5 Steps Towards Entrepreneurship

by ellis j. still      

Small business is defined by any business that has 500 or fewer employees (this definition differs slightly among disciplines). In this economy, more people are loosing their jobs, or are having economy related challenges on their job. But what many do not realize is that they are really being repositioned for entrepreneurship. Anyone who has been in the workforce for a period of time has developed skill sets from which others can benefit, and with creativity, perseverance, patience, and prayer, anyone can not only start a business, have longevity and growth. These are the first five steps that I have come to realize through personal experience and interviews of other business owners:

1.)     Realize your dream, recognize your purpose: It is in Christ that we find out who we are, and what we are made for. Therefore, it is only logical that we speak to the One who created us through prayer before we take on any initiative. Quiet time is largely underestimated to today’s “now” culture… always running, and calendars filled to the max.  Practice making time on your calendar to spend in prayer and reading the bible until it becomes a habit, and he will clarify your dream and your purpose.

2.)     Get your husband / wife involved early on: This is an extremely important step towards not only having a successful business, but also preventing stress within the marriage. Talk to your spouse. Bounce ideas off of them. They may not totally understand your vision, but make sure that they are in your corner. Ensure that they have a say, and provide an atmosphere where they can voice any concerns that they may have. Starting the business venture will take a significant amount of time and finances away from the home, and there is a good chance that the venture will take unexpected twists and turns during the process. Therefore honest communication is extremely important from both the husband and wife’s point of view.

3.)     Preliminary Due Diligence: Conduct an initial round of research to ascertain if the idea is viable as a business. Will it make money? Explore other businesses that are similar to what your ideas is, and if your idea is unique, explore components similar to your ideas as best as possible. If you find that a certain number of businesses in your market fail, don’t assume that your idea will fail as well. Look into WHY they failed – don’t judge a book by its cover. Also find existing business owners to speak to. As long as you are not their competition or in the same market, they are usually willing to give feedback about the industry.

4.)     Write it down, make it plain: Begin to outline a business plan. This is a step that is overlooked more often than not, especially in the service industries. Sometimes in our zeal we start “doing’, with the general purpose and direction of our venture in our mind. But over time, the business loose focus, not realizing it’s potential because care had not been taken to plan out all aspects of the now and the future of the business. You can begin by researching business plans online. Every plan is different in style and organization, so don’t worry at first what format is right for you. The goal here is to get your vision and some of the things that will make it work on paper. Likewise, the plan will evolve over time, so don’t worry about getting it right the first time.

5.)   Surround yourself with the right people: Keep people around you that line up with where you are going, and are where you aspire to be. Have a team of advisors who have experience in different areas that will help to advance your business. Follow people through social networking (Twitter, Facebook, etc.) so that some of what makes them successful rubs off onto you. Solicit for constructive criticism, but be aware of haters. Do not keep people around you who speak negatively about you and/or your vision. God put the vision and desire in you for a reason, and do not let anyone tell you otherwise. This is sometimes difficult to distinguish early on; yet agendas will reveal themselves through prayer and in time.

© 2009, Ellis J. Still. All rights reserved