Entrepreneurship is a word used extensively in today’s day and age. A large number of professionals dream of being entrepreneurs. However, often people overlook the basics and get carried away with the emotion attached to starting something new.
While being committed to an idea or business is very important, equally essential is the process of stepping back and taking a holistic view about the venture, its potential and most importantly about you the entrepreneur. We have tried to look at some of the key questions that you need to answer before stepping out on an incredible journey called Entrepreneurship.
Before starting on the entrepreneurial journey, ask yourself this important question – “Am I Ready?” Honestly, no one is completely ready with all the mitigation strategies in place. However, having thought through the key reasons for being an entrepreneur and analyzing the skill set required will help to firm up your resolve.
Some of the questions you need to find answers about include:
Decide on the venture:
Spend an adequate amount of time to decide on the business. It is always a feasible idea to go with something that one already knows, has expertise in or can easily gain the necessary understanding. For example, if you want to start a restaurant or a technology enabled application, look at the tangibles that you or your co-founders bring to the table. If you can hire the required skills and have fiscal resources in place then it is a different story. If not, rethink the domain and set realistic goals.
Do your homework:
To ensure that your business venture is more than just a dream, you need to have a firm grasp on market trends, industry best practices, competitors, potential costs, etc. While having extensive information at the ideation phase might not be possible, starting with a dream and blank sheet of paper is also not advisable. Research extensively and look inwards to your own skill set.
Identify your market:
Question the market potential of your business. Who would be interested in buying your product or service? Is the market already stagnant with a large supply side or are you going to serve a niche segment? You need to sell your product or service at a profit and therefore identifying the market is essential. On the other hand if you believe that your portfolio will create a new segment which does not currently exist, make assumptions but get a clear focus on the potential size of the pie.
Remember the money:
How will you fund the business? If you plan on bootstrapping then create a “war chest”. If you expect support from family and friends, then get the commitment levels firmed up. External funding sources need a structured approach, be it debt, Seed, VC, Angel etc. Start planning in advance and work to deadlines.
Revisit your commitment
Entrepreneurship is not an easy journey. It has pitfalls and challenges. It will test your commitment levels and challenge you on a regular basis. While the taste of success is indeed sweet, unfortunately there are no low hanging fruit available on the entrepreneurial tree.