There are various aspects that most entrepreneurs have in common: a desire to ‘succeed’, a willingness to make mistakes, being able to motivate ourselves in both good (and bad) times to name just a few. It is paradoxical that to become a success, we have to embrace failure. No one gets things right 100% of the time. However, the more we try, the more success (and failure) we are likely to enjoy. It is accepting that failure is part of the process towards success that allows us to succeed. Moreover, for many of us, it is not the success, in and of itself, which drives us, but rather the journey that we enjoy.
How many entrepreneurs grow a successful business only to sell it and start all over again? It is the challenge that drives us. Becoming successful rather than being successful, if you see the difference.
I have found that I am more able to motivate myself when I am treating my body ‘well’. For instance, being well rested; in other words, getting enough sleep, meditating, practicing yoga and so on really help me stay focused. In addition to this, nutrition is another important factor to consider. The doctors always say we should eat more fruits and vegetables, this is something I’m actively trying to do every day.
If you look at this website, you will see it is an example where the owner talks about something they love (related to fruits and vegetables): www.applelaneinn.com. In a sense, running a website is like being an entrepreneur.
Success is not always about growing a business (financial success), it can be as pure as spreading the message about things we love or that are important to us.
Although it’s probably easier nowadays to become an entrepreneur, it certainly hasn’t become easier to succeed. There are certainly more opportunities and developments like the web mean you don’t have to find tens of thousands for even the smallest start up. But this has all led to increased competition in most markets and only the very best entrepreneurs will succeed.
So what sort of qualities does todays successful independent businessman or woman need, what do you need to make an entrepreneur? Well experts obviously differ on the qualities needed but without doubt an essential one is to be very passionate. If you’re not passionate about what you’re working on you’re very likely to fail. Passion will drive you forward when things get tough and also it supplies passion in others. That’s right, it’s infectious and when other people start believing your dream you’re well on your way to success.
Delegation is another important quallity that is a huge benefit. Whatever your business, there will come a point when you are not able to do everything. The people who try usually burn out, their business doesn’t grow it consumes them until the rewards outweigh the benefits. Make sure you always outsource or delegate tasks which are not best use of your time.
It sounds odd, but another important talent is the ability to fail. Not every idea is going to work, perhaps it’s only an aspect or component of your business. The people who succeed in life are the ones who take risks, but risks imply the possibility of failure. You have to appreciate this possibility and most importantly accept when something has failed. Failure doesn’t have to be a negative thing, there are positive implications in that ’you’ve tried something’ plus the lessons that can be learned from the failure.
There are many entrepreneurs throughout history who demonstrate these qualities – we’ve all probably got our own favourites. For me sitting here with that wonderful piece of technology in front of me called the iPad it’s Steve Jobs. His dream is in front of me, currently connected via an iPad VPN to allow me to watch the BBC from San Francisco. He took many risks and inspired a generation with a passion for technology, we all know he failed plenty of times too – anybody remember the LISA (the poorly selling successor to the Apple III).
There is an increasing realisation that for an economy to be successful, it needs entrpreneurs. Although across the globe there are economies of all sorts failing and sinking into recessions, there seems to be an agreement that capitalism in some ways is the only thing that works. Even socialist economies like China and Cuba are increasingly following this route.
But of course it’s difficult to create new businesses without entrpreneurs to start them. There are always some people to whom this will come naturally but an education system like China is hardly the best way to create them. The education system is more about learning by rote, it certainly doesn’t encourage people to think independantly. But this free thinking is what creates entrepreneurs and the businesses that will be successful in the real world.
Cuba has realised this and in many ways is attempting to dismantle all the barriers for entrepreneurs. The infrastructure is being built which makes starting a business much easier. Last month a new organisation was created that will supply wholesale goods to companies and business minded individuals for resale. But the thinking of working together and state provision is perhaps a bigger challenge for socialist countries to become competitive.
Of course China’s economy has been staggeringly successful over the last few years. However much of this success is built on the enormous advantages of very cheap labour which makes goods so much cheaper than anywhere else. But this advantage is being eroded and the country will soon need to compete on level terms.
It’s going to be difficult, if you try to set up any global online business in China you will be at a disadvantage in China. Internet filtering and the Great Firewall of China make it difficult for companies and businessmen to operate. There are so many blocks that connecting back to your company email or document store is often impossible from China. You can of course use technology to bypass these blocks – many companies offer services to allow a US IP address for example wherever you’re based in the world.
The simple matter is that most businesses will end up basing themselves in countries where all these restrictions don’t exists. Places like China will find growth much more difficult when their companies have a built in disadvantage instead.
There are many reasons why people hesitate about starting a new business. One of the biggest ones is the huge financial risk that it can entail, when you look at the cost of staff, premises, rates and insurance it can seem quite daunting even for a relatively modest start up. However there are options and the internet has given us the biggest one by far. It’s brought the chance to start a business within reach of almost anyone with an idea and some application.
The internet gives you access to a global market and although not all goods and services can be sold directly online, there’s almost always a way you can adapt a physical business to an online one with some thought. The advantages are numerous though, your start up costs can really be minimised, some web space, perhaps a designer to get you started, a few tools and the rest can be accomplished with hard work. If you’re not based in your target market then you might need to invest in a proxy service to change your IP address, this may not be necessary though.
The only problem is that the options to grow a decent online business can be quite numerous and it’s difficult to focus. Do you create a static website, a wordpress blog or even start with something simple on Facebook to begin? The principle is the same for everything though, you need to reach your target audience with your product or service. If you don’t have a product of your own there are still options. Check out affiliate marketing on the internet, here you sell someone else’s product in return for a commission payment. This option is a great way to start as you don’t even need stock of your own and you can still build a potentially successful business.
There is hope that the internet will bring prosperity to developing nations such as those in Africa. The infrastructure is slowly being built and it’s estimated that Africa will become one of the biggest global markets in the years to come. Mobile phones have already brought huge changes to the economies of some of the poorest African nations, in some cases forming the basis of micro-finance loans to enable start up businesses. Who knows what further changes the internet will bring to our lives, but one things certain if you want to start up your own business – there won’t be a better time than now.
There are many great reasons to start up a business for yourself doing something that you are good at. For those who love to cook and create great meals and have a flair for organizing parties and social functions, starting your own catering business could be a great move. It would certainly come with many real benefits on a number of different levels. Here we look at some of these benefits and why this can be a very good idea indeed.
For starters, it would be a great platform for showing off your culinary skills and displaying your flair for mixing those skills with the ability to cater for groups of people. It would be extremely fulfilling in that the satisfaction of proving to the world and to yourself just what you are capable of achieving.
From a financial standpoint, running a catering business from start up may come with many hurdles to leap, but as long as you start with a strong, well thought out business plan and sufficient financial backing at the outset, you should have no problems turning a profit very quickly. This is because of the many business opportunities that exist, catering is one of those that turns high profits with low overheads.
Depending on your current circumstances, staring up this kind of business can start very small by organizing and catering for local events. Word will soon get around if you can do a great job for a fair price. In fact, by proving that you can produce a quality service for great value will insure your phone keeps ringing.
There are many options available to you when you follow this particular path. You can specialize in the kinds of meals you provide, such as tailoring menus for vegetarians, diabetics and people that have specialized dietary needs. You can take this a further step by providing a healthy diet choice for your clients (for example: http://healthydietchoice.com) that will provide meals that are not only tasty and interesting, but cater to the health conscious.
There are lots of options available to anyone who has it in mind to want to start up their own business. Entrepreneurs are much sought after by local groups in need of specialized services that offer great value for money. If taking such a step is appealing to you, then by all means pursue it. Starting up your very own business providing great food for all kinds of groups, gatherings and events can be greatly rewarding as well as financially lucrative in the right hands.
Much has been written about entrepreneurs. They form part of modern capitalist legend. The notion that one man or woman can set up a business and go from rags to riches. Steve Jobs went from making computers in his garage to heading up one of the most successful American companies of all time. The entreprenuer may be lucky, but it is mostly down to hard work, detemination and the intelligence of the person who takes the business gamble to set up by him or herself.
What is less talked about is the entrepreneurial possiblities of travel. Thomas Cooke is perhaps the most famous travel entrepreneur. He went from organizing church group outings to setting up the first package holiday business and even pioneering the travellers’ cheque.
Nowadays, there is a growing group of people both young and old who are keen to make a life for themselves traveling around the world. Airplane tickets and hostel rooms are becoming more expensive and such activities as hitch hiking are becoming less acceptable. Getting by on little cash requires similar skills as growing a business from humble beginnings. An eye for an opportunity is needed.
Some of the opportunities for traveling cheaply include crewing on a yacht, teaching scuba diving, joining a band and working in a hostel. Often these jobs provide nothing more than ’pocket money’ but they allow people to stay in a place longer or to travel for free. A few lucky ones manage to stay in a foreign clime long enough to start their own dive shop, bar etc. and start to make real money.
Of cause the caveat is that when you become successful in your foreign business you are tied to one place, and find it difficult to continue traveling. Such is the irony of entrepreneurship when traveling.
With the advent of the internet and the many ways to market through this medium, more and more people have started seeing success with internet marketing thus quitting their day time jobs and earning full time incomes online. The internet alone has created more entrepreneurs than any other medium. The hard fact is, in order to succeed online you will need to put in a lot of hours. Yes, the internet can be passive but you still need to put in the work in the beginning while you set up systems to enable you to earn passive income online.
Working on your online business can take hours and hours of being in front of the computer. This can take a toll on health and fitness if you aren’t careful. Here are some ways to get fit whilst getting things done:
1. Schedule at least 20 minutes in your morning to go out for a walk or jog. This is a great time to collect your thoughts as to what needs to be done throughout the day. It can also a time to check voicemails or emails while you rest in between.
2. Take regular breaks from work. Say you’ve been working for 4 hours straight. Most of the time, you will feel awful and start losing focus. This usually happens when you work for hours on end. You need to take a break away from the computer when this happens. Go out for a short walk around the block. A change of scenery will help refresh your mind so you can regain your focus and be able to work productively.
3. Hop on a treadmill at least 3 times a week for 30 minutes minimum. You can either watch your favorite series whilst on the treadmill or you can take this as an opportunity to get even more things done. With the help of a desk treadmill, you can get things done like answering to emails and getting updates on your online business even when you’re working out. You just attach one on top of any treadmill (but make sure it’s compatible to your treadmill before buying one).
Just implement any of the tips above and you’re well on the way to getting fit whilst building your online empire.
Oh to be an entrepreneur. Starting and running your own business, being the boss of your own life, must surely be one of the most common daydreams. It’s a rare employee who has nothing bad to say about their day job and at the root of many employees complaints is a sense of powerlessness. Ultimately your livelihood is at the mercy of somebody else, it’s not you that has the final word.
So why do so many people aspire to become their own boss and start a venture but fail to follow through? The hard truth is simply this… you will always be at the mercy of someone or other regardless of your desire to take control of your own destiny. Take the simple example of the man or woman who plans to open a very small seasonal store selling just flip flops for the summer crowd who descend each year on their local coastal town. Surely a simple business plan that’s easy to execute with a guaranteed clientele year on year? Do you have any experience buying wholesale flip flops? No? Get ready to not only learn a whole new set of business skills but also come to terms with the fact that these suppliers just became your new boss. Their terms and conditions, and the price at which they’re willing to sell, will now dictate the success of your business. Furthermore you had better choose a reliable firm who delivers on time or your seasonal business could fail before it’s begun.
And what about your customers, they’re your new boss too. Shoppers have no loyalty to your little store, many of them will only ever visit your store once and if you’re not stocking the latest brand of flip flop that they’re looking for…they’re off. Probably around the corner to your competitor who will no doubt under cut you and drive you crazier than any ordinary boss ever did.I haven’t even broached the subject of the rules and regulations that the government will impose on your business.
Understand this before you take your first steps in entrepreneurship, there’s always somebody telling you what to do or imposing their will on your dreams. Of course running your own business can be incredibly liberating if you are going to crazy in some dead end nine to five job, but don’t imagine for a moment that it’s an easy option.
Starting a company is one of the most exhilarating things you can do. I find the entire process exciting. Evaluating ideas, brainstorming solutions, marketing, product design, advertising, public relations- I could go on and on. I actually went online today to check out reviews of heart rate monitors so I can find a heart rate monitor that I can wear under my business attire! My heart races all day no matter what I am working on. I can’t find a boring part of my day.
Developing the concept for a company is different every time. Each company has a different motivation, different market drivers, and different profitability. Some companies are meant to help peoples and others are intended for making money. As an entrepreneur, it’s your job to come up with the right concept given the resource available to a certain company. You may have a great idea or a lot of cash or talented developers or even a super talented marketing resources. If you lucky, you will have all of them but it’s likely you won’t. You need to make due with what you have an craft a company around the resources you have.
Once the concept is created, it’s time for execution. What are you company policies? Where will the company be located? How will market you product? Are you going for the best price or the best set of features (you can’t do both). The decisions and challenges never end; however, you need to think of them more as exciting opportunities rather than endless issues.
I have been an entrepreneur since childhood. One of the things that I love the most about being an entrepreneur is the ability to solve people’s problems and answer people’s questions. Being able to provide someone with a solution to their problem brings me great satisfaction and is one of the best parts of my “job.” (I say “job” because you know how the saying goes… if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life.)
One of my current entrepreneurial focuses is creating websites in a variety of niches. I don’t create junk websites that exist only to make money. I make real, usable websites that help people solve problems and answer questions. Some of the questions I have been able to solve with my websites include:
How can I save money on my grocery bill?
What’s the best strategy when day trading gold?
What supplements will help improve my acne?
What career options do I have a social worker?
As you can see, I have been able to help people find answers to a variety of questions. It’s something I wasn’t able to do when I was working a regular day job, and I feel grateful every day that I have had this opportunity to work for myself.
What do you love about being an entrepreneur?
When opening an appliance store, there are many things to consider when planning your inventory. It will take more than the spirit of entrepreneurship to make your business successful.
One thing to consider is balanacing the variety and selection of appliances you will sell against the cost of purchasing that inventory and paying for additional floorspace for your store. Some store owners make the mistake of limiting their selection to their favorites, which can be a terrible mistake.
Just because you are not a fan of black kitchen appliances, it does not mean that many of your potential customers will not want to purchase a black refrigerator. If your showroom floor just offers a sea of stainless steel appliances, these buyers will walk in your door, turn around and walk out – never to be seen again.
Stocking your appliance store requires a careful analysis of sales patterns both nationally and locally to ensure that you provide an adequate selection of merchandise. While you will never be able to stock the products that all buyers are looking for, your goal should be to carry the goods that will meet the majority of potential consumers needs.
It is very tempting to start a business in Thailand if you have a little money behind you. It seems like a perfect idea – a country with great weather, cheap living costs, cheap labor, smiling people and a large flow of tourists to fund your business. Lots of people use their retirement money to buy a bar in Koh Samui, a resort in Koh Phangan etc. Some people try to set up bakeries. Others look to build and rent luxury villas by a beach. Sadly, most of these businesses fail for one reason or another. The truth is that it is very hard to succeed in business in Thailand. Being an entreprenuer in Thailand is very different to being one in the UK, Europe or the USA. This is the primary mistake that many ex-pats make.
The law in Thailand regarding ownership of land, property and business is extremely opaque. There are lots of law firms willing to take large sums of money to seemigly ’take care’ of such things as visas, company documents, setting up companies etc. It is one of the boom areas in the Thai economy.
Unlike other countries it is very hard for a foreigner to own anything in Thailand. Even if he or she is married to a Thai national, the business, house etc. has to be in the Thai’s name. This creates complications in marriages and in business. Another route is to set up a Thai limited company. A foreigner can own 49% of such a company, but have preferential voting rights in the company memoranda to give him or her effective control of the company. This is a smarter move.
To get an official working visafor Thailand it is necessary to show that the company is employing 4 Thais. This is a barrier to being allowed to officially work in your own company. Many people ignore this rule, but Thai immigrations periodically do a sweep to round up people breaking this law, especially dive instructors.
The impedements to owning your business in Thailand and working in your business are just the beginning. Often a foreigner is over-charged for services and products in Thailand. This is a nationwide problem. If a foreigner does not speak Thai the likelihood of this is increased.
Another problem is with staff. Thai people are no more honest or dishonest than anyone else, but they are paid very little. There is always a temptation to steal from the till or from stock. This is especially a problem with restaurants and bars in Thailand. Often the only way around this problem is to sit at the till all day to make sure all the money finds its way to you and is not funnelled off. There are few places with electronic tills that take employer details etc. so it is very easy to steal without fear of being caught.
Finally, there is a lot of competition in Thailand, especially for the tourist Thai Baht. There are already too many many bars, restaurants, tatoo parlors, internet shops and motorbike rental places in Koh Samui, Koh Tao, Phuket, Khao Lak, Koh Chang and all the other major tourist areas in Thailand. There seems a dearth of new ideas in Thailand concerning businesses. Some of the most successful businesses that foreigners are involved in in Thailand do not actually target tourists. Being original and offering something new is vital to success in Thailand. Otherwise, it is just better and cheaper to go to Thailand for a holiday.
Entrepreneurship comes in many shapes and forms. One of the most popular forms recently has been entrepreneurship connected to property. This is very much a function of the massive increase in house prices around the world prior to the world financial crisis of 2008. It is a crisis that has sparked the present credit crisis that is engulfing the Eurozone.
The downside for those who sought to get on the property ladder in the USA using a subprime mortgage has been the repossession of their property. Their deposits have gone, all their mortage payments have been for nothing. A lot of the blame must be laid at the door of Wall Street that encouraged such risky borrowing and tried to lie about the dangers of such borrowing.
For many people in the world, house prices are still very high despite a slow down in the market. People cannot face up to the loss of equity and would rather leave their house on the market for years than take a more realistic price. This is certainly true in the UK.
The entrepreneural possibilities still exist in the developing world, however. Here the risk is higher but land can still be bought cheaply either directly or by setting up a limited company. For those brave enough it is still possible to buy land in places like Thailand and build a luxury villa. This villa might be difficult to sell at the moment but its value will gradually increase as land becomes less available and as the Thai government starts to futher restrict foreign ownership.
You can rent a luxury villa in koh Phangan, for example, for as much $300 a night. The villa might only cost $200,000 to build. That means in 666 days it has paid for itself. That is a very good rate of return that is easily better than anything Europe or America has to offer. However, with high profits come high risks.