Another key skill that cannot be ignored is to network, network, network. You will need multiple areas of support for your new business to succeed so make sure to schedule time to speak with potential partners, investors, customers, sales or technology experts. You might start by joining networking groups in your area.
How To Become an Entrepreneur in 7 Steps
Erin Wike is a career coach and lecturer at The University of Texas at Austin and owner of Cafe Con Resume. Erin has over 14 years of experience in corporate marketing, advertising, PR, non-profit and higher education as well as recruiting for many well-known brands and small businesses
(also known as “entrepreneurs”) in the United States. You may have interacted with an entrepreneur and not really understood what that meant or if that may be something that might interest you in your own career growth and development.
As we grow and learn, we tend to gravitate to careers that are exciting or interesting. Think back to your childhood. Was there someone that you always loved hearing talk about what they did for work? Did they own their own business? The unique ideas of entrepreneurs can address a variety of needs in business, technology, social, economic, community or other problems. They tend to solve an issue while providing job opportunities for others to help them give back to the community.
Becoming an entrepreneur may not have a degree requirement nor specific professional requirements, but it takes lots of knowledge, passion and a drive to achieve. It’s also the type of venture that requires someone who is risk-averse and has support to handle failure or acceptance if the idea doesn’t match the exact need and timing in the market. In this article, we share what an entrepreneur is, things to consider and address some common questions about the career opportunity.
What is an entrepreneur?
According to Merriam-Webster, an entrepreneur is “one who organizes, manages, and assumes the risks of a business or enterprise.” They often take on greater risk than the average business person, possibly reaping greater rewards. Economists recognize entrepreneurship as an essential resource in production. Entrepreneurs use land, labor and capital to give back to the economy by providing goods and services.
For most new projects, an entrepreneur creates a business plan that lays out the resources required for hiring, financing and the leadership of a new business. Capital funding can be hard to come by for new entrepreneurs and their projects, so they often start small and invest their own resources into the project. Some entrepreneurs start projects alone, taking on the risk-reward ratio with little help. Others, however, seek partnerships. With the benefit of additional credit and resources, businesses tend to grow faster, seeing greater success.
FAQ on Becoming a Entrepreneur
Business licenses might be required for your field of work. Different states and counties have different requirements for licensure. Also, some industries will require other types of licenses as well. A restaurant may require a license for food handling and selling alcohol on top of the normal business license.
Yes, anyone can be an entrepreneur, but not everybody is going to have the same level of success. Entrepreneurship takes a lot of experience, determination and sometimes education. There are no prerequisites to becoming an entrepreneur, though, and there are successful entrepreneurs from every demographic.
No, but it certainly helps. If you’re opening a marketing agency, then you should have plenty of experience with marketing. Customers won’t want to spend their money if they don’t think you can provide a high quality product, and experience and a solid track record is a good way to prove you’re fit for the job.
There is no best way to become an entrepreneur. Every entrepreneur has a different experience, and even the best business ideas have the possibility of failing. However, you can mitigate your chances of failure. Education, experience and proper planning can all give your business a better chance of succeeding.
Entrepreneur Salary & Job Growth
With tons of tech millionaires and billionaires, many people have wild expectations when it comes to entrepreneur salaries. But the reality is that entrepreneurs’ annual salary varies wildly – perhaps more than any other field. There’s also the very real possibility of a business failing, and that can mean a low salary or no salary at all.
All that being said, plenty of entrepreneurs find success and make well above the national median salary of around $60,000 a year. Successful businesses can also grow, and that means more money each year. This can take a year or two, so there is the possibility of losing money over the first few years before a business becomes successful.
With population increasing across the country, there will always be a demand for newer and better businesses. Not all fields are the same, though – a restaurant in a dense urban area could see success while the same restaurant in a less populated area could fail. Also, more and more people become entrepreneurs each year. The field that you end up picking to be an entrepreneur in is going to play a large role in both the money you make and the security you have in your position.
Some schools offer bachelor’s degrees in entrepreneurship, or a general business degree with an emphasis on entrepreneurship. This degree is not required to become an entrepreneur, though. If you have a business you’d like to start, consider what type of degree might help (bachelor’s, associate, master’s, etc.) and what field you should study in.
Where to find entrepreneurial support
- Shopify. Many entrepreneurs don’t have a formal education, they took the leap and made it up along the way. This is why it’s important to build intentional learning into your business practices. Shopify offers free entrepreneur resources, including courses and video resources, you can use to build your skills and knowledge and reach your goals.
- Small Business Administration. Get information and resources to help start your small business. You can also find SBA-guaranteed loans.
- SCORE. SCORE helps you find a mentor so you can get free counseling and advice, in person or online. Its mentors are successful entrepreneurs looking to help other small businesses owners become stronger and more successful.
- Small Business Development Centers. Tap into the expert advisers for free at SBDCs to help you with starting and growing your business. Contact your local SBDC for no-cost business consulting and training.
- Small Business and Self-Employed Tax Center. Can’t forget about paying taxes! Stay compliant with the IRS with the latest tax news and forms for your business.
- FindLaw Small Business Center. Find legal forms, get answers to legal questions, and find small business lawyers on this site.
- International Franchise Association. Entrepreneurs don’t always start a business from scratch. The International Franchise Association (IFA) helps you find franchises for sale.
- SeedInvest. Find potential investors for your business using SeedInvest. You’ll discover angels who will invest in your business in exchange for equity.
- Shopify Entrepreneurs. Shopify Entrepreneurs is a free Facebook group consisting of over 100,000 Shopify store owners, developers, and service providers. You can find discussions about everything from Shopify app recommendations to marketing and sales questions, as well as tips for improving your Shopify store.
- Entrepreneur’s Organization. The Entrepreneur’s Organization is a global support network with over 14,000 entrepreneurs and leaders. The EO offers mentorship and networking opportunities perfect for new entrepreneurs.
- Vistage. Founded in 1957, Vistage is a mentoring membership program for CEOs and business owners. It has 24,000+ members globally and offers coaching and peer advisory services to entrepreneurs.
- Startup Grind. Startup Grind is a global community built to educate, inspire, and connect entrepreneurs. The group hosts many events that bring over 3.5 million entrepreneurs together to connect, learn, teach, build, and belong.
- Young Entrepreneur Council. This group offers support from vetted entrepreneurs aimed to help overcome challenges and grow your business. While it has tight restrictions to get into the community, it’s a good place to network and find potential business partners.
- International Council for Small Business (ICSB). The ICSB was the first non-profit membership program dedicated to small business growth worldwide. It brings together educators, researchers, and practitioners from around the world to share insights through programs, workshops, training sessions, and more.