing content that is near and dear to you and shares it with people with similar interests. The essence of doing this is to build a following that will be receptive to the products and services you will be offering when you become an entrepreneur.

8. Learn how to research

Life is all about growing. So is a business. You need to keep improving your product, your marketing strategy and everything else involved in your business if you want to remain relevant in your industry. This means that you have to keep researching from time-to-time about what’s new and trendy.

9. Discover your strengths and weaknesses

Discover your strength as far as your business and content strategies are concerned. Think back on the last time you were complimented or praised on a certain skill you possessed or something you did that got you noticed. Once you have discovered this, leverage on it and make it world class.

10. Learn more about your industry and others

Now that you have everything figured out, research as much as possible about your industry such as finding out the top individuals in your industry, the moving trends and every other thing there is to know. Take time to study the things that are working and the things that aren’t. This information will help you position your business in the right place. Once you have these 10 things figured out, then you are ready to start your own business and begin your journey to entrepreneurship.