With TV shows depicting big business and start-ups being the desired career choice for anyone cool, the lure of being self-employed has increased considerably. It’s hard not to be impressed by a self-made entrepreneur; it takes guts, hard work and more than a fair bit of luck. If business and creating an empire is something in your life plan, then why not skill up to help you along that path? Here are four things you’ll need to become an entrepreneur followed by some courses to help with the knowledge to back up your instinct.
Meet people, travel, try and gain as much experience as you can. The great business idea can come from anywhere; you may see a gap in the market or a completely new market or feel you can do something better. To be an entrepreneur you have to be looking for opportunities; some of these will come from networking, so learn to go and trust your gut as well as doing the research.
Raiding the Piggy Bank
There’s no getting around the fact: it takes money to start any business. So you need to be prepared to spend money – whether in the form of savings, loans from friends, the bank, or even outside investors. Try and get your budget and financial forecasting airtight so there are no surprises. One of the biggest reasons businesses fail is because of cash flow; ensure you don’t overstretch yourself and always save during the good times.
You may fail, get double-crossed, be let down and have your trust broken but that is just part and parcel of being in business. You don’t have to make enemies but you should be aware some people are more trustworthy than others. Ensure you always learn from your mistakes and try not to let them happen again.
Know When to Try and Try Again and When to Stop
This is an art many never manage to accomplish. When is a business idea dead? It’s very difficult to call it a day on any business no matter if it’s in its infancy or maturity. You will have invested so much time and energy in it (some might say blood, sweat and tears) that it’s difficult to be subjective. Try to always see your business from the outside in as well as the inside out. And ensure that you and your business are always moving ahead, never stagnating.
Courses in Entrepreneurialism
We have some courses – from A Levels to BTEC HNDs and Diplomas – which will give you some of the knowledge needed to run a business. And here they are…
We offer a Diploma in Business Start-up for Today’s Entrepreneur which gives you an overview of the basics you need to develop an idea past the initial thought phase. The course is designed to equip the student with the knowledge to write a compelling business plan after thorough analysis has been done. This is a great initial course to get started on the road to being self-employed.
People – Management
Whether your business idea is manufacturing, distributing or servicing, people will be involved. As an entrepreneur you will have leadership characteristics; however, knowing how to manage time and a team, no matter how big or small, will pay dividends in the future. During a BTEC HND in Business you will study the skills needed to become an effective and efficient manager who gets the best out of people.
Marketing – Getting in Front of the Right People
The four Ps, Price, Product, Promotion and Place: that’s what marketing is about – and whether you are promoting yourself, an idea or your product or service, an understanding of your market and how to reach it is tantamount to success.
Money – A Head for Figures
If there’s one lesson that needs to be learnt it’s the art of cash flow. Knowing how to manage finances is incredibly important to the success of a business. The difference between gross and net profit, balance sheets and profit and loss accounts are all amongst the basics you need to know to get started. Developing your knowledge of finance will continue throughout your career. Knowing your stuff when it comes to money can save (and even make) you money in the long and short term. Try an A Level in Accounting to get you started.
Administration – Company Structure
If you already have a background in business studies you may want to take your studies further and develop yourself more towards business administration. This course will build on skills already learnt with more in-depth concepts such as management accounts, human resources and executive roles within a business structure. If you want to grow your business into a larger organisation this course is a must.
Remember: no one person can do everything, so if some of these tools are a challenge to you don’t be dismayed; the best business people surround themselves with talented team members to fill any knowledge gaps.