“The key is finding a gap in the market, or to do something better than anyone else does.”
Do you like the idea of being your own boss? Self-employment can be very rewarding if you realise that being an entrepreneur isn’t all fun and getting off work early. Business owners usually have to work harder than the people they employ.
Entrepreneurship is not for everyone, but if the points below describe you then it may be a good career option to think about!
- I believe in myself and am willing to take risks in business
- I take responsibility for my actions and learn from my mistakes
- I am optimistic and self-motivated
- I know how to look for gaps in the market and turn these into business opportunities
- I set myself realistic goals and work towards these
- I have good organisational skills and know how to delegate tasks that I am not good at
- I have experience in this type of business
- I know how to set priorities with time and money
- I am not afraid of working long hours
- I am not afraid to fail. I learn from my mistakes and keep trying
Find the gaps in the market
Entrepreneurship does not always mean having to have a new idea. In fact, many successful businesses are built by companies doing something better than the competition.
“The key thing is finding a gap in the market,” Dylan Kohlstädt, Marketing Director of ShiftOneDigital says, “or to do something better than anyone else does.”
Market research will help you to spot the weaknesses in the products or services of your competition. Find out what customer REALLY want. Are they most concerned with quality, service or price? Make sure your business is set up to provide what they want. If customers see that you care about their needs they will support your business and you will get ahead – even in a competitive market.
Opportunities are all around you! Keep your eyes and ears open for ideas.
- Read the newspaper and magazines
- Watch television
- Talk to people
- Go to markets, informal trading areas and shopping malls
Things to look out for:
- What products or services would you want that you haven’t been able to find?
- Is there something that everybody hates to do that you can do for them?
- Is there a product or service that would make life easier for people you know?
- What business trends are happening that you want to participate in…that really light your fire?
- Are there gaps in the market that you can fill with your talents? What are they? (For example, corporate downsizing has opened up the market for services like consulting, desktop publishing, graphic design, staffing services, and computer maintenance).
Some Tips from Successful Entrepreneurs:
Zane Green, owner of Happivate.com:
- Stick to your budget
- Be clear on what success means to you
- Make tough decisions because plans may fail
- Show people your vision
- Test idea’s first before investing too much money
- Give your goals dates
- Connect with people of similarity and learn from them
- Failure and success are equally important
Gao Mphago, Creative Director of Tomato Green Designs:
- passion is highly important, “Don’t ever do something that you know nothing about. It should never feel like work.”
Mike Rabeling, owner of Mikes Millings:
- Clients are in charge! You may be your own boss but that doesn’t mean you don’t have to answer to anyone. Your clients become your boss. You can’t just take any day off; your customers will call to tell you to get back to work!
- Entrepreneurs usually do not have a steady income. Save during profitable months so that there’s enough money if next month doesn’t go well, suggests Mike.
Gina Schwartzman, owner of Royal Paws Vetshop,
“I know everything about running vetshops, so starting my own vetshop was a no brainer, especially with my passion for animals. Always stay true to your passion.”
- It is very important to know what you’re getting yourself into. Do the sums. Make sure you’re taking a calculated risk.
- Running your own business means you want responsibility. You can’t run away when things get tough. As the owner you must sort out all the problems, but if you do it smartly it can be worth it.
Content Courtesy of Career Planet
For more career tips and guidance visit the Career Planet website at www.careerplanet.co.za