Getting it right

Getting it right

Many an entrepreneur has started out starry-eyed and full of dreams, not only to make money for themselves, but also with the altruistic desire of employing others. Here are some helpful hints to getting it right…

Be realistic

A few small businesses make big bucks quite soon, but experienced business owners will remind you that success that comes overnight often lasts only briefly. Normally, the first three years (sometimes even more) are years of long days, late nights and much sacrifice. Every day is a learning experience though, so no effort is ever wasted.

Be frugal

Those first years will be spent ploughing every cent you make back into the business. No fancy car, big house and very little entertainment. Don’t be intimidated by ‘friends’ who expect you as ‘business owner’ to spread the wealth – true friends will understand that you need to make use of every minute and cent to the benefit of your business.

Live in that tiny place and drive that small car, reward awaits. Dress like a businessman, but there is no need to be flashy. When the time comes and your company makes a profit, pay off your assets (your car and home). Later, when your company is financially secure, you can splurge without the risk of losing it all.

Start at the bottom

Sure, the end goal is to be a mogul and make lots of money. In the meantime, you will have to know every aspect of your business very well. The only way to do this, is to do everything yourself. Yep, that’s why many organisations started off as one-man-bands long ago. You cannot lead others in your company one day if you do not know what their work entails and what they should be able to do. Being able to show them how, and them knowing that you know, makes teamwork likely and you a true leader.

Work hard

“Work smart, not hard” they say. Sorry, but if it is your business, chances are that you will forever be working very hard. Yes, you will employ others and you should be open to technology and innovative ways of doing things. But in the end, working smarter will not reduce the need for working hard. There may, one day, be managers and employees who will be able to take the tasks of managing and supervising on them, but your long hours of work will be replaced by stress and responsibility for your company, employees and their families. If you want to be an entrepreneur, you must make up your mind to work hard for the rest of your life, today.

Lead

Be a leader, not only a manager. Initially you will have to manage your time, your expenses, your activities, your staff. As time goes by, you will be able to employ managers. Management should focus on leading. Micromanagement and focusing only on money becomes debilitating and demoralising for your staff. Take a genuine interest in all of them, and in all their roles (remember, you performed it once), and guide and coach and involve people towards your company’s goals.

Share

At first, you will share your knowledge on how to perform tasks when you employ others to do what you used to do.  Share the accountability for the tasks and eventually hand over the responsibility to your staff member. Sharing the workload and the responsibility is empowering for your staff. It is vital to share your goals and your vision with every member of your staff, but it is just as important to share praise, reward and success with the people who are getting you there. Show your appreciation.

Go for it

If you want to be an entrepreneur, and you know you have a terrific idea, go do it. NOW!