What are Entrepreneurs All About?An entrepreneur can be defined as an individual withthe ideas, skill, commitment, risk taking abilities andpassion to establish and maintain a successful business. Most of can see new business ideas but entrepreneurs turn these ideas into reality!Well you might now be thinking toyourself that it does not seem thathard to become an entrepreneur andif people like Richard Branson andDeborah Meaden can do it then socan I. Well let’s take a closer look at what it really means to be a successful entrepreneur.
When I first started out in business I owned a glass and ceramic export business in Italy selling to Harvey Nichols So Deborah what happened next? The business failed. I went on to buy a franchise in textiles with a partner and later sold my share for a profit. After this I went to work for my family helping to run and later own the leisure park my parents had bought.Did you notice that even though she had experiencedfailure, she still kept going and learned from hermistakes? This is a key feature of being an entrepreneur.A good entrepreneur calculates the risks involved anddoes not just assume that they will be successful.
Let’s see what we can learnfrom Richard Branson’sexperiences of business. I started my own successful student magazine at just 16 years old. I then set up a mail order record business in the 1970’s which became Virgin. I’m worth aboutOhh nice.....whatproblems did youface? I had some luck in signing bands who would became famous. I also had to sell Virgin Records to help keep Virgin Airways alive.
So Branson was lucky and had to calculate the risks involved in selling Virgin Records. Entrepreneurs have to make some Hmm so why would I want to become an entrepreneur?Well for many entrepreneurs themain reason for them setting upin business for themselves was tobe their own boss and to avoidbeing told what to do. If your only reason for setting up in business is to make lots of money then you might be out of luck. Most entrepreneurs do not make a fortune and have to work extremely hard for their money. On top of this, nearly a third of all new business start-ups fail within 3 years!
Can’t I get lots of money from the Government to help me set up as a new business? Ahh....well the Government does provide small business with some help but most of this is NOT FINANCIAL! It is access tobusiness advice instead.The UK Government encourage newsmall business owners to visit theirBusiness Link website and offices togain access to expert advice abouthow to set up in business. The qualityof this advice however can vary. Only about 1 in 50 new small businesses actually received any financial help from the Government so do not rely upon this when planning your new business.
Alright then Brian seeing as how you are so smart, explain what is meant by calculated risk. Well this is when an entrepreneur balances the possible rewards against the possible risks of a decision.CALCULATED RISKA good entrepreneur knows that sometimesthey will make a loss but they should haveplanned for this and tried hard to minimise its impactupon the business. If asked to flip a coin and to get ten tails in a row you would be foolish to bet upon this outcome as it has odds of 1,024 to 1. Entrepreneurs will have to weigh up the levels of risks involved in a decision.
Entrepreneurs accept that they willmake mistakes but a good businessperson will learn from these errorsand use them to make the businessstronger.