If your dream is to start a business and you want to know more about it, in this section you will find all the necessary contents to understand who is the entrepreneur and what are the actions to implement to create your business on solid foundations.
Great satisfaction requires great efforts; if it is true that becoming an entrepreneur can lead you to achieve important goals, it is particularly true that the entrepreneurial activity requires great effort and dedication.
Being an entrepreneur means:
- To decide in full autonomy, assuming all risks;
- To gather your knowledge, passions and experiences, and channel them together in a market idea;
- efficient time management;
- to find effective solutions;
- to achieve a higher income than you would get as an employee.
To be an entrepreneur it is necessary to take away certain qualities, including:
- To have the knowledge and the skills relating to the sector of activity;
- The innovation capacity to achieve your objectives;
- the ability to plan and design your business;
- the risk appetite, or the ability to know how to take on new challenges;
- the ability to organise and monitor work at all stages of the business process;
- the leadership, meaning the ability to be clear and a point of reference for collaborators;
- the interpersonal skills to connect with customers, suppliers, partners and collaborators.
The initial phase is the one most subject to radical changes with following difficulties such as:
- having no schedule and no regular and safe income;
- the professional complexity;
- stressful days;
- the financial needs, that is to say to manage your own capital;
- the winning business requires that you are supported by a team of right people;
- manage the time to arrive on the market;
- manage bureaucratic processes.
Often new entrepreneurs run into very common mistakes; knowing them will help you avoid them:
- not being motivated to start a business;
- to think that the idea is everything;
- having no planning skills;
- not knowing how to manage risk;
- how to define roles and rules;
- operate in sectors that are unknown;
- carry out insufficient market research;
- have a weak financial plan;
- not knowing how to select suppliers;
- being overinvested.
Knowing what the entrepreneur’s job is will help you to assess with full awareness whether being an entrepreneur is a professional life choice that may interest you. An important step like this requires that you have a firm awareness of the issue, otherwise you risk implementing an action plan that does not conform to the needs.
The entrepreneur is one who "professionally carries out an organised economic activity for the purpose of producing or exchanging goods and services" (art. 2082 of the Italian Civil Code).
Therefore, as an entrepreneur you will have to follow all the different stages of work that take place within the company:
- to acquire the materials that are needed in order to produce (you will have often heard of the function of the "procurement");
- organise the resources and direct those who work to create the products (the classic "planning");
- promote and advertise the products to potential customers (advertising);
- to sell the products for the purpose of making a profit.
The company is the totally of property organised by the entrepreneur for the exercise of the enterprise, (art. 2555 of the Italian Civil Code). Therefore, it is the tool that the entrepreneur uses to do business.
As an entrepreneur you will need to buy the materials needed to make a specific product.
The main tasks are:
- To make a list of all materials or services that are necessary for production;
- To determine the quantities to be purchased for each item in the list, in relation to the quantities of product or service that you want to achieve;
- To research to create a list of suppliers for each material or service needed;
- requesting estimates and further information;
- to choose the suppliers that offer the best quality and the most favourable prices;
- to establish in detail the delivery arrangements, specifying in particular the delivery time, that is when it is necessary to have available the materials or services required to comply with the production time and the commitments you have made to the customer;
- Last but not least, establish a relationship with suppliers, as they will affect your output; so building solid relationships will increase the efficiency and effectiveness of your satellite-activities.
Another important aspect concerns the choice of good suppliers. The qualities to be sought in a good supplier are:
- quality and reliability;
- speed and flexibility;
- right price;
- good relational skills;
- financial security.
Where can you look for suppliers?
- recommendations from companies in the field and your customers;
- business directories;
- industry associations;
- local organisations;
For this reason, if you want to become a good entrepreneur, you must learn to:
- manage the staff;
- manage the production process.
Promotion is the set of activities aimed at advertising and promote a company or its specific product or service to the market.
Some steps need to be taken to achieve effective communication.
- To define the objectives of the promotion;
- To create the message;
- To choose the communication channels;
- To evaluate the effectiveness of communication.
The last stage of the company is selling the products or services on the market. So, it is not possible to do business if the activity does not generate revenue and to make profits it is necessary to set sales goals, which take into account the costs incurred or expected to be incurred. At this stage the most important decision you need to make is whether:
- selling and distributing products on your own, a choice which is possible when located in a limited geographical area;
- use a network of intermediaries, which is necessary when customers are spread over a very wide area.
The distribution choices of a company are conditioned by the characteristics of the sector, the products and the financial resources of the entrepreneur. To sell your products you must also consider the distribution, that is, the set of activities necessary to get a certain product to the final consumer, with the various intermediate steps. A commonly observed rule is that, if the market is large, it is necessary to resort to intermediaries. Conversely, if the market is small, you can operate without intermediaries, independently managing the distribution of your products. Below is a list of aspects you need to consider to help you make your choices:
- dealing with distribution personally allows you to constantly monitor the level of quality of service and to maintain a direct relationship with your customers;
- the use of intermediaries implies a cost, since you must give them a commission for each product sold: verify if you can afford it;
- turning to established and well-known intermediaries can be a good way to promote your product, especially if you have few resources to invest;
- before contacting intermediaries find out where your customers are located;
- be aware that certain target customers can be reached mainly with e-commerce, so take advantage of the huge amount of means that the world today offers to this type of sale.
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