5 Lessons for Every Entrepreneur

Entrepreneurship is the way to go, if financial freedom is what you want. The 21st century has shown us that a formal education alone cannot guarantee you much. Every other person has a degree these days.  Besides, most have realised that when you are an employee, regardless of position or salary, you are essentially working to fulfill someone else's ( your boss's) dream.

The life of an entrepreneur is probably the toughest route you could take in life.  You may strike it big but there is no guarantee. Perhaps this article may point you in the right direction.

1. ATTITUDE & CHARACTER
Ask your friends to write down the 5 best attributes that describe you. If the following do not appear in the list, perhaps, its best you do not your waste your time on this path : Discipline. Determination. Tenacity. Intelligence. Passion. When you  look through your contact list, you are bound to find more than a fair share of young Indian wannabe entrepreneurs. They will often talk big and that is it.  But the truth is that they are just lazy and unemployed. Their business is just for show and is barely making any money. More often than not, they are just living off their girlfriends or parents.



2. THE BUSINESS PLAN
If you are not able to commit your plan into writing, you probably do not even have plan. A business plan is not a one page document. It is usually a detailed proposal that will map out your direction for the next 5 years (whether or not you make that plan a reality is another issue). My point is that if you cannot map out a plan, do not waste your time.

Most young entrepreneurs  feel that entrepreneurship is synonymous to money. If money is your sole driving force,  your business will not last long. Most entrepreneurs are fueled by a passion for their product or service. They are driven by providing an opportunity to solve a problem. Most of us will not succeed the first time. You are definitely no Rajnikanth to get successful with one song.You will need  never say die spirit to keep going
and you will need a sound plan to know where you are going.



3. CHOOSING YOUR TEAM
When you tell your parents that you want to start a business, the first thing they would enquire about is who you are doing it with. The senior generation seems to believe that every business partnership is doomed to fail and ruin the relationship between them.


They might be cynical but it does not help that we usually choose our business partners based on trust and not abilities. Choosing a business partner is akin to choosing a husband/wife. Although we do not have to worry about falling blindly in love etc, many entrepreneurs do make wrong choices and often pay a heavy price later on. A good starting point would be limiting your choice to those who complement your skill set. Every key team player must have a value add to the business. Remember, that a team is only as strong as it weakest member.


4. RAISING FUNDS
This seems to be stumbling block to most aspiring entrepreneurs. Ideally, you would want to have the required money to launch your business. Some would say that if your idea is good enough, the money will come looking for it. But the truth is that, for anyone to come looking for you, your idea must be really good.  Even Zuckerberg went to look for money.More often than not, entrepreneurs seek out their friends and family for financing. While that is not a bad option, you might want to consider crowd-funding as an alternative. Be unique and different. Stand out from the rest.


5. GOVERNMENT GRANTS & AID
In order to encourage entrepreneurship, various Government Agencies in Singapore have put in place, various grants and schemes to aid entrepreneurs. You may not be eligible for all the schemes. But it will be a sin if you do not explore your options. Do check out the following:
  • ACE (Action Community for  Entrepreneurship)
  • PIC by IRAS
  • Spring Singapore
  • Enterprise One
The content in the above list is user-friendly and you do not need any external consultants. In the event you feel that you still need some guidance in strategising what is best for your business,  you do not need to go any further than the Singapore Indian Chamber of Commerce & Industry (SICCI). Their SME Centre will function as your business advisor. SICCI also functions as an ideal point to network with like-minded individuals.

 

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