by Carlos Alvarez
Founder for the North America Market at PM International
Technology is accelerating, job security is declining and income inequality is increasing.
People are overworked and underpaid. With less time and freedom, people are left wondering if there is a better way.
Our changing economy has led to the rise of the entrepreneur. The fastest, most dependable and controllable way to become wealthy is to own your own business.
An entrepreneur is a person who organizes and manages a business undertaking, assuming the risk for the sake of profit.
An entrepreneur: Sees an opportunity. Makes a plan. Starts the business. Manages the business. Receives the profits.
According to Wikipedia:
Entrepreneurship is the process of starting a business of another organization. The entrepreneur develops a business model, acquires the human and other required resources, and is fully responsible for its success or failure. Entrepreneurship operates within an entrepreneurship ecosystem.
According to Investopedia: (This is the closest definition to what I feel is an Entrepreneur)
DEFINITION OF ‘ENTREPRENEUR’
An individual who, rather than working as an employee, runs a small business and assumes all the risk and reward of a given business venture, idea, or good or service offered for sale. The entrepreneur is commonly seen as a business leader and innovator of new ideas and business processes.
INVESTOPEDIA EXPLAINS ‘ENTREPRENEUR’
Entrepreneurs play a key role in any economy. These are the people who have the skills and initiative necessary to take good new ideas to market and make the right decisions to make the idea profitable. The reward for the risks taken is the potential economic profits the entrepreneur could earn.
1. Do what you enjoy.
What you get out of your business in the form of personal satisfaction, financial gain, stability and enjoyment will be the sum of what you put into your business. So if you don’t enjoy what you’re doing, in all likelihood it’s safe to assume that will be reflected in the success of your business–or subsequent lack of success. In fact, if you don’t enjoy what you’re doing, chances are you won’t succeed.
2. Take what you do seriously.
You cannot expect to be effective and successful in business unless you truly believe in your business and in the goods and services that you sell. Far too many home business owners fail to take their own businesses seriously enough, getting easily sidetracked and not staying motivated and keeping their noses to the grindstone. They also fall prey to naysayers who don’t take them seriously because they don’t work from an office building, office park, storefront, or factory. Little do these skeptics, who rain on the home business owner’s parade, know is that the number of people working from home, and making very good annual incomes, has grown by leaps and bounds in recent years.
3. Plan everything.
Planning every aspect of your home business is not only a must, but also builds habits that every home business owner should develop, implement, and maintain. The act of business planning is so important because it requires you to analyze each business situation, research and compile data, and make conclusions based mainly on the facts as revealed through the research.
4. Manage money wisely.
The lifeblood of any business enterprise is cash flow. You need it to buy inventory, pay for services, promote and market your business, repair and replace tools and equipment, and pay yourself so that you can continue to work. Therefore, all home business owners must become wise money managers to ensure that the cash keeps flowing and the bills get paid. There are two aspects to wise money management.
5. Ask for the sale.
A home business entrepreneur must always remember that marketing, advertising, or promotional activities are completely worthless, regardless of how clever, expensive, or perfectly targeted they are, unless one simple thing is accomplished–ask for the sale. .
6. Remember it’s all about the customer.
Your home business is not about the products or services that you sell. Your home business is not about the prices that you charge for your goods and services. Your home business is not about your competition and how to beat them. Your business is all about your customers, or clients, period.
7. Become a shameless self-promoter (without becoming obnoxious).
One of the greatest myths about personal or business success is that eventually your business, personal abilities, products or services will get discovered and be embraced by the masses that will beat a path to your door to buy what you are selling. But how can this happen if no one knows who you are, what you sell and why they should be buying?
Self-promotion is one of the most beneficial, yet most underutilized, marketing tools that the majority of home business owners have at their immediate disposal.
8. Project a positive business image.
You have but a passing moment to make a positive and memorable impression on people with whom you intend to do business. Home business owners must go out of their way and make a conscious effort to always project the most professional business image possible. The majority of home business owners do not have the advantage of elaborate offices or elegant storefronts and showrooms to wow prospects and impress customers. Instead, they must rely on imagination, creativity and attention to the smallest detail when creating and maintaining a professional image for their home business.
9. Get to know your customers.
One of the biggest features and often the most significant competitive edge the home based entrepreneur has over the larger competitors is the he can offer personalized attention.
The home business owner can actually answer phone calls, get to know customers, provide personal attention and win over repeat business by doing so. It’s a researched fact that most business (80 percent) will come from repeat customers.
10. Level the playing field with technology.
11. Build a top-notch business team.
No one person can build a successful business alone. It’s a task that requires a team that is as committed as you to the business and its success. Your business team may include family members, friends, suppliers, business alliances. Of course the most important team members will be your customers or clients.
12. Become known as an expert.
When you have a problem that needs to be solved, do you seek just anyone’s advice or do you seek an expert in the field to help solve your particular problem? Obviously, you want the most accurate information and assistance that you can get.
13. Create a competitive advantage.
A home business must have a clearly defined unique selling proposition. This is nothing more than a fancy way of asking the vital question, “Why will people choose to do business with you or purchase your product or service instead of doing business with a competitor and buying his product or service?”
14. Invest in yourself.
Top entrepreneurs buy and read business and marketing books, magazines, reports, journals, newsletters, websites and industry publications, knowing that these resources will improve their understanding of business and marketing functions and skills. They join business associations and clubs, and they network with other skilled business people to learn their secrets of success and help define their own goals and objectives. Top entrepreneurs attend business and marketing seminars, workshops and training courses, even if they have already mastered the subject matter of the event. They do this because they know that education is an ongoing process. There are usually ways to do things better, in less time, with less effort. In short, top entrepreneurs never stop investing in the most powerful, effective and best business and marketing tool at their immediate disposal–themselves.
15. Be accessible.
We’re living in a time when we all expect our fast food lunch at the drive-thru window to be ready in mere minutes, our dry cleaning to be ready for pick-up on the same day, our money to be available at the cash machine and our pizza delivered in 30 minutes or it’s free. You see the pattern developing–you must make it as easy as you can for people to do business with you, regardless of the home business you operate.
16. Build a rock-solid reputation.
You can’t simply buy a good reputation; it’s something that you earn by honoring your promise
17. Sell benefits.
Selling the benefits associated with owning and using the products and services you carry is what sales professionals worldwide focus on to create buying excitement and to sell, sell more, and sell more frequently to their customers.
18. Get involved.
Always go out of your way to get involved in the community that supports your business. You can do this in many ways, such as pitching in to help local charities or the food bank, becoming involved in organizing community events
19. Grab attention.
Every promotional activity you engage in, must put money back in your pocket so that you can continue to grab more attention and grow your business.
20. Master the art of negotiations.
The ability to negotiate effectively is unquestionably a skill that every home business owner must make every effort to master.
21. Design Your workspace for success.
Carefully plan and design your home office workspace to ensure maximum personal performance and productivity and, if necessary, to project professionalism for visiting clients.
22. Get and stay organized.
You should develop systems and routines for just about every single business activity.
23. Take time off.
Give yourself a backup hour or two. All work and no play makes you burn out very fast and grumpy customer service is not what people want.
24. Limit the number of hats you wear.
Most highly successful entrepreneurs will tell you that from the time they started out, they knew what they were good at and what tasks to delegate to others.
25. Follow up
Constant contact, follow-up, and follow-through with customers, prospects, and business alliances should be the mantra of every home business owner, new or established.