The entrepreneurial journey

Deciding to be an entrepreneur is one of the best choices that one can make in life. the fact that you get to live the way you want, and achieve whatever you set your mind to, is an awesome feeling. But as much as this is probably the best feeling in the world, there are some facts that all upcoming entrepreneurs must know.

I will share what I found to be extremely important in entrepreneurship, to possibly help you avoid making the same mistakes that I did.

Ask yourself why you are doing it

Why do I want to be an entrepreneur? This is the key question that you must ask yourself before you even venture into this. Most people go into business because they want to make money.

Well as much as this is a very high possibility, it is not enough to help you succeed in business. One of the key things you will realize is that, for the first few months or even years, you may have to dig deep into your pockets before your business stabilizes.

You must be willing and able to live without making money for quite some time, as you establish your business.

Your why” needs to be strong enough to keep you going, even when things seem to be working against you. What drives an entrepreneur is the belief that what they are doing will eventually make a difference in the world. “Your why” needs to be backed by purpose.

Is it worth it?

Is what you are doing worth your time and money? Before you even decide to invest in an idea, check if it’s worth you spending your resources on it. Most times you find entrepreneurs who invest their time, energy and resources, only to realize that they just wasted the resources because it was not worth it.

Before you commit yourself, you have to know that the idea you are about to invest your resources in is worth both your time, money and energy.

What is your business model?

No one establishes a business to “just do good” in society. If you do this, then you are an NGO, not a business. Before proceeding with the commitment of resources, ask yourself this, what is my business model? Most entrepreneurs get started without a business model, and say that all things will work out. Guess what, doing this is like failing to study for an exam, and saying that you will pass the exam.

You need to define how you intend to generate your income. Is it through normal sales, or is it ad revenue?

If for example, you are looking for investors to invest in your business, they will never do this without seeing a defined business model. Even if you do not have everything figured out, at least you need to ensure that you have a partial business model, pointing in the right direction.

Who are your competitors?

A lot of times, entrepreneurs have a tendency to ignore this. they do not see this as a threat to their business, and instead, choose to make their business work in a very hostile environment. Of course, I am not saying you should pull away when the battle is fierce, but why fight a losing battle?

If for example you come up with a product selling at say $20, while your competitors are selling the same product at $10, which is half the price, why would customers who are already used to cheap yet same quality product buy from you?

You need to understand your competitors’ pricing, marketing and sales strategies to effectively cause the disruption you want to see in the market place. Remember you are trying to get customers from your competitors. This can only happen if you offer better terms than your competitors.

Is your solution a fit for customer problems?

Most entrepreneurs create a product which they think solves a certain given problem, without knowing what the customers’ problems are. Just because you have a solution does not mean that customers will buy. Customers buy because they are actually getting value for their money, and the solution being offered solves their problem.

Before you even develop any solution, get to know the customers’ problems first. This will help you come up with a solution that will match the customers’ problem, and as a result, you will not have to struggle to get customers.

Be honest with the customers

Customers do not like fake promises. Better not promise, than promise and fail to deliver. Remember, when you start your business, you want as many customers as possible to be satisfied with your services and your reliability.

This will create good PR for you, and even start getting referrals from your customers. On the other hand, lack of reliability is a business killer, from the start.

Whatever business you decide to venture into, just remember that entrepreneurship is a journey, not a destination. You cannot wait to learn everything before you get started. Most times you learn as the journey goes on. Just be quick to learn from failures (both yours and others), and always be ready to keep moving no matter how tough it gets.

That is the true spirit of entrepreneurship. the spirit to keep going.

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