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Entrepreneurship 101: How to Know if You Have What It Takes

Thinking about starting your journey as an entrepreneur? Here are some things to consider.

There are so many creative people with great business ideas and even better work ethics that launch small businesses and still fail. Why is that? Unfortunately, it is because to become a successful entrepreneur you need more than that.

While it is certainly true that a strong dedication to hard work, as well as an idea that is unique and profitable matter a great deal, so do many other things.

What goes on behind the scenes during the development phases will really test your limits. However, the reward will be a better understanding of what it’s going to take to truly make it.

How Thorough is Your Plan?

It bears repeating that you are going to need more than a great idea. You are going to need a thorough and detailed business plan. Knowing how to write a business plan is not something that many innately know how to do starting off on you entrepreneurship journey. Do not be discouraged if you need assistance, templates, or even professional consultation during this stage. Instead, you should be encouraged that you already know how important your initial plan will be so much so that you understand you might not be able to develop one alone. 

Some key things to include are your:

  • Executive Summary
  • Market and Competitive Analysis Reports
  • Marketing and Sales Strategies
  • Human Resources and Personnel Plans
  • Financial Projections

You might find it odd that you have to include things like describing the perfect candidate for a position. This role may not even exist yet. But, this is the phase of entrepreneurship where you have the bandwidth to really think about these things. It is important to get those ideas on paper.

Even if you plan to run a sole proprietorship for the duration of your business, it’s important to think about things like potential outsourcing needs that may come up down the line.

With high profit margins, sustainability, and growth being your likely main goals, it’s important to determine now what resources you will need to get there no matter how far off that feels. 

How Healthy Are Your Financial Habits?

Money isn’t everything, but it definitely matters especially in an entrepreneurship capacity. You need to make sure that the habits you have concerning money management in your personal life are healthy and consistent. This must be done prior to taking on the additional responsibility of a small business.

You can hire a business manager if you want to. With this in mind, it is critical that you understand what is going on in your own company. This is true even if you are not the one doing the management. Let’s talk about debt for example. While debt is a naturally occurring element in many people’s lives, are your strategies for handing it working for, or against you?

If you went to college, you probably have some looming student loans. This is a perfect example of how to leverage your debt into a financial strategy that works for you. The terms for repayment and the interest rate you agreed on when you initially took out the loan have likely changed and it’s well worth your time and energy to figure out if something like a student loan refinance can help you save money each month. If you refinance student loans with NaviRefi, the new loan you will be responsible for will likely create pockets of cash that you can then use towards your small business.

Since this is money that you were already counting on utilizing each month, it makes sense to stick to the same budget in an effort to avoid a lifestyle creep. The most successful entrepreneurs know not to start the cycle of splurging right away, or in this case, before you even launch your company. 

How Much Support Do You Have?

The degree to which you will have to dedicate your time to being a successful entrepreneur is quite high. It is important that you understand that you are going to have to make some choices and personal life sacrifices to succeed at entrepreneurship. Accepting this will give your small business the best shot at success.

You should consider the circles of support that you have in your personal life. In addition to this, think about people you might need to have conversations with about any changes that come as a result of this new element of your life. 

Keeping your mental health and resilience strong is not something that you necessarily have to bear all on your own. There are people in your life who want to help you succeed. They will do whatever it takes to make this happen. Some things to consider are, romantic relationships, parenthood responsibilities, and in some cases, keeping your day job.

If you have a spouse at home, sit down with them and discuss the potential need for a shift within your household to support your entrepreneurship goals. This is a great time to talk about things like quality time as well. Don’t lose sight of the relationships in your life that are a priority. Instead, figure out how to pivot so that everyone’s needs are still met without sacrificing your entrepreneurial goals.

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