Have a little scout around the internet and you will find websites offering to teach you how to become a business entrepreneur – for a price. This is their own business entrepreneurship in action, and it proves that you don’t need to pay thousands of dollars to learn these skills; one website is enough to generate substantial income. Whilst some of these sites will be genuinely useful, many will be offering you information you can glean for free from a more extensive search of Google using relevant search terms.
The problem with paying for business entrepreneurial skills is the one thing that’s left out of your learning curve: the killer idea that will power your business through even the stormiest of seas. No one is just going to hand you a world-beating idea on a plate. The first thing you really need if you want to become an entrepreneur is a product or service that will make you a good profit because enough people want to buy it. Richard Branson was 16 when he launched as an entrepreneur. By the time he was 22 he had a chain of record stores. He identified a market and provided the product more cheaply than the competition. You don’t need to go to business school to know why that would work.
Reasons business entrepreneurship skills may fail.
Ironically, perhaps the biggest bar to someone learning entrepreneurial skills are the common misconceptions regarding how entrepreneurs get going in the first place. Chief amongst these are:
A business plan is the most essential part of a business start-up – Business owners who have been around a while know that a business plan is not as important as the ability to obtain finance. Of course, finance is easier to come by if a business plan is well drawn-up, but you have to remember that the foundation of any business plan is the product or service that underpins it. Whilst being able to draw up a business plan is a worthy entrepreneurial skill, it is a pointless exercise without a great idea behind it. And if there is a great idea behind it, the idea, and not the business plan, will be the thing that gets the finance flowing in.
Half of all new entrepreneurs buy an existing business rather than create their own – Statistics actually show that around three-quarters of businesses are started from scratch by entrepreneurs. Buying an existing business does not really make you an entrepreneur. When you realize how many people instead create something out of nothing, then you can start to understand that entrepreneurial skills are perhaps not as difficult to master as you’d previously thought.
It takes years to start a new business – This thought can put many people off even trying. In fact, most businesses are established within just six months.
Sometimes, your greatest skill as a business entrepreneur is being able to dispel the myths and banish the fears and just get going. Anita Roddick, founder of the Body Shop, said this about her business learning curve: “Nobody talks about entrepreneurship as survival, but that’s exactly what it is and what nurtures creative thinking. Running that first shop taught me business is not financial science; it’s about trading: buying and selling.”