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Becoming an entrepreneur

Kareen Cox
Kareen Cox
Career Writer

Do you want to be an entrepreneur? Many individuals dream of starting their own business. Indeed, the advantages to doing so are numerous, including independence, personal satisfaction, control, financial rewards, recognition, self-esteem and achievement.

But, before you make the life-changing decision to start your own business, you should carefully weigh the advantages and disadvantages.

In addition, you will need to determine whether you have the personality traits that are needed to ensure your business is a success. Successful entrepreneurs tend to have the characteristics:

Strong leadership

Starting a new company can be a harrowing experience full of uncertainty and risk. Successfully bringing a small organisation through these trying periods requires a lot of leadership skills.

Specialised knowledge of your field

It is easier to start a successful business if you have deep knowledge of the business field that you are interested in pursuing. About half of all home-based start-ups are launched by people who decide to use the knowledge, which they gained from their previous work experience in a particular niche area.

Administrative skills

Most start-up entrepreneurs cannot afford to hire an administrative assistant right away, who will organise their office space, file their papers and make the necessary phone calls. At least for the first year, you will need to do all the work in terms of billing, printing invoices, collecting payments and managing your receivables.

Sales and marketing skills

As you plan your business, you must think about how to reach your target audience and the people who may need your products or services. This entails understanding the concept of marketing, and using the tools that your budget permits. You must be able to understand what people want, listen to their needs, and interact well with other people.

Financial know-how

You are in business to make money. Therefore, you must have the ability to handle money well. This includes knowing how to stretch the limited start-up capital that you have, spending only when needed and being satisfied with the equipment and supplies that you currently have. You also need to identify the best pricing structure for your business in order to get the best kind of return for your products or services.

Kareen Cox is the resources co-ordinator in the career development services department, HEART Trust/NTA.

Self-motivation skills

To succeed in business, you must be a self-starter with a clear goal in mind. You must have confidence in yourself and in your ideas before you can market them to the public. More important, you must be willing to focus your energy and work hard enough to make your enterprise a success.

Lessening the pain

Starting a business is never easy, even if you have the perfect background and possess all the above skills. Having all the needed skills and qualities will not totally ensure your success, but having these basic skills will, at least, lessen the pain of the start-up process, giving your business a greater chance to grow and prosper.
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