Most entrepreneurs will see the opportunites others will see, but that will have the courage and initiative to act quickly. For example, the last ten years has seen an increasing interest in travel and extreme sports. This pointed towards space tourism (going into space for the fun of it) in which you will be idenitfy the entrepreneur that acted quickly to the opportunity: Richard Branson. He saw the opportunity and started Virgin Galactic on which they will charge £100,000 per trip with the first trip hoping to be before 2010.
An entrepreneur is someone who makes a business idea happen, either through their own effort, or by organising others to do the work.An entrepreneur will need the following traits and characteristics to be successful:
- Be Initiative - People that are initiative have a desire to accomplish something that would benefit the enterprise (such as increase productivity, reduce costs or increase market share). People with this trait will always strive for more and want more: something a entrepreneur needs: never settle for anything. Understand the market - This means they will be able to identify how well or badly different companies are doing in the market and learn from them. It will also help the entrepreneur know what the customer wants.
- Passion and Determination - You shouldn't be motivated to make money, but to make a good product that is useful to the customer such as a more effiecient solar panel. The entreprenuer must be determined to help him/her go through when things are looking tough. If they give up easily, they will fail as a entrepreneur.
- Persuasive Abilities - The entrepreneur will need persuasive techniques to do things like motivate workers, planninhg permission and so on. Any entrepreneur will have used persuasive techniques throughout their careers making these abilities essential.
- Ability to build Relationships - Building relationships with people such as customers and suppliers will help keep the business' costs down, increase repeat purchases and provide a higher customer satisfaction. Financially, this will help the entrepreneur's business.
- Ability to Cope with Risk - This one of or the most important characteristics an entrepreneur will need. If an entrepreneur can't cope with a risk, he or she will not succeed.
When risk taking, an entrepreneur will look at a risk, compare them with the possible rewards and make s a cool sensible decision. Risk takers accept that sometimes they will take a loss; that is part of business.
Every contract, product bought or sold is a risk. The biggest risk that an entrepreneur will face will be the decision whether to start the business or not. 1 in 3 businesses fail in the first 3 years. The entrepreneur will have to decide if their business will be successful, which is difficult as most people are biased towards their product or service thinking 'it's amazing' when as you will find on Dragon's Den a lot, it's actually not.
Government support for Entrepreneurs
Novice entrepreneurs believe that the government will be behind them the whole way, which is kind of a misconception. 40% of people that are thinking of starting a business believe they will be able to get a grant, when in fact only 2% actually get funding this way. That's 1 business out of every 50.
The Governments way of helping entrepreneurs to start businesses is through the Business Link network. The is a service offering advice to those thinking of starting up a business: every business person is entitled to a free consultation with an expert from the Business Link network. However, there are mixed reviews on the quality of advice such as some people speak very highly of their mentor when others criticed theirs saying 'they are only bankers: they know nothing about business as they have never managed one'. 7% of businesses have gone to the Business Link network for support.
The government however believe the key to supporting entrepreneurs is to encourage an 'enterprise culture/society'. This basically means creating a spirit around young people that enterprise is 'cool'. If as many people want to start up their own businesses, Britain may develop as dynamically as America - the heart of enterprise culture/society.
There is an argument on the issue whether the government does enough to help entrepreneurs as they only offer advice which, at times, may be unhelpful sending the entrepreneur and his /her business in the wrong direction. Britain is one of the quickest, easiest and cheapest places to start a firm as an entrepreneur and it comes as a shock on how little help there is out there. The government spends and invests huge amounts of money into the Business Link network and with only 7% of businesses going for support to the Business Link network, it does seem the government is wasting money that could be used in other areas such as health.
A Few Key Terms
Calculated Risks - Risked decisions based on a careful comparison of the risks set against the rewards expected from a decision.
Mentor - an experienced advisor, to be there when needed.