9 Tips for Becoming an Entrepreneur

Despite the pandemic wreaking havoc on the economy and having to navigate so much uncertainty, nearly 93% of entrepreneurs say, according to the 2021 Bank of America small business report, that their company’s financial situation was either strong or fair. Despite all the economic turmoil, small businesses and startups are thriving. People have chosen to follow their dreams and open the businesses they’ve always dreamt of.

But it isn’t easy. 

Many small businesses fail to last more than a year. Nearly 47% of entrepreneurs who tried to hire during the pandemic have reported difficulty following qualified candidates, and nearly 62% of business owners predict operational change stemming from the pandemic, which increased stress around operating a business by 85%. 

This guide details key ways to make becoming an entrepreneur easier. Going in with a plan, with a guide, will help you to succeed in following your goals. 

Understand Your Market

Knowing your customers, competitors, and industry is key to the survival of your business. You need to identify what you can do to mitigate your risks. Utilize online reports and analytics to understand how you can fit into the industry and what exactly your customers are looking for.

Create a Business Plan

Not having a plan can impede your business’s growth. Having actionable plans to reach your goals is key to the survival and success of your business. It doesn’t have to be extraordinarily in depth or even too official. You can specify it to your company, but it still is vital to have.

Here are some tips:

  1. Write down your goals
  2. Write down your strengths and weaknesses
  3. Prepare yourself for anything that can, and will, go wrong. 

Have Clear Goals

Clear goals are tangible goals. Having a plan in order to achieve these goals is key to the early stages of a business. Not understanding how to accomplish your goals and not actually having an actionable plan can hinder the growth of your business. 

In order to have clear, actionable goals, follow the SMART goals model: 

S (Specific) – This includes the nitty gritty details of the whole thing. What needs to be accomplished in order to complete the goal? Who can help achieve this goal?

M (Measurable) – This is where numbers come in. Can you quantify this goal? How does that work?

A (Achievable) – Is this goal actually reasonable? Be honest with yourself here. 

R (Relevant) – Why does this goal matter to you and your organization?

T (Time) – What does the deadline look like for this goal? 

Budget for Your Current Business 

Be realistic with your budget. You’re just starting. Cash flow is nearly always a struggle for businesses just starting out. You may want the biggest and brightest things but think strategically. The money in your pocket is key to the overall survival of your business. 

Stay Educated

Entrepreneurs often work as the finance executive, marketing director, and business administrator all rolled into one. While having a degree in one of these fields may not be necessary to start a business, there are many benefits and it could be the difference between your business succeeding or failing.

Having the knowledge that a bachelor’s degree in business administration provides means that you’ll be self-sufficient. Even if you don’t specialize in areas such as finance or marketing, you’ll understand enough that you’ll be able to do market research, balance the books, and build your business from the ground up. You won’t just be winging it. You’ll have the education, knowledge, and even the network that you need to succeed. 

Rise to Challenges

Every new business faces challenges, but having a plan in place can help alleviate them when they arise. If a new challenge comes up that a business is unprepared for, rather than looking at it negatively, reflect on your attitude about the challenge. How can you learn from this? How can your business grow from this? 

Some common issues that emerge in new businesses are staffing issues, financial issues, and increased competition. When looking at those issues, how can you spin it positively so that rather than a negative challenge, you can grow from it? 

Invest In Marketing 

In the age of social media, marketing can make or break your business. Utilize social media sites such as TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter in order to build your brand. Guerilla marketing tactics can work as well, just strategize and make sure that you’re using the most cost-effective tools. If spending more money on marketing is necessary, do it. But first, come up with a strong strategy and plan that is backed up with data. 

Seek Help (and Mentorship) When You Need It

Many businesses are started by a single person. But sometimes, you may need help. As your business grows, having a mentor to guide you along can be beneficial and can help you to navigate the difficulties of owning your own business. 

When your business grows to be too much for one person to operate on their own, seek help. Hiring more people may seem daunting at first, but knowing how to hire the right people is key.

How to Hire the Right People

  • Figure out what you need: full-time help, part-time help, or freelance help.
  • Figure out what their job likely will entail (be able to delegate tasks) 
  • Interview thoroughly and make sure their beliefs, character, experience, and ethics mesh with your company’s overall culture and values.

Believe in Yourself

You can do this. It may be absolutely terrifying to start your own business. But be confident. Having the skill and qualifications to start are important, but being confident and secure in your dream and having the drive to keep it alive are absolutely the keys to success. Choose a field that aligns with your beliefs can help fuel this confidence.

These tips aren’t the end all be all for being a successful entrepreneur, but they certainly will help. Following these tips, and even going back to school to earn your bachelor’s degree in business administration from Gordon College, can help you launch a successful new business.

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Gordon College is one of the nation's premier Christian colleges and located just north of Boston. We offer students extraordinary access to leading-edge opportunities for intellectual, professional, and leadership development to address the increasingly complex challenges of a global society. Gordon stands apart from other outstanding institutions in New England by combining an exceptional education with an informed Christian faith.


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