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10 May, 2023

How to be an entrepreneur

Do you want to be an entrepreneur with a goal to build your own start-up? Many people who want to start their business are scared to. They believe they will need a detailed business plan, several investors and a small team before they can start developing.

This may have been the case a long time ago, but with advancement in digital technology that enables people to do such things as build websites at low cost, promote their product via social media and selling online without a physical store, this is no longer the case.

In this blog, our KBS Academic lecturer, Ali Kyani, will define what being an entrepreneur means today, the most common myths about starting your own business and tips on how to build your own start-up.

What does being an entrepreneur mean today?

An entrepreneur is a person who creates and develops a business. The modern entrepreneur possesses two things:

1. The right attitude

2. The right opportunity

The right attitude

An entrepreneur has a mindset of constant learning, resilience, and the willingness to embrace uncertainty and failure. Entrepreneurs are risk-takers who possess a combination of business acumen, creativity, passion, and perseverance.

You will hear many success stories online about people building their own empires and the benefits that come with it, but there is a back story. Being an entrepreneur is not always glamorous. Starting your business is hard and challenging and you need to have an attitude of accepting failures, moving on, and constant learning to achieve your goals.

The right opportunity

Being an entrepreneur involves identifying opportunities in the market, developing innovative solutions to problems, and using technology to disrupt traditional business models. Entrepreneurship requires both the entrepreneur and an opportunity. You must have the skills and motivation to start a business as well as identify a viable opportunity in the market to pursue. Successful entrepreneurship requires an entrepreneurial mindset and an environment that supports innovation and risk-taking.

The 3 most common myths about starting a business

Myth #1: You need a lot of money to start a business.

Reality: While having access to capital can certainly help when starting a business, it is not always necessary. Many successful businesses have started with little capital, and there are now many resources available for you to access for funding, such as crowdfunding, angel investments, microloans, and government grants.

Myth #2: You need to have a completely original idea.

Reality: Many successful businesses are not based on completely original ideas but are instead improvements or variations on existing products or services. What sets successful businesses apart is often their ability to execute their idea better than competitors, rather than having a completely new or unique idea.

For example, Canva made graphic design accessible and possible to the masses. Before, only trained graphic designers with access to expensive design software such as Adobe Indesign and Illustrator could produce high-quality images. Canva’s software provided assets such as templates and images that allowed anyone to create and design collateral, presentations and videos for their business at a lower cost.

Myth # 3: Starting a business means being your own boss and having more free time.

Reality: Starting a business often involves working longer hours, answering to many people and taking on more responsibilities than a traditional job. You are responsible for all aspects of their business, from marketing and sales to operations and finance, and may need to wear many hats in the early stages. While being your own boss can be rewarding, it also requires a great deal of discipline and hard work to be successful.

5 Tips on building your start-up

Here are 5 top tips on building your start-up based on a ‘bottom-up’ approach to starting a business.*

1. Start with you what you have

Leverage your existing resources and skills to create new opportunities. Rather than starting with a grand vision and trying to gather resources to achieve it, start with what you have and use it to create a feasible business idea.

You can also access the Australian Government’s support links to help you start.

2. Take affordable risks

Taking calculated risks that you can afford to lose. Rather than trying to minimise risk through extensive planning and analysis, focus on testing and experimenting with your ideas to see what works and what doesn't.

3. Build a network of partners

Build a network of partners and collaborators to help you achieve your goals. Rather than trying to do everything yourself, leverage the skills and expertise of others to create a diverse and capable team.

4. Embrace surprises

Be open to unexpected outcomes and opportunities. Rather than trying to predict and control the future, embrace surprises and adapt your plans to take advantage of them.

5. Focus on what you can control

Focus on what you can control rather than worrying about external factors that are beyond your control. Instead of trying to predict and respond to market trends or competitive pressures, focus on building a strong and adaptable business model that can weather unexpected changes and challenges.

Have a flexible, resourceful, collaborative approach to entrepreneurship that prioritises action and experimentation over planning and prediction. By focusing on what you have, taking affordable risks, building a network of partners, embracing surprises and concentrate on what you can control, you can increase the chances of success in today’s dynamic and unpredictable business environment.

You can connect with our Academic teacher,

Ali Kyani, via LinkedIn.

Become a leader in business development. Our MBA (specialisation in Entrepreneurship) will provide you with the tools needed to launch your own successful start-up business.

*Effectuation framework by Professor Saras Sarasvathy, University of Virginia