Unemployment remains one of the biggest socio-economic challenges in current times. This has been made worse with the recent hit that countries have experienced due to the global pandemic that has significantly slowed down the growth of economies across the globe.
Many people have lost their jobs while others have had their salaries reduced; all of this is putting pressure on employees to meet the expenses and demands of basic living. This is why people are now turning to entrepreneurship to make a living or expand their income by running a ‘business on the side’. Our Reporter Kawira Mutisya has researched and come up with several pointers on what makes an entrepreneur. These should play a role in guiding those just joining the bandwagon.
You cannot just wake up one morning and decide to venture into a particular business. It needs proper planning as well as aligning what you as an individual love to do with the demands available in the market. For instance, selling beauty products has to do with someone having a liking for/or using such products as well as the demand for such products in the market. One needs to do proper research on the various commodities and their sources as well as the best time to buy such products in order to increase their profit margin. Passion comes in when for instance a client wants you as business owner to explain why the potential client should purchase a particular product especially since it is not a necessity. You must passionately believe in your product and be able to convince your client to believe in it, too.
Things keep changing every so often. So an entrepreneur needs to be open to learn about these new changes and be willing to adopt them in order to remain relevant in the constantly changing times. It is also important to ask for opinions from experts in your area of specialisation so you can learn the tricks they have learnt over time that have made them so successful.
A good entrepreneur is one who is able to identify a problem, provide a solution and use creativity to make money while at it. This is especially important because people are constantly looking for products and services to make work easier and cut costs. An entrepreneur should always be on the lookout for new ideas they can employ in their area of specialisation to entice potential clients and make money. Doing the same thing over and over again can result in monotony and boredom. Potential clients are likely to pick up on that as well! Entrepreneurship is about creating value.
There is time for everything. There is time to start the business, time to introduce your winning idea to potential clients, time to allow clients to familiarise themselves with your products and time to make money. All this needs patience. You cannot expect to start making money immediately you launch a product. There are also days or years when times will be extremely hard and the purchasing power of your possible clients will drastically reduce. This should not discourage an entrepreneur. They should instead use this period to learn new ways of remaining relevant and focused even when times are extremely hard.
It is often said, you spend money to make money. Therefore nothing comes easy and if it does, it is highly likely that one might not appreciate the value of the success. An entrepreneur should be one who is willing to believe in their idea so much that they are willing to put their money at risk just to give it a chance. Finding success is rarely a straight path. One is bound to meet challenges, some even threatening to ‘throw in the towel’ in the early stages of starting a business. Therefore entrepreneurs need to take a series of steps to develop the right combination of skills needed to thrive in their specific area of specialisation.
Oftentimes, when we make money, we might be tempted to spend it right away. However, it is important to have self-discipline in that you are able to plough back your profit into the business and nurture it until it is self-sustainable. Discipline also comes in in terms of consistency. Do not be tempted to change the quality of your products or decrease their price in order to increase profit margin. Your clients need to know and believe that each time you will deliver the same good quality of products or services they loved from the very beginning. This will in turn bring you more clients in terms of referrals as well as return customers.
Many people have lost customers under mysterious circumstances. Their pricing might have been right, their product top notch, their customer service fantastic but lack of empathy has cost them return clientele. You need to be in a position to put yourself in the shoes of other people and try to understand what they may be feeling, then respond appropriately to that.
Being an entrepreneur does not just involve buying stuff and selling or investing in a business and expecting a profit. There is more to it that ensures the longevity of the business as well as guaranteed growth.