Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Why people become entrepreneurs

You’re frustrated, tired and stressed. You’ve realized that your boss is only interested in squeezing more work out of you and that your career prospects in the company are almost nil. You have always dreamed about making it on your own and taking control of your destiny – your own success and failure.

You’re not alone! There are thousands of others who have decided to take the plunge towards entrepreneurship, and in these times of uncertainty more and more people have also decided to take matters in their own hands.

Here are a few more reasons why people decide to become business owners:

1. Becoming financially independent

Although a majority of new businesses fail within the first three years, those that succeed can become very profitable. Starting your business is the first step towards gaining financial independence and achieving the security that you want. Being an entrepreneur allows you to get an income stream that is dependent on your efforts and not on the whims of others.

2. Better career prospects

Sometimes people become frustrated as they feel that their career path is not going the way they want. By starting their own business they’ve decided to take control of their personal and career goals. Alternatively, sometimes entrepreneurs see a better way of doing things in their industry and act on it, providing much needed innovation that is lacking.

3. Looking for personal achievement

There are those who are interested in setting big challenges and striving towards it. These entrepreneurs are goal-oriented and gain satisfaction from accomplishing big things. This is a common trait amongst many entrepreneurs – especially motivated by risking everything on their ideas and overcoming big challenges.

4. Pursuing their own ideas

Certain people see opportunities in areas that are often missed by others -entrepreneurs can see new markets, create new products or improve upon a service. Whatever the reason is, the opportunity to innovate and create is what drives them. Their satisfaction comes from the successful creation of a business and validation of their ideas by the market.

Even though entrepreneurs work more hours, have higher stress and sometimes lower pay than non-entrepreneurs, many have a greater feeling of satisfaction in their work. There are many reasons for starting a business, but a true entrepreneur is someone who gets excited by setting big challenges and works towards overcoming them. Also, the act of building a lasting company is a validation of their ideas, and they gain a deep sense of pride from its successful implementation. So if you’re ready to jump in to the chaotic world of entrepreneurship, know that you’re part of the few that are willing to take charge of their destiny.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Awesome gifts for the entrepreneur on the go!

With the holidays around the corner, it’s time to do some late Christmas shopping. Trying to come up with the right gift for the entrepreneur in your life is difficult as their needs are more practical. Take a look at the list below to help you choose something that your favourite tycoon can appreciate.

A solar-powered electric gadget charger: This is an excellent gift for someone who carries a lot of gadgets – (i.e. iPhone, camera, tablet). So, instead of carrying multiple bulky chargers to charge them while travelling, you can just take one. And it’s all powered by the sun!

The GPS navigator: A great gift for the frequent traveller! They will never get lost on their way to the important business meeting and the best ones can be used for many countries. You should be able to find a good one in electronic retail stores.

Bluetooth headset: With many cities banning talking in cell phones while driving, it makes sense to use a hands-free headset so you can speak on your cellphone while in the car. Not only is it safe, they also look cool. If your favourite entrepreneur lives in their car, make sure they stay safe with this headset.

Smartphones: Regardless if you choose an iPhone, a Samsung, or Blackberry – a smartphone is a great tool for the entrepreneur on the go! They can respond to emails, store files and access the internet while still talking on the phone...This multi-purpose tool is perfect for someone who needs to keep in touch with their business while travelling.

Personal assistant service: A small business owner rarely has any free time between managing their business, making sales calls, dealing with client issues and overseeing employees. It’s no surprise that many of them do not have time to manage their personal affairs such as picking up the dry cleaning, cleaning their house, or groceries... By getting them a personal assistant or concierge you help them with the most valuable commodity – time. With the free time, they can focus on their business.

iPad: One of the most groundbreaking technological gadgets made, Apple has created this for both the business and regular user. Light, powerful and filled with features that the most jaded technologist would love, it’s a great alternative to lugging a heavy laptop. And its compact shape makes it perfect to be used for client presentations and poring over the reports at night in your hotel room.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Setting goals for the new entrepreneur

Setting goals is very important for a business – especially a new one. As an entrepreneur you have so many fires to put out that it’s easy to get lost in the wrong things. By setting long term, quarterly and daily goals, it can help you focus on the priorities that will help your company grow. Your goals set your priorities and serve as a tool to measure your company’s progress .

Setting corporate goals require everyone’s input and should be communicated clearly to everyone. It provides your employees a benchmark to evaluate whether they’re on track and moving forward towards business growth. Without a measurement of progress, it can be difficult to determine what needs to be changed or improved upon.

To set goals for your company and yourself, here are some tips to follow:

1. Create long term goals and break them down.

As an entrepreneur, you need to provide the company vision and to do that is through providing long-term goals. Start by listing your long term goals and then work backwards by breaking these down into more manageable quarterly, monthly and weekly targets. Do you want to make $500,000 in one year? Then break your annual goal into quarterly objectives – $125,000 every 3 months. You should then break this down even further into monthly and daily goals.

2. Goals must be specific and measurable with a clear timeframe.

Like everything in business – you must be able to measure progress. Determine what metrics will be needed to see if you’re on track. For example, to achieve an increase in sales revenue, you must have your sales team make 200 calls/day, send out 7 quotes a day with 2 hours talk time.

3. Your goals should be achievable and realistic.

Make sure that the goals you create for yourself are attainable. Don’t aim so high that you don’t believe that you will achieve them. For example, if your company has never reached a target of $100,000, then setting a goal for a million dollars in revenue will not be believable. You must feel that you and your employees have the knowledge, skill set, and resources to successfully get there.

4. Review your goals regularly.

Make sure that your goals are communicated to all your employees and that they understand how to accomplish them. At the end of each month, review your annual goals to see if you’re on track or if you’ve lost your focus. Do not be afraid to change your goals if you find that they are not achieving your aims.

By defining your goals, it will help both you and your employees to work towards a shared outcome as well as manage expectations. Without these goals, employees may feel lost and lose their focus. Setting goals is like creating a roadmap for your business to progressively grow... Each step you take should be towards the success of your business.