(NNPA)—No one ever said starting a business was easy. There doesn’t exist a successful entrepreneur that at one point didn’t struggle or doubt himself or herself.
As more and more people start or consider starting their own business, it is important that they understand the core steps that are required to launch successful ventures. These steps include spotting, assessing, selecting and executing upon opportunities.
The first step to entrepreneurship is identifying opportunities. The entrepreneur must be able to spot an unmet need. Oftentimes this need is seen through an inefficiency in the market—something that doesn’t work quite the way the entrepreneur would like it to. As a result, the entrepreneur figures out a potential solution and the opportunity is born.
Many entrepreneurs keep a journal that details the myriad opportunities they come across each day. While it takes a creative skill set to identify opportunities, it takes an analytical skill set to assess them. Each opportunity should be assessed to, among others, determine its likelihood of success and the financial and human resources required to execute upon it.
One of the biggest risks in selecting the wrong opportunity is opportunity cost; that is, the cost of having to forego another opportunity which may have been wildly successful. Entrepreneurs should assess their potential opportunities and come to a firm decision regarding which one to execute upon. Once selected, the entrepreneur cannot second guess themselves. To do so would lessen their focus and drive towards the selected opportunity, both of which are critical in achieving success.
Executing upon opportunities
Execution, or the ability to generate the most value out of an opportunity, requires a unique combination of creativity, passion, persistence, focus, responsibility, intelligence, planning and energy. The entrepreneur needs to know what tasks must be accomplished and be the main driver in seeing that these tasks are completed in an appropriate manner.
Understanding the four steps to entrepreneurship enables entrepreneurs to better understand the path that they are embarking upon. It is a path filled with potential pitfalls, but also filled with tremendous excitement, satisfaction and potential to build enormous value.
When launching and growing a venture, tons of opportunities and obstacles arise. Entrepreneurs that succeed are typically the ones that see the forest from the trees. They remain focused on the prize. They consider new opportunities, but also note that pursuing them often takes them away from accomplishing what they set out to do.
Hire smart. Companies succeed based on the people that comprise them. Virtually all people in a small, growing entrepreneurial company make key decisions and take actions that can significantly impact the success of the venture. As such, the people that are hired must be hired with care. They must be intelligent, responsible and equally importantly, have the enthusiasm to succeed and the ability to work in a fast-paced, rapidly changing entrepreneurial environment.
Communicate. So, you’ve followed the first two lessons. You have set company goals and remain focused on achieving them. You have hired great people. Now, it is important to effectively communicate. The laser-sharp focus and goals must be communicated to the great team. Management must share information, instill company values and vision, discuss each employee’s performance with them, and make employees feel that they are the company and that the company is them.
Win. Entrepreneurship, like basketball or football, is a game. There are winners and losers. There are narrow victories and landslides. There are Davids and Goliaths. Competition should be hard work, but it should also be fun. The company should be instilled with competitive spirit and be committed to winning. Winning may take many forms, such as hitting sales goals or turning a profit by a set date. Regardless of how winning is defined, it should be clearly articulated and everyone in the company should have a competitive, winner spirit instilled within them.
The above four lessons can help entrepreneurial ventures edge out their competition and enjoy the financial and emotional success that such ventures are capable of generating.
(Farrah Gray is author of the international best-seller “Reallionaire: Nine Steps to Becoming Rich from the Inside Out.” He is chairman of the Farrah Gray Foundation. Dr. Gray can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or his website at www.drfarrahgray.com.)