Many people have a lot of myths about what being an entrepreneur is and how it will shape/affect their life that are simply not true. the best businessman in Guide and these are the seven biggest myths that I continuously hear.
1. Being an Entrepreneur is too risky for me.
Starting your own business in these days is not too much more risky than trying for any other corporate job. At a corporate job you can be laid off at any time, how to become a successful entrepreneur in this competitive market have benefits cut with no reason, and work long overtime without being compensated for that. If you are student as well, the risk can’t be that bad. It’s not like you have a mortgage or family to support if it fails.
2. I am too young to start my own company
Being young is not a negative, in fact in most cases it’s a positive! When your young you have the passion energy and enthusiasm that is needed to work 14 hour days day in and day out for a company you believe in. Most older people with more experience just don’t want to do that any more.
3. I have no experience
Again, the best businessman this can work towards your advantage. Your lack of experience means that you are looking at everything with a fresh set of eyes. You wont get stuck in the “we have always done it that way” kind of thinking that can stop other entrepreneurs. Running your own company will also build much more valuable experiences than a job flipping burgers will at your age.
4. It is not the right time for me to launch a business.
As a student you have a schedule that is completely flexible and large blocks of time between classes and on breaks to start a business. Campuses have tons of resources you can harness as well, business successful entrepreneurs so there really has never been a better time than now.
5. If I am running a business my grades will fall.
Running a business takes organization and discipline. If you are organized and disciplined in one area of your life it will probably pass over to the other areas of your life as well. Many student entrepreneurs I know actually report their grades increasing once they started a business.
6. Student businesses are just small rinky-dink operations
Some student business that started as just rinky-dink operations were Dell, Google, and Microsoft. You have probably heard of those companies right? That is because they were great ideas and hard work created products that had potential to expand from their small beginnings. Your business can too!
7. I don’t have any money! I can’t start a company
Everyone seems to think only millionaires start companies. This is simply not true. Most companies are started with the founders savings and no investment capital. Start with what you can and work hard. Things will come together if you want them to come together. You will be amazed at what you can do!
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It is a well-understood axiom of the business world that there are two ways to improve the bottom line of the business. Stated simply, those two ways are to make money or to cut costs. Now no business can cost cut their way to profitability. But by the same token, waste and excessive internal costs for any business can eat away any profits that business is enjoying. So to get ahead in a competitive business environment, both methods must be employed.
When a business turns its eye to cost cutting, there is a stated or unstated business objective that the business owners will discover significant bleeding of revenues that are going on within the systems of doing business. So if those systems can be improved to eliminate that waste, the business would literally make money from the inside out because the overhead of the business would drop so dramatically.
The usual progress of such a cost saving campaign by a business is to find “the low hanging fruit” first. By that we mean that in order to satisfy the demands of management, middle management will identify superficial savings in hopes of satisfying the requirement. Hence switching from disposable cups to mugs or cutting back on break room amenities often go on the chopping block first.
Sadly, while there may be some superficial savings to be found in such places, the significant introduction of efficiencies for any business lie at a deeper level and take a more in-depth process of locating problems with how things get done internally. The methodology of finding these “money pits” within a business is often called “Process Improvement.” The concept of process improvement is to diagram a particular business process from inception to completion and document the stages it goes through, the handing over of authority for the process and to pin point places where inefficient methods are causing excessive cost in executing that process en route to the final stage of process completion.
Routinely, the areas of business structure that most often identified as being candidates for a process improvement examination are…
* Excessive overhead between departments. Departments within a business are notorious for taking on the atmosphere of a fiefdom and becoming resistant if not suspicious of other departments in the same company. When that happens, department managers will introduce paperwork and unnecessary processing to cause “work” to move to his or her department from another or for completed jobs to continue along their path. This excessive overhead can be costly at the department level and bog down the business as a unit enough to actually reduce the profitability of the organization.
* Communication problems. A business process moves through the organization as each department or entity adds value to the process through to the completion of the job. However if communications between departments or people along the process chain are flawed, a process can grind to a halt and wait for hours if not days before the missed communication is discovered and the work is put into the cycle to be completed. This slow down or break down in communications can be a tremendous drain on the company. To correct the problem, modern tools of communication should be reviewed so each significant person along the chain is quickly made aware of work that needs to be done and can signal to the next agent that their step is complete and that the process is moving to the next stage.
* An inefficient IT infrastructure. Out of date computer programs that are not integrated with each other cause needless work to be done to take data from one system and moving it into the next computer program only to be entered again at the next stop along the chain. Standardization and integration of data and systems will introduce huge efficiencies to the process.
By streamlining the process of moving a business requirement from inception to conclusion, we can remove much of the inefficiency and waste that has become inherent to that process. We can introduce up to date integration designs both at the IT and process level to quickly move the process from one department to the next upon completion. The outcome is a streamlined organization that is no longer “bleeding money” due to inefficiencies and as such is making money “from the inside out”.
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A new idea is merely the combination of two or more old ideas. The creation of a new idea is the critical first step in establishing any business.
People who dream of setting up their own business but don’t succeed, generally fall into one of three categories:
too few ideas
too many ideas or
waiting for the ‘perfect idea’.
Any of these three states of mind may hinder the budding entrepreneur.
‘Would be entrepreneurs’ with too few ideas.
These individuals typically say “if only I had ‘an idea’ for a business.”
Just remember that if you say you don’t have ‘an idea’ it really means you have ‘no-idea’! If this applies to you, you need to get cracking on that ‘first idea’ fast! As soon as you are able to dream something up, you’ll have the essential ingredient that all successful businesses are built upon.
‘Would be entrepreneurs’ with too many ideas.
Can you ever have ‘too many ideas’ I hear you say? Well if your creative process leaves you feeling overwhelmed for choice then it’s definitely a possibility! Many highly creative people experience inertia in business purely because they have so many ideas. They don’t know where to start or which idea to implement first!
If you fall into this category, just pick one of your ideas (it doesn’t need to be your best one!) and begin to mentally develop it further. Consider the first key steps you need to take to push your business idea forward. Remember that you don’t have to have a 100 page business plan or a fully formed idea before you can start taking action! All you need is a little focus.
‘Would be entrepreneurs’ waiting for the perfect idea.
This is the equivalent of expecting to know how to swim once you’ve found the perfect swimming costume.
If you fall into this category, even if you do manage to find the ‘perfect idea’, ask yourself whether or not you are going to have the right skill base to get it off the ground. Many successful entrepreneurs have failed many times before their ‘perfect idea’ came along. It is through being prepared to fall down and stand up again that you develop the tenacity required to succeed in business.
Stay Ahead of the Game.
Whatever your circumstances, whether you are in business already or looking to start a business, creating ideas and being innovative will help keep you on top of your game. The way we are doing business globally is changing at such a rapid rate that if you don’t consistently innovate, you will soon be out of business.
Cultivate your Innovation skills.
All the entrepreneurs that I have met have been ‘possibility thinkers’. By this I mean they keep their minds open to new opportunities and new ways of thinking. The best way for you to cultivate this ability within yourself is to spend time around other creative thinkers. Challenge each other to innovate.
A Simple Idea Creating Exercise.
Two nights ago I had a brainstorming session with a couple of entrepreneurial friends over a meal. We did a little 5 minute exercise where each wrote down as many ideas as they could on how to create a million pounds within a year. The quality of the initial ideas was absolutely irrelevant. What was really valuable was what came afterwards, when each person read out their individual lists and we discussed how these particular ideas could work.
We had a lot of fun, a lot of laughs and generated a couple of really great business ideas (as well as plenty of ordinary ones!), purely by focusing our brains to answer a simple question.
So how many entrepreneurs does it take to change a light bulb?
Well I’m not entirely sure on the answer to that one! But I do know how many ideas it takes to start a business…
Copyright Damien Senn 2005. All rights reserved.