Entrepreneurs around the world start new businesses every day, but are they doing so for the right reasons? The driving force behind entrepreneurship varies widely between individuals; the wrong driving force can often lead businesses in the wrong direction. A healthy driving force will help breed progressive decision-making, the right attitude and the potential for business success.
You have a great idea
Having a commercially-viable idea that fills a gap in the market is one of the best - and most common - reasons to start a business. Innovative ideas can very quickly become profitable businesses when exploited in the right way, but can be inherently risky. Your intellectual property protection must be watertight as exclusive rights to financially exploit the idea often forms your competitive advantage. Market research is essential – you need to ensure your idea is as commercially viable as it seems.
Although many people who go into business want to make vast sums of money, be wary if this is your main motivating force.
Passion for your industry
Business success comes from hard work, and a lot of it. Without passion for your industry and business idea you may wish to reconsider starting a company. Passion is contagious and very persuasive; investors are unlikely to invest in businesses run by owners with their hearts elsewhere. Passion helps drive every decision the company takes and keep it from going under when times get tough. Passion on its own is not enough, however; market research is essential to ensure your business has a good chance of gaining market share.
Be your own boss
Being your own boss has numerous benefits but also many disadvantages. Not having to answer to a manager is attractive, but you’re entirely responsible for the success or failure of your business. The buck will always stop with you: you’ll need to contain and respond to every issue until you grow large enough to delegate day-to-day responsibility. Self-discipline is incredibly important – motivating yourself to regularly work long hours can be challenging. On a positive note, you're able to set your own targets and rewards, which can be beneficial to motivation.
Have a second career
Some people juggle a full-time job with their own business, but this is difficult – think 60 to 70 hour weeks as standard. It’s particularly challenging in your first two years as an entrepreneur as so much needs to be done. If your business operates in the same sector as your day job, then be careful – employers often include non-competition clauses in contracts to prevent you diluting their profits or taking advantage of contacts gained in the course of your employment. With the right knowledge and skills, it is possible to both work and run your business, but be prepared for a tough few years.
Most people who start businesses are driven partly by money, but be wary if this is your main motivator. Few businesses become successful enough to make you rich; most businesses that don't fail are capable of providing a livelihood. And times are often tough when first starting out. Even the most profitable companies began their lives losing cash. If your main aim is to make money, you may wish to reconsider starting a business or partner with someone motivated by something else in order to maximise your chances of success.