We will be discussing on the very important topic all entrepreneurs must note: Principles of Entrepreneurship.
Before you can start anything, you must understand the principles that guides such a thing if you must succeed.
So many years ago while I was still in the college, I was working towards becoming a medical doctor. This was my parents vision for me but as I grew older, I found out that I had neither love nor passion for the profession instead I loved buying and selling and also have this love for marketing.
Back then, my dad was the General Manager of a Flour Mill company. He left after a while to start his manufacturing companies of Chicken feed, palm kernel oil production and sachet water production.
All this businesses closed down over the years and he is struggling with his sachet water production company now.
My dad worked harder as a business owner than he did as a Managing Director of the flour mill company yet his business was less successful. I was not enlighten in business management then but I notice some flaws on the way he ran his business;
- He involved his close friends/family in his business giving them managerial positions.
- He gave friends/families goods on credit.
- He trusted in the judgment of people without expertise in manufacturing.
- He was not concentrating in promoting his product lines like he did with the help of other experienced personnel in the Flour mill company.
- His company was not properly located.
- And lastly, he was rarely around, always going to the capital to seek government contracts. (Wasn’t focused)
I loved being around his office since his days as a Manager till his own startup, learning a lot and taking correction and successfully started my own business.
I will be sharing with you the Principles of Entrepreneurship I have learnt over the years so you do not make the same mistake as my dad.
Principles of Entrepreneurship
1. Be a Solution Provider
You must note that entrepreneurship is not just about making money at first but it’s about providing solutions and adding value. Over the years, successful entrepreneurs had noted that passion is what brings success in business. This is because, in starting a business, there are bound to be issues ranging from sourcing funding to getting good partners, building a good team, location, marketing etc. If you are involved with inexperienced persons, you are bound to fail as fast as you had started. Only passion can keep you if you find yourself in such situation. You just need to impact a life no matter how small; that is the beginning of your success story.
“Look for a way to make life easy for others”
2. Have a Vision
You are not an entrepreneur merely to make a living. You are an entrepreneur because you want to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are an entrepreneur to enrich the world, and you impoverish yourself if you forget the errand. Jonathan Swift said that “Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others”. Have a defined purpose and pursue it.
“Successful entrepreneurs are those that were able to transform their vision into reality”
3. Choose the Right Team
When assembling your team, it is imperative to gather a team of individuals with the same mindset and attitude towards achieving a common goal. You must not involve family or close friends especially those without any knowledge or expertise they can add to your startup. Your team must have the same drive, tenacity, perseverance and an underlying belief in themselves and the value they can add to the success of the business. Your team must be motivated and dedicated.
“Good team work builds speed”
4. Viable Product/Service
Let your product/service fulfill a need, be innovative and the approach, a little different from other regular businesses. Technology is an important tool in the hand of modern entrepreneurs. Your business should easily be accessible to your target customers. Always give your customers room for feedback or suggestions on how your product/service can be better.
“Good products most times sell itself”
Good business plan always draw investors. Capital should be your least worry when you have a solution. Entrepreneurship is all about solution. When your idea is great, you can easily get investors or government loan. In my country, Nigeria for example, government has created loan programs for SMEs and this can be easily accessed with a good business plan alone. One of such programs is YouWin. Also, the Central Bank of Nigeria is supporting startups with funding with a little interest rate. Other programs like the Tony Elumelu Foundation also support startups financially. These funding channels should be exploited. These are measures most national governments are applying to promote entrepreneurship knowing that the growth of the world’s economy depends on it.
“Capital isn’t scarce, vision is”
As an entrepreneur, you are accountable to the success or failure of your business, not your employees, investors or advisors. You must have detailed account of whatever transaction made by the company. Have a scorecard of all inventories. Always carry your investors along if there are any. The success of any business is, in many ways, measured by the management of its resources. Even if you hire a full-time accountant, as an entrepreneur, you are expected to have a fundamental knowledge of accounting, how it works and how to apply its basic principles with the aim of operating a flourishing business.
“Accountability breeds responsibility”
7. Growth and Marketing
Every successful business grew over the years. Most big companies started small. It was all a process. Success in business is not a one-time event; it is an on-going process. You must give room for growth. Do not be content with the success of yesterday; always strive to beat your own record. That way, your business will keep on growing, your investors will be happy to remain and inject more funds. Always remain focused and dedicated to your goal. Have a clear goal and pursue it. Your business growth also depends on your marketing strategy. Marketing helps in getting your product known and good sales come from good marketing.
“Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning”
8. Know Your Customer
Your customer base determines the life of your business. If you provide solution to better the world, your customers will increase. In business, the higher your customers, the higher the profit. Your business must be streamlined into a particular niche. This will help you to know who your prospective customers should be and how to get and keep them. When you focus on a niche market, it is more efficient, more productive and less competitive. Always map out strategies that will allow for customer feedback even if it means giving out discounts/vouchers in exchange.
“Always treat your customers as special guests”
For success in business, you must categorize things in order of importance. Set your priorities based on your goals and do not deviate. Your investors should not make you lose focus on your dream. Daren Smith of theselfemployer.com wrote “Decide what to do and do it, then decide what not to do and don’t do it“. Simple! Analyze what to create next based on what has proven to have the biggest return. If Apple had pushed their Mac Pro, their powerhouse desktop computer created specifically for demanding professionals who need lots of computing power, harder than they pushed the iPod back in the day, they wouldn’t be the industry giant they are today. I’m sure there were some people who were way more passionate about the Mac Pro, but they had to realize that the numbers don’t lie, and the iPod was more important to market to the world. Your target should always be defined.
“Things which matters most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least”
10. Never Give Up
The never give up attitude is one quality an entrepreneur must possess. Successful entrepreneurs are goal-getters. They never give up on turning their vision into reality. Like I stated in this article 10 Major Causes of Business Failure, quitting too soon is the biggest reason why many businesses failed. If you do not persevere, enquire, research, fail and try again, you might not be successful in business. If you persist, you will have no choice than to succeed. In entrepreneurship, persistence and determination is supreme.
“Never, Never, Never Give Up”