How To Think Like An Entrepreneur
The entrepreneur is commonly seen as a heroic figure in our society. He comes up with an idea, gathers a team, finds investors, takes risks, and builds a small business into a large one. Though romantic, the picture is not quite accurate.
The creative, brilliant, once-in-a-generation, break-all-the-rules, buck-the-trend, disrupt-the-establishment, up-by-the-bootstraps business innovator is no longer the mold in which most entrepreneurs are made.
Today, entrepreneurship is much more mundane and commonplace. It is normal for people to start their own businesses—even while holding down a full time job.
The ease with which information is accessed, the wide availability of start-up cash, and the unending expansion of niche markets make it nearly mandatory for everyone to become an entrepreneur of some kind.
No matter what line of business you’re in, there is a way of improving it or of using it to build something completely different. It is possible to be an entrepreneur on the job, as an employee, and an entrepreneur away from it, as the owner-operator of your own company.
But to become successful as an entrepreneur you must start thinking like one.
Entrepreneurs are systematic practitioners of innovation. The nineteenth century French economist Jean Baptise Say said that the entrepreneur “shifts economic resources out of an area of lower productivity and into an area of higher productivity and greater yield”.
To be an entrepreneur, you must cultivate a mind constantly attuned to possible sources of wealth creation. You must be always on the lookout for change and newness and ever-ready to take full advantage of them.
Developing the following 4 habits of mind will help you in this regard. They will help you see and think about business, people, capital, and other resources in a way that presents new opportunities for entrepreneurship.
1. Analyze the Unexpected
People tend to associate the unexpected with bad events. It can be that, of course, but what seems disruptive can also lead to success.
Let’s say you’ve set up your business and launched your product. A few months down the line, sales are much in excess of what you expected. Your next move is to determine what that means.
Have you underestimated the demand for this product? And if so, what else may your target market be in need of?
Answering these questions can inspire new lines of product development and lead to new sources of revenue and profit.
2. Be Familiar with Industry Changes
Industry structures are not as sound as they once were. They are brittle and in constant flux. As soon as some process, scheme, or best practice becomes widely accepted, someone comes up with a new idea that is more cost-effective and value-enhancing.
You cannot afford to be outdone by your rivals on these fronts. You must get into the habit of investigating new ideas in sales, marketing, recruitment, organization, and production; for one or more of them may actually end up producing the right results.
3. Embrace New Technologies
In connection with the point above, you must keep on top of technological advancements. Even if you trained as an IT guy, you may not be as current with what’s new once you’ve turned your attention to the management and administration of business.
This is especially important in marketing. SEO and online marketing has advanced to the point at which it is now the main method of getting new clients. However, the technology is progressing at a rapid rate.
You need to stay ahead of our competition in online campaign strategy. Press releases, blog posts, and an active social media presence are essential elements in this field.
The best way to keep up on e-innovations and what can be done with them is to either maintain a steady inflow of fresh talent from the IT world or outsource your tech-heavy operations to specialists companies
4. Design an Organization for Entrepreneurial Work
To build a sustainable company you must create the right working conditions. You and your partners should not be the only ones thinking like entrepreneurs. The positions you establish and the people you hire should also maintain this frame of mind.
Everyone in your company should be willing and able to perceive change as an opportunity rather than a threat. Indeed, one of the best ways to make your company thrive is to train and educate everyone in it to think like an entrepreneur—to the point that it becomes second nature to them.
You should design an organization that incorporates a diverse workforce of individuals who can take initiative, adapt quickly to new circumstances, and systematically improve their own performance and that of the company.
The great problem of business is getting more out of less, that is, pushing, pressing, and driving your resources—people, money, facilities, and technologies—to yield more than they seem, on the surface, to possess.
Once you’ve got that main aim in mind, the task of entrepreneurship is greatly simplified. Entrepreneurship is not a feeling, wish, inspiration, or character trait. It is a discipline that involves solving business problems in a certain way.
To think like an entrepreneur means seeing markets, and the industries that serve them, in a particular light.
It means looking out for and embracing the potentially radical implications of disruption. It means embracing the promise of new technologies and doing your utmost to exploit them.
As a 21st century entrepreneur, you are unlike your predecessors in that you have immediate access to markets throughout the country and around the world. You also possess an unprecedented amount of information about your potential customers.
All you need do to make a success of a new venture is to adopt the right habits of mind. Freedom and fulfillment are within your reach and your grasp.
If you are ready to stop being an employee and start being an employer, then it is time to change the way you see and think about the commercial world around you. Doing so is the first step to becoming a successful entrepreneur.
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About Christopher Reid Chris was born in Washington, D.C. and lives in Britain. He works as a blogger, essayist, and novelist. His first book, Tea with Maureen, has just been published.