Am I Right for Entrepreneurship?

What is an Entrepreneur?

An entrepreneur is one who initiates a business venture, despite the risk involved.

Am I an Entrepreneur?

Are you the type of individual that:

  • Enjoy a challenge?
  • Are you able to recognize a possibility where others see problems?
  • Not afraid to take action when risk is involved?
  • Can you keep calm in a stressful or difficult situation?
  • Comes up with creative and unique ideas and puts them into motion?
  • Likes to be in control?

You don’t need to have formal education to be an entrepreneur.  Anyone who has the above qualities has the potential to be a successful entrepreneur.

If you decide to take on the role of an entrepreneur, there are some things to keep in mind. This is your job now, and success will not come easily. Take a look at this article outlining the “25 common characteristics of a successful entrepreneur” to help you on the road to obtaining success with your venture.

Here is a quick, online assessment created by the Business Development Bank of Canada to measure your entrepreneurial potential.

For inspiration, here are 12 entrepreneurial success stories.

What About the Risk?

Entrepreneurship is a risky business. Your tolerance to risk can be a factor that deters you from starting a business. However, it doesn’t mean that the business is a bad idea.  Any entrepreneur knows where there is higher risk, there is the opportunity for higher rewards. The important first step to take is to assess your risk tolerance.

Risk assessment is the process of determining the likelihood that a specified negative event will occur. Investors and business managers use risk assessments to determine things like:

  • whether to undertake a particular venture
  • what rate of return they require to earn from a particular investment
  • how to mitigate an activity’s potential loss

Your risk tolerance is essentially how much money you can stand to lose in the worst case scenario, and still be able to keep you, your family, and your home safe.

It would be extremely unwise to exceed this amount, and it is important to be able to properly carry the burden of all the debt that you take on.
It is important to note that all debt is not a bad thing; it is a common way to obtain capital to start your business. However, You must always be aware of how much debt you owe, and the terms of repayment.

Matching the Person and the Opportunity?

When starting a new venture it is critical to ensure that the person and the idea match. It is difficult to succeed in what you don’t know.  Pick an idea or opportunity that you have a passion for or experience in. That way you can draw from the knowledge of your product to carve out an attractive position for your new venture.

If you don’t know how to make a new product or service that meets a need for consumers or create value in a new way, it is unlikely that this is a viable business. Not to mention the fact that entrepreneurship is not as easy as some people make it look, your passion for your business may be what keeps you going in times of trouble.

Advantages to Being Your Own Boss?

  1. When you work for yourself, you have the freedom to make all the decisions and use your own ideas.  This allows you to spend all your time and energy doing what you want and achieving your own success.
  2. Even though risk is unavoidable, desire and persistence along with innovative thinking can help you along. Believing in yourself and basing your decisions on prior knowledge and experience can lead to the success of your business. However, knowing the limits of your own abilities and not being afraid to ask for help from experts or knowledgeable staff are necessary for making business decisions.
  3. You also get to establish the policies for the business and set the tone for its culture. You can build a business that is in line with your own personal values. This can be a significant benefit compared to working for someone else where you may have to follow policies that you do not agree with or where you may feel like your personal ethics are compromised. Doing things “the right way” may also be an important form of competitive advantage.
  4. Entrepreneurs have the flexibility to decide where they locate the business. This can be extremely convenient because it can often mean working from home, or close to home, eliminating any commuting. It may also be a good opportunity to start a business for anyone who is moving or relocating. Maybe you will want to position your business in a busy downtown area, or maybe a quieter area further away from a city to eliminate traffic. Most importantly, you need to keep the needs of your customer and the design of your business model in mind when choosing a location. You don’t want to lose customers by choosing the wrong location.
  5. As the owner of your own business, you have access to an incredible potential for profit. Compared to a job that pays a salary, through hard work and strategic business planning, you may be able to make a very good living. Being your own boss also gives you the freedom to work as many (or as few) hours as you want. However, as an entrepreneur you are never guaranteed a paycheque, so success is usually a result of many days of long hours and hard work.