Refers to the discovery and exploitation of opportunities or to the creation of enterprise. Entrepreneurial behavior is seen as behavior that manages to combine innovation, risk-taking and pro-activeness (Miller, 1983).
Keywords: Discovery, Exploitation,Risk-Taking,proactiveness
Food for thoughts: Do you see any opportunities around you that you can explore now? What are the risks that you need to face in order to realize this? Is there a first step that you can take now?
Passion and Vision
In the book (Dangote’s Ten Commandment on Money authored by Peter Anosike),the wealthiest man in Africa,Aliko Dangote stated that the first thing you need as an entrepreneur before looking for any resource is your passion for the business that you want to do. He explicitly states that, you should not only be driven by the desire to get money alone, but be passionate about what to do because it is passion that will keep you going in the midst of adversity.
On the other aspect, the passion should be turned into a clear vision of what the entrepreneur wants to achieve in his undertaking. This is important because at the moment of resource mobilization and support seeking, the clarity of the entrepreneurial vision that someone has, it is very important in order to have the vision buyout from those whom the idea will be shared.
It doesn't matter how level of interest that someone has, at the end it is the specific competence in the industry that he wants to venture in that matters. Doing your personal competence analysis is key in determining how fast you are going to succeed as an entrepreneur. Define the industry that you want to venture in and ask yourself of the competence that is required and do your personal competence analysis to determine how well you are vested to become successful.
This will help you to identify your own gaps and determine the best way to address them as an entrepreneur.
Organization and Delegation
While many new businesses start as a one-man show, successful entrepreneurship is characterized by quick and stable growth. This means coordinating with other people to do specialized jobs. Being an entrepreneur it doesn't mean being able to do everything by yourself, you need to create an ability to determine the right people to be involved in every task that you have.
Effective entrepreneurship requires you to be able to understand what is urgent and important and otherwise. It requires you to understand the high value task that needs your participation 100% and those that are of low value that you will need to delegate. The more you spend your time on the high value-task, the more you become successful as an entrepreneur.
Risk and Rewards
Entrepreneurship requires risk. The measurement of this risk equates to the amount of time and money you invest into your business. However, this risk also tends to relate directly to the rewards involved. As an entrepreneur you need to understand that, the, more risk you are willing to face the more rewards will be coming to you.
In every opportunity, you will be faced with several risk, don’t quit when risk arises, press on and face the challenges until your dream is realized.Remember that if things were easy, then everyone would be successful by now.
One of the challenging issue to many of the entrepreneurs is to wait until they have more than enough resources to start.However,many of those who have become successful entrepreneurs have proved that ,your ability to start with what you have and right where you are is the key to your success. The usual principle of all successful entrepreneurs is “Don’t wait to become big in order to start but start so that you can become big”. Is there any idea that you have been thinking of starting implementing it but you have postponing? Can you decide to start it today?
Always remember this quote from Mark Twain-"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
Though many want to be entrepreneurs, but it is undisputed truth that not all entrepreneurs are of the same caliber. Understanding your own entrepreneurial type will help you to understand how to position yourself better for success in your field.
Kimanzi Constable, the renowned VIP contributor to the international business online site (entrepreneur), established the most common four types of entrepreneurs that exist.
Objective: In this module you will learn how to start your business through idea generation,analyzing your business environment to determine right entrepreneurial moves and how to sell your ideas to possible investors.
The starting of any business is on the clear determination of which business idea to work upon. There are several ways to get a business idea which you can use. In the first section we will learn how you can identify and get a new business idea from your current environment.
Step 1: Train your brain to be opportunity-seeking oriented.
The very first step in identifying idea that works is to train your brain to be alert in seeking idea. This simply means to make a clear decision that everywhere you will be you will carry a question in your mind-"What is the business opportunity that can be found here?"
This will create a sense of alert in your mind that will help you to locate every idea that is available in your localities. Many people can’t find business idea because they have not oriented their mind to seek for ideas around them. If you want to get business idea always carry this question with you, "Can I find a business opportunity here"
The desire to have a business is good but is it is just the starting point of your journey as an entrepreneur. The next move after you have understood what it takes to be an entrepreneur and get prepared to face all the challenges on the way, it will now require you to start your business.
Step 2: Identify the problems that need solutions
The second step to get your business idea is to start noticing every problem that needs to have a solution. The best way to do this is to be listing every problem you come across that you know it will need a solution of some kind.
On the other hand you can easily get problems by looking at the challenges that surround your daily life, talking to your colleagues and looking at the products that can be improved.
Problem can be identified as a result of the deficiency in the existing product, to improve the existing process or addressing the service gap that you have noticed.
Step 3: Think of possible solutions
Get as many as problem you can and use brainstorming sessions to list on the possible solutions that you can find. For each problem that you have identified, try as much as you can to list all the possible solutions that you can think of, and at this moment the focus is not how the process of the solution will work but rather to convince yourself that you can think of any solution for the existing problem.
At this point you might need to bring on board some people whom you respect and you know can add value to your brainstorming process. If you have found any idea that you can’t think of a solution yet, let it not slow you down, this simply shows that you need more time to think on it. Remember that, your focus should not be on getting good ideas but rather bring every idea you can find of yourself and they will be worked upon bit by bit.
In this process you may choose to narrow the problem you are working with on particular industry or on particular market niche to enhance your focus.
Step 4: Narrow your idea to one
After working through on much idea that you managed to get, at this point try to get one main idea that you want to work with. This is important, because as a starting entrepreneur, it is not possible to roll out multiple ideas implementation plan due to resource limitation.
You can use the following criteria on choosing the ideas of which to start working with:
Congratulations: Once you are comfortable with your business idea then as an entrepreneur you have managed to achieve one of the most important step in your entrepreneurial journey. From here, then the next step is to understand your business environment.
Your success as an entrepreneur will so much depend on your clear understanding of the business environment that you want to venture in and the various forces that are involved. For you to decide on whether to make a move to a certain industry, you will need to examine the profitability of the industry and how you are going to make it easy for you to get in and succeed.
The common model that can easily help you to make this decision is Porter’s Five Forces Model that was originally published in Michael Porter's book, "Competitive Strategy: Techniques for Analyzing Industries and Competitors" in 1980.
As you are about to start your business, this model helps you as a tool to analyze your particular industry that you are about to enter and to exactly know if you will enjoy the profitability that is found therein.
Competitive Rivalry: This looks at the number and strength of your competitors. How many rivals do you have? Who are they, and how does the quality of their products and services compare with yours?
Where rivalry is intense, companies can attract customers with aggressive price cuts and high-impact marketing campaigns. Also, in markets with lots of rivals, your suppliers and buyers can go elsewhere if they feel that they're not getting a good deal from you.
On the other hand, where competitive rivalry is minimal, and no one else is doing what you do, then you'll likely have tremendous strength and healthy profits.
Supplier Power: This is determined by how easy it is for your suppliers to increase their prices. How many potential suppliers do you have? How unique is the product or service that they provide, and how expensive would it be to switch from one supplier to another?
The more you have to choose from, the easier it will be to switch to a cheaper alternative. But the fewer suppliers there are, and the more you need their help, the stronger their position and their ability to charge you more. That can impact your profit.
Buyer Power: Here, you ask yourself how easy it is for buyers to drive your prices down. How many buyers are there, and how big are their orders? How much would it cost them to switch from your products and services to those of a rival? Are your buyers strong enough to dictate terms to you?
When you deal with only a few savvy customers, they have more power, but your power increases if you have many customers.
Threat of Substitution: This refers to the likelihood of your customers finding a different way of doing what you do. For example, if you supply a unique software product that automates an important process, people may substitute it by doing the process manually or by outsourcing it. A substitution that is easy and cheap to make can weaken your position and threaten your profitability.
Threat of New Entry: Your position can be affected by people's ability to enter your market. So, think about how easily this could be done. How easy is it to get a foothold in your industry or market? How much would it cost, and how tightly is your sector regulated?
If it takes little money and effort to enter your market and compete effectively, or if you have little protection for your key technologies, then rivals can quickly enter your market and weaken your position. If you have strong and durable barriers to entry, then you can preserve a favorable position and take fair advantage of it.
The effective analysis of these forces will help you as an entrepreneur to understand on how to position yourself in the new market that you are about to enter.
Understanding the entrepreneurship concept and knowing how to start your own business should be followed by your ability to plan and organization your business to ensure sustainable growth. One of the key weakness of many start-ups is their inability to successfully organize their business in a way that will make it scalable for expansion and growth.
One way of ensuring that your business enjoys the power of growth is by preparing a proper plan on where you are taking your business. Generally there are about 8 key components of which you need to include as you are preparing your business plan.
In this area you include a brief summary of your business which should answer key questions like: What you do, the descriptions of your products/services, and your progress at this time and your major future plans. This is your business pitch in writing, start with something that is unique of which will take the attention of any reader.
The rest of this part should bear the brief history of your company story and introduce your specific products or services. It is important to share your accomplishments so far and clear show what you expect to achieve in future.
In this point you want to show the relevance of your idea, and the easiest way to show that is by explaining how critical is the problem that you are trying to solve and how unique is the solution you are offering through your business.
Do your homework and show some factual evidence out of your research. Make you convince people that you are so aware of your industry you are getting in and you are so much updated on what is happening in particular.
The point here is not to show that you are about to solve a big problem that faces the world, but rather you have a specific solution to a valid problem in the community.
At this section you will need to clearly show how your product or service is being used. Perhaps you might need to use some drawings for easier understanding to your audience, the drawings can illustrate how to use or the benefit of your product/service.
If you have already tested your product in the market, you can use this area to show the “Before” and “after” experience of the customers that have already tested.
Describe your target customer based on personality type, income level, age, gender etc. Again, this shows you’re knowledgeable about the industry and market. Try as much as you can to define your ideal market and never try to solve everybody’s problem.
The more specific you get at this stage, the easier will it be for you to create your marketing strategy.
It is very rare to come up with an idea which is completely out of competitor. Moreover, even when your product/service is unique and new, there will be some substitute products that people will have to switch from. For this reason is very important to analyze your competitors so that you can easily define your key successful factor (KSF) in that particular business.
Identify the business of your size and interest that exist in your area and along your product/Idea. This will help you also to test the uniqueness of your idea.
At this section you will try to explain on details of how your business works-This covers the whole process of acquiring raw materials, transporting them, processing if it is involved,storage,delivering them to customer, payment system etc.
Though it may differ from one business to another, generally all business models should be able to cover the following components:
Revenue Model – How are you going to make money? This will require you to think exactly on how you are going to make a profit margin.
Development Model – How are you creating your product? If it’s a physical good(s), describe the sourcing or manufacturing process. If it’s a service, explain how you or your team will deliver.
Distribution Model – How do you plan to sell your product? Will you be selling directly to customers, selling wholesale, using distributors, etc.?
Marketing Model – How will you attract and retain customers? Describe all of your marketing initiatives, be it online advertising, billboards, foot traffic, etc.
Operations Model – What will your day-to-day look like? This is where you describe how your team will function on a daily basis, including the key positions and responsibilities.
At this point you will explain what your team is made off, this is important to build confidence of anyone who reads your plan. Touch their background in professional experience and education as well as their achievements.
At this point you will need to show how profitable it is for someone to invest in your business or to consider you a credit worthy business.
If you have already operated your business for some time you might share your financial history and projection.
However, if you have not yet started your business, you might share your projection on cash flow of your business.
These eight step should be enough to help yourself and anybody to have a very clear understanding of your business.
One of the challenges of every small business is getting a great way of organizing their business activities without wasting time and missing their goals. In this section we are going to see, the best seven practices that you can use a small business owner to get on top of your business activities and insuring your own success.
As a business owner, you will need clearly state the goal of your business in all range: Long term, medium term and long term as well. Get your head down and write your business goals and state a clear plan on how are you going to achieve them, this will help you to be focused. The best to facilitate this is also to ensure that you keep them in a place where they will so visible to you every day. In planning your goals and plans, don’t aim for the perfection but rather to enable you to start and stay focused.
Running a small business can lead to fatigue, which is mainly caused by the small labor force, rejection and sometimes failure to have breaks to rejuvenate yourself. In order to ensure that you don’t lose track in whatever you are doing then you need to find yourself the best way of motivating yourself and everyone around you. Always remember that, the road to entrepreneurship is filled with a lot of challenges that you will need to constantly overcome them to ensure your success.
To ensure your success as a business owner, you will need to maintain a bigger picture of your plans for the year, Month, Week and everyday.However, the most important way to carry yourself successful is to have your daily activities very well managed.
Ensure that you keep your daily list of activities every previous night to ensure that you are on top of every situation. Don’t keep this in your head, put every item down so that you will not forget anything.
You can also make use of electronic planners on your electronic devices and use reminders for your most important events. This will ensure that you keep all activities in control and nothing goes wrong for any reason.
Your office items should be so well organized that you don’t get impaired in efficiency and effectiveness through wastage of time locating items when they are needed.
To help you in this you can use the famous 5S Kaizen Method that is commonly used in Business Process Improvement (BPI).
This is a productivity method whose name is derived from the five first letters of Japanese words: Seiri, Seiton, Seiso, Seiketsu and Shitsuke. The method was originally intended to organize a workspace for efficiency.
This is a productivity method whose name is derived from the five first letters of Japanese words: Seiri, Seiton, Seiso, Seiketsu and Shitsuke. The method was originally intended to organize a workspace for efficiency.
One of the best ways to keep yourself on top of your business is to ensure that you always keep your promises to customers, suppliers and employees. Whenever you keep your commitments and promises to your customers you give confidence to your stakeholders that you are well organized and trustworthy.
Whenever you deliver on time to your customers you ensure yourself of the repeat orders and advertising by the word of mouth. To grow your business you will need to be a man/woman of your words.
According to the Management expert, PeterDrucker, the purpose of any business is to keep and sustain customers.
To ensure that you grow your business then it will take you to keep a close relationship with your customers. Being close to your customers will show that you care for them and not only to your profit. Get time to call them to find out how they enjoyed your product/service, send them email about new products/services or offers.
If you can take note some of their special occasion, birthdays, weddingsetc. show them that you care. This will make your business relationship very strong and will create a need for reciprocity for them to buy more and to recommend more people to your services and products.
Your computer is your extra brain that is meant to reduce your time and energy in whatever you do, therefore make maximum use of it. You can use your computer to do your accountings, inventory, delivery scheduling and many more.
The more you make use of these practices in your daily business management, the more you will increase efficiency and effectiveness for maximum performance.
Objective: The Main objective of this module is to ensure that you have a clear understanding of what marketing entails and acquire all the necessary insights to grow your business through marketing and sales skills.
Marketing is defined by American Marketing Association as defined activity that covers the processes of creating,communicating,delivering and exchanging of offerings that have value for customers,clients,Partners and society at large.
Therefore in understanding the marketing process,there are four key components that needs to be covered:
Creating: This refers to a process of relating with suppliers and customers in order to create offerings of value to them Communicating: After you create your value, it is right time now to describe the value of the offering that you offer to your customers and keep learning on what they want. It refers taking time to describe your value to potential and current customers as well letting your customers get to know where they can find your product.
Delivering: After the value is clearly communicated, the next step is to ensure that the offerings reach customers so that they can optimize the value. Many entrepreneurs they end up promising value but they don’t work on the details of getting their value to the market so that the user can benefit from it.
Delivering of your product/Service has to ensure that you help the user to understand how to get the best out of your product on using it and he will get your after service every time he wants. Always remember that your value is delivered through your supply chain, therefore,keep an upper hand to every component in your delivery chain.
Exchanging: This is the stage that the value is traded by the offerings. This is a point where the customer exchanges his cost of the service to the perceived value of your product/service.
However it is so important to understand that the traditional marketing approach was based on Edmund Jerome McCarthy definition (February 20, 1928 – December 3, 2015),who was an American marketing professor and author. He proposed the concept of the 4 Ps marketing mix in his 1960 book Basic Marketing: A Managerial Approach
This approach covers the four items on the following perspectives:
Note that the main deficiency of this traditional way of marketing definition is on the weakness of not having value at the center of the marketing process.
Can you think on how you can create and increase value that you produce for your customers through this knowledge?
With the increasing number of mobile users in the world right now, there is no doubt that failure to use digital platform can lead to big failures in business performance. As an entrepreneur you will need to ensure that you become conversant in how digital marketing works and make use of it maximally.
The new ways of doing marketing for your products/service involve social media networks, smartphones, live streaming which have made all the traditional ways of marketing very obsolete. For you to remain competitive in the market, you will need to quickly adopt the new ways of digital marketing.
To make the best use of the digital platform, you need to observe the following important tips:
i-Build a strong Media Presence
Just understand that consumers today spend more time of their lives with social media rather than reading newspaper or watching television.Therefore, for you to be able to reach them you need to create a strong presence of your media platforms which are being used by your targeted customers. After defining your market niche, you will need to determine which social platforms are more likely to be used by your customers; Facebook,Twitter,Google+ and LinkedIn.
In creating your strong online presence you will need to focus on your relevance and consistency of your content. These matters a lot and they can quickly help you to win your customers. Make sure you observe the relevance of what you share on your platform to your audience interest and the particular social media experience.
It is important to understand that most of the people in social media are there to interact to their friends and getting to know what is happening around the world, they are not there to be sold anything.Therefore,to win this, and it is recommended that you limit your content to relevant staffs that will help them and limit your products/service adverts to only 30% to all your posts.
On the other hand ensure that you maintain your consistency on your posting to create an expectations from your readers.
Maintain Great Content for your customers
The next important thing you need to observe is to make sure that you maintain the creation of great content for your customers. With many options on social media,it is important to distinguish yourself from the rest by producing high quality content to your customers: Have your content in order and well written and make sure that is useful to your readers.
The best way to get a return visitor to your platform is to have great content that answer their questions and provides the solutions they are looking for. Quality content is the key issue in getting your customer keeping visiting your site.
To ensure that you give a various tastes to your customers, you can mix videos, infographics and straight text.
In the desire to widen your business through digital strategy it is important to avoid some common mistakes that many of the entrepreneurs commit as they engage themselves. Be smart enough not to allow these mistakes to slow or kill your growth.
The key issue in marketing is lead conversion of your content. If your content is well written should be able to serve this purpose successful. If you find that your digital content fails to convert your readers into buyers, it might be due to various reasons, like:
Always when you share your content, keep your customer in mind and remember what content that is of value to them.
Though you are convinced to yourself that you have great content, it is important to understand that customers buy from you to satisfy their needs. For this reason, your content creation should focus on how to attract their attention and align it towards their passion so that they feel that their interests are at the centre of the transactions and not trying to force them just to buy.
Outbound marketing refers to you becoming irrelevant in the market and allowing your prospective customers to search other alternatives available in the market. In order to remain relevant you need to position yourself as inbound content marketing provider, where you can provide as much as insights to your customers and share with them the value provided in large extent possible.
This is one of the key mistakes that many entrepreneurs make when they produce their online content. Though you have key areas of your aspirations but always remember that, customers visit your platform because of their own aspirations not yours.
For this reason, to enable you to create a great content every time it is important to find out the aspirations of your customers by researching on what other successful entrepreneurs offer for them, reading their comments and follow up on various researches done in your industry.
The days of automation of content is far away over, nowadays each of the customer interacts with you want to have a personal experience. For this reason you need to design your content in a way that addresses this need.
Small touches of personalization like mentioning their names, replying to their comments or like something they said, will make a great difference as it will be closing a huge gap with your customer.
For every dollar that is spent on Marketing should reflect a return in terms of sales, in business understanding this is called-Return on Investment (ROI).Many entrepreneurs, they majorly focus on populating their digital campaign marketing but few take time to evaluate the positive impact their campaigns bring to their business sales.
Evaluating your campaign strategy will so much help you to understand what best work for your customer and how best to engage your campaign to produce greater result. It is therefore important to track and analyze the impact of your campaign. It is good to know that, for most of the social media nowadays they have created very easy ways to help you analyze your engagements, you can use this for easy.
These entrepreneurs help to improve an existing product or production process and can offer suggestions to enhance the use of better technology.
These types of entrepreneurs are skeptical about the changes to be made in the organization. They wait for some time before the innovation becomes well tested by others and do not result in a huge loss due to its failure.