Igniting Your Business Spark

Entrepreneurialism is essential to the success of business. Your business can only survive long term by adopting an entrepreneurialism approach to how decisions are made. Entrepreneurialism states that a business must be dynamic and responsive to change, and this requires a constant spark of entrepreneurialism to maintain throughout any organisation.

Entrepreneurialism and business go hand in hand, and igniting your initial business spark and passion is an important process in getting any business venture off the ground. Without that spark of entrepreneurialism, no business venture could ever take off, and no business risks would be taken, resulting in fewer large entities and ultimately fewer jobs. Thus entrepreneurialism is fundamental to the success of our society and the economy as a whole. But how do you go about igniting your spark of entrepreneurialism to get things off the ground? What’s more, how can your business benefit from entrepreneurialism and innovation through its business areas?Entrepreneurialism is essential to the success of business. Your business can only survive long term by adopting an entrepreneurialism approach to how decisions are made. Entrepreneurialism states that a business must be dynamic and responsive to change, and this requires a constant spark of entrepreneurialism to maintain throughout any organisation. As a business owner, it’s up to you to show those sparks of entrepreneurialism to get your business moving and competing with rival business owners within your industry. It’s up to you to innovate and challenge the perceptions and limitations within your industry to gain a competitive edge and to boost your chances of success.Entrepreneurialism impacts on whether your business takes risks or rejects them. Depending on whether you’re passionate about the approach of entrepreneurialism, your business may or may not pursue the risky strategies that can deliver significant returns, provided the increased risks are minimised. Hence adopting an entrepreneurial approach can bring increase rewards to your business, provided you’re willing to run the natural increased risks associated accordingly.Igniting that spark of entrepreneurialism can give your business an injection of life, and can lead you to pursue more adventurous sales avenues and cost cutting methods. After a period of stagnation, finding something to reignite your spark can work wonders for your business. It might be as a result of some failure, or some sign of success, but no matter what the stimulus, your spark must be diverted into profitable channels for your business, and you will notice a resulting improvement in sales and profits as a consequence. Entrepreneurialism is a power tool to have on your side, and that passion and confidence keen entrepreneurialism brings can be particularly effective in helping your business to flourish.Igniting that spark of entrepreneurialism is key to the success and future growth of business, as well as your short term profitability. Without that initial motivation to go forward, take the risk and get involved in business, and to continue this spirit through the initial years and further beyond, no venture could ever get started or grow to any significant degree. Thus entrepreneurialism is vital in any business getting off the ground, and in achieving any level of success or growth. Without entrepreneurialism, you wouldn’t be prepared to risk losing your full time incomeArticle Submission, and in making this step to forgo employment you’ll be embodying that spirit of entrepreneurialism so important to your overall success.

The Signs Your Business May Be Lacking Entrepreneurialism

Entrepreneurialism is as much about innovation as anything else. If your business constantly has a beady eye on your competitors, and you are only introducing ideas that work for them, then this is probably a great indication that it’s time to get back to the drawing board.

Is your business heading places? Many companies are too focused on their day-to-day operations and office politics to consider their businesses DNA. This article will help your business identify the signs that you’re lacking in entrepreneurialism, and it should also give you ideas on how you can inject this into your business.

Penny Pinching

When you are less focused on entrepreneurialism and growth, you may find that your business spends its days trying to decrease expenses and bump-up margins. This is certainly something that’s worthwhile doing, but when this is your businesses core focus, it’s usually a sign that the business has less than exciting plans ahead.

When you are reducing expenses make sure they aren’t ones that are going to stutter your business progress. If you find that your spending money on an advertisement and it’s not performing well, then this is an expense you should cut. But, you should probably re-invest that money back into advertising and growing the business – rather than simply counting it as a penny saved.

Unwilling To Innovate

Entrepreneurialism is as much about innovation as anything else. If your business constantly has a beady eye on your competitors, and you are only introducing ideas that work for them, then this is probably a great indication that it’s time to get back to the drawing board. Companies that are constantly innovating tend to be perceived better within their market – they get first player advantage, they can often make their innovation defensible, and they build up brand equity through positioning themselves as a market leader.

If you are not doing this at the moment, you could be. Entrepreneurialism doesn’t grow on trees, and that’s why you need to employ experts who are able to think creatively. Where do you see your industry in ten years time? You want to be the business that defines where your industry is going.

Although you should aim for industry-defining innovation, it’s easy to make small changes that make a big difference. You could be the first business to move your call centres back to the UK; the first business in your industry to start a corporate blog; the first business to switch to a free phone telephone number; or you could gain heaps of PR through being positioned as the best employer in your industry. Google introduced free meals for their staff, and that worked a treat. What could you do?

Your Brand Is Lacking In Personality

Entrepreneurialism may be rife within your organisation at a product level, but what about at a brand level? What’s your brand doing to stand out from the crowd? Some businesses have developed their brand through delivering a quality product over a sustained period – The New York Times, Morgan Stanley and Burberry. Some businesses brand identity will suggest that they are quirky, funny, ethical or even cheap. Once you have decided what you want your brand to say about your business, it is then your turn to augment that impression in the eyes of consumers. If you and your staff don’t know what your brand is aboutBusiness Management Articles, how can consumers?

Raising Capital For Business Startup

Entrepreneurialism is all about taking calculated risks, and this is never more obvious than during the startup period. But entrepreneurialism alone doesn’t make a business – without finance, the most inspirational business plan won’t get off the paper.

Raising capital for a business startup is one of the most difficult business tasks you’ll experience and it requires every ounce of entrepreneurialism and skill to convince others to part with their money. Entrepreneurialism aside, raising finance requires a sound business understanding and an ability to think laterally as to the available sources of finance open. Remember that business startup requires finance to get things off the ground but also to keep you personally above water, thus the costs necessary to start off can be quite significant. However by drawing on your entrepreneurialism and the strength of your business model, it is nevertheless possible to raise the funding you need without having to go to any extreme lengths.Entrepreneurialism is all about taking calculated risks, and this is never more obvious than during the startup period. But entrepreneurialism alone doesn’t make a business – without finance, the most inspirational business plan won’t get off the paper. When most people think of funding their business they think initially of booking an appointment with the local bank manager to go in and discuss possible options. But there are ways of raising finance before this stage that will also help make you look like a more credible investment opportunity, and when combined with that spirit of entrepreneurialism you’re capable of displaying you can get together the money you need to take things to the next level.The first stage of raising capital is to exhaust your personal resources. This might sound drastic, but when you consider that you’re also costing in your personal salary into your startup capital, it isn’t. Entrepreneurialism without finance is worthless, but by using the resources open to you, you can really make a difference. That means savings, personal credit cards and personal loans where possible to contribute towards your grand total. A prospective business owner that has already exhausted all possible means of raising money will seem more committed and will be in a better position to ask for further funding from the bank.Asking family and friends is often touted as being a possible way of raising startup capital, but it’s probably not wise to go down this road. Family members are all too quick to draw on the negative sides of doing business, and will be overly cautious when it comes to lending you money. That doesn’t matter if you make a success of things, but most small business ventures fail, and all the entrepreneurialism in the world won’t rebuild damaged family relationships. If you can raise the money elsewhere, do so. Don’t bring in family members where it isn’t necessary to do so, and explore all other avenues of raising business capital before heading down this road.Raising business finance is often seen as a difficult task, but with careful financial management this needn’t be the case. By all means approach your local bank for helpScience Articles, but don’t treat this as the first source of raising money for your venture where you have access to personal funds and savings.

The Business Limitations To Entrepreneurialism

One of the major business limitations to entrepreneurialism and a business aptitude is money. As is always the case in any business, money is critical to success or failure, and no matter how skilled a businessman you may be, you need funding of some sort to get things off the ground.

From a business perspective, entrepreneurialism is vital to commercial success and the health of the economy. We need individuals with bags of entrepreneurialism to drive forward business and to innovate to improve the way we live our lives, and without this entrepreneurialism, business would struggle and new ideas would never get off the ground. Entrepreneurialism is, in a nutshell, the primary driving force behind our lives as we know it, and without it we’d be living in the dark ages. But for all that entrepreneurialism is important, it certainly isn’t the be all and end all, and there are a number of other factors that are required beyond simple entrepreneurialism to make ventures successful.One of the major business limitations to entrepreneurialism and a business aptitude is money. As is always the case in any business, money is critical to success or failure, and no matter how skilled a businessman you may be, you need funding of some sort to get things off the ground. This may be with either personal funds or borrowed funds, although to some degree there is no such thing as a free business. While it’s obviously possible, if not advisable, to treat your business expenditure as an investment, it is nevertheless a serious limitation to entrepreneurialism, and one that must be overcome in order to get things moving and get any idea off the ground. After all, without finance of some description, the best idea in the world will remain just that – an idea.Another significant business limitation to entrepreneurialism is the market. Whether that’s in the form of competition of in the form of the existence of a market for whatever it is you’re intending to offer, the market often proves a serious limitation to the entrepreneurial aspirations of the would-be business owner. A good way around this is to initially examine the market you intend to enter and to conduct market research accordingly, into who else is operating in the market and what level of success they’re enjoying and why. Alternatively if you’re going for a new product or innovation, it’s crucial to uncover whether that’s something that consumers want to buy, and whether as it result you will be able to sell whatever you have to offer. Basing this on intuition alone is a great way to secure failure in your business venture, so make sure you invest the time and effort into getting this right.Entrepreneurialism is no doubt important, crucially so, in the success of our business and economy. Without it, things would grind to a halt and employment would be significantly harder to come by. But as we’ve seen, there are other elements to business that are of crucial importance, some of which more critical to success or failure than entrepreneurialism itself such as funding and a willing market. These are by nature business risks, and must be overcome in order to produce any form of success. With entrepreneurialism the theory behind business, these aspects are the pragmatic side of getting things off the ground, and without themPsychology Articles, even the most innovative and entrepreneurial business would fail.

Quitting Employment For Business

Entrepreneurialism is all about judging and taking the right risks to reap the associated rewards. Quitting your full time job to start up in business is one of those risks so fundamental to entrepreneurialism, and your ability to start and succeed in business is utterly dependent upon you taking this step.

Quitting stable employment for business is a brave move, but one that all entrepreneurs will have to take at some stage if they are ever to achieve their business ambitions. In the spirit of entrepreneurialism, giving up your job to start your own business is a risk, but provided you have a business idea and the ability to bring that to fruition, it should be a calculated one, with the potential to deliver serious rewards. In entrepreneurialism and business, these risks must be taken from time to time if you’ve ever to achieve any degree of success, and when it comes to quitting your full time job, that’s the first risk of many more to come. Provided you quit when you’re ready to take off with your business, the process of handing in your notice shouldn’t be too risky.Entrepreneurialism is all about judging and taking the right risks to reap the associated rewards. Quitting your full time job to start up in business is one of those risks so fundamental to entrepreneurialism, and your ability to start and succeed in business is utterly dependent upon you taking this step. No one ever got rich working for someone else, and no one ever run a successful business without foregoing traditional employment. However, entrepreneurialism aside, taking that decision to finally reject conventional employment in favour of running your own business is a difficult thing to do on a personal level, and one that must be justified as a significant decision to be made. Giving up your job to start a business can be difficult on a number of levels, despite the fact that it is fundamental to entrepreneurialism. Firstly it can be difficult personally, severing ties with your office colleagues and friends for good. This can be made even more difficult where there is a sense of loyalty and dependency on your input, which can cause feelings of guilt and unease. In addition to that, giving up your job means giving up an income, which is obviously an extremely risky thing to do with bills to pay and mouths to feed. Overcoming these obstacles is difficult, and will require a great deal of thought and dedication. However the rewards of running your own business and making your own success will ultimately far outweigh these negative elements of giving up employment.Giving up a full time position is never a decision to be taken lightly, and you must have some degree of confidence in your business to take this step. Don’t quit your job before you have the groundwork for your business in place, including enough money in savings to tide you over until your business venture starts generating profits. Only when you are confident your full time efforts can generate enough of a return to keep your head above the water should you commit to leaving your current employment. Only then can you stand a decent chance of success running your new businessScience Articles, without the financial constraints many who leave their jobs too early must overcome.

Entrepreneurialism – The Right Formula

Kim Snider is the host of Financial Success Coaching on KRLD in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. In one of her wonderful blog entries (Kimmunications) she defines success in entrepreneurialism this way, “One is E + S + I = FS and the other is .2(S) + .8(M) = FS. For those of you who don’t like math, I can picture your eyes starting to glaze over now, but stick with me. I am not about to get all nerdy on you. “The first is a formulaic expression of something [I have said] before. Financial success comes from thinking like an entrepreneur (E), saving prodigiously (S), and investing wisely (I). Hence, E + S + I = FS. “The second refers to my belief that financial success is only 20% skill-set (S) and 80% mindset (M). That is true at the broad level and it applies to each of the three areas of financial success.” Kim defines the potential success of an entrepreneur in very tangible terms. In many ways the key to your success has a lot to do with your belief in yourself. It may be more interesting to think that a product will either sell itself or it won’t, but at the end of the day your success may hinge on whether you really believe in what you are selling, your ability to sell it, and the long-term potential for business success. It is a sense of personal investment that will allow you to take appropriate risks in business development. It is that mental toughness that will not allow you to play it safe. Did you notice that Kim said that E + S + I = FS? How you think about your business is important, but so is the investment you can make in the business. A third element is also needed and that is the research needed to invest that hard-earned capital wisely. Becoming an entrepreneur is not for the faint of heart. You have to find a balance where your thinking, available capital and investments combine to allow you to boldly step forward to locate a place where your dreams can connect with the needs of consumers. If you struggle with saving or you aren’t really sure if you should do it, you need to earnestly seek to save in a more disciplined way and refuse to take the next step until you can believe in that next step with every fiber of your being.

Entrepreneurialism And Mentorship

Today’s motivation for young entrepreneurs is being fueled through a variety of mentor-based programs that work to assist in the development of great ideas while pointing out potholes to avoid. Organizations like Entrepreneurs Only (EO) are working to foster growth in young entrepreneurs with a sizeable dream. The organization further encourages philanthropy as part of the goodwill associated with establishing the vision. Make no mistake, becoming an entrepreneur is as grueling as any class you’ve ever attended which is why it makes sense to link with an entrepreneurial group or message board that will allow you to ask questions and learn from the collective wisdom of those you are in contact with. “Mentor: Someone whose hindsight can become your foresight” – Author Unknown Experience can come in two flavors. The first is through personal failures and the wisdom gained from those very personal events. The second is by expressing a willingness to learn from the mistakes of others. When developing a business it is in your best interest to seek out someone who’s been on the road your traveling and see what you can learn from him or her. “I considered Nat King Cole to be a friend and, in many ways, a mentor. He always had words of profound advice.” – Diahann Carroll Some may have had the rare privilege of having a mentor who helped shape them into the human being they are today, but many are still looking for someone to interact with that can assist them in both personal and professional growth. Interestingly, many who could be mentors typically do not see themselves as such. These individuals can pinpoint mistakes they have made in their lives and come away with the decision that they are not qualified to be a mentor. Whether in business or life one of the most valuable assets you will ever have is a friend who will stand with you in all circumstances. To further refine the point, a Public/Private Ventures study shows that participants in the mentoring program known as Little Brothers and Little Sisters are: 46% less likely to begin using illegal drugs; 27% less likely to begin using alcohol; 52% less likely to skip school; 37% less likely to skip class; More confident in their schoolwork performance; Able to get along better with their families. A mentor is in many ways an advocate as well as a voice of reason. They aren’t parents and they shouldn’t be drill sergeants. In business and in life, a mentor is a goldmine and should be sought enthusiastically and with great care.

Lessons Learned From an Entrepreneurial Upbringing

When I was growing up, my sisters and I had the advantage of being surrounded by entrepreneurial parents.

When I think about it, there were many positives to this type of exposure and it really helped to form not only our activities in life, but our personalities.

Although all my other sisters chose not to pursue the entrepreneurial path, I know they agree with me that the skills, attitudes and behaviours learned from this upbringing helped them to become successful in their careers and other pursuits.

People that haven’t grown up in an entrepreneurial household often assume this environment is more challenging for children and that family time was harder to find. This wasn’t true for us or for other entrepreneurial families that we knew.

Even during the times that my parents were away: the fun, the energy and the anticipation of everyday being something different and new made life so interesting!

We still had routine – we went to school, did our homework and all of that… but, I always felt that we had the “edge” because we had experiences and exposures that many children only encounter (or maybe encounter) when they become adults themselves.

Let me go further into this and briefly explain just a few of the lessons learned and how they helped me as a person and businesswoman.

Very Dedicated Business Ethics – I learned a solid work ethic from being around entrepreneurial parents as they cared about the products and services they were selling, the way they marketed their offerings and the effect they had on their community.

Treatment of People – I observed this very early on that in the way you treat other people should always be the way you want to be treated. My dad was more of a talker, promoter while mom behaved more dignified and quieter (probably why their marriage lasted!) but they knew how to respect their customers, suppliers and others in their industry, they never lost sight of that.

True Commitment – I seen how having a consistent commitment in order to be successful was required. It needs to be that way to ensure that even if on the challenging days that you can stay committed. It was never about what was convenient, but what was necessary.

Precious Time – although they spent a great deal of time in their business and despite the staff they had (over 35 of them), they still knew how to juggle all of it so there was time for the family. We valued our time together and it was spent in qualitative ways. There was always family time with my grandma and uncles and mom had our “baking days” and of course celebrations for all religious and other important occasions.

Handling Problems – although situations would occur that could potentially be unpleasant, having dignity and maturity towards these difficulties was important. My parents taught through example that other people have problems too, so it was unacceptable to feel sorry for yourself or to dwell on it. Their solution was to work through whatever it was, learn from it and move on. I really think about this one a lot!

Energy and Tenacity – wow did they have energy – it always seemed never-ending! They would go from one activity to another, sometimes without a breath in between! This high energy made everything exciting and interesting and still remained focussed.

Action Agility – schedules would change, circumstances would come up, but it made me so aware that you must be flexible in life and in business so that you can adjust to the situation at hand.

Variety in All Things – you know they say “variety is the spice of life” well it was so true for them! We had different people, opportunities all of the time. No two days were identical and it always made things enjoyable, even though it was sometimes quite hectic! We had such fun!

I guess the overriding lesson I learned from my entrepreneurial parents (that is still true now) is that you need to keep positive, work hard and accept the fact that some days will be a bit challenging, but you get through it if you just… keep going and smiling!

The 5 Entrepreneurial Funding Sources – Where to Get Capital for Your Business

There are multiple sources of entrepreneurial funding. A typical start-up will seek entrepreneurial funding sources during 5 separate stages of business development. Typically the Entrepreneur will develop an idea and fund this research and early stage market research with his own funds, he will then seek out the “FFF” investors who may fund his idea with, lets use $15K as an example.

An accelerated start-up may seek out an Angel Investor after 3 months, netting $200K and after another 6-12 months they may seek a further $2M from a Venture Capitalist.

Before we begin talking about funding, it’s important to note that building a business using the traditional model and leveraging “Entrepreneurial Funding Sources” is not the only way to succeed. Companies such as Mailchimp and others have succeeded using their profits to fund their growth, which is known more commonly as bootstrapping.

So in a nutshell, here’s how Entrepreneurial Funding Sources work. You start off with a pie, that’s your dream, your idea for the business. Its a small pie but its all yours. You decide you would like a larger pie but don’t have enough ingredients (cash in this case) to make it work so you enlist the help of others.

First you get a friend or family member to provide some additional cash to make the pie bigger, you give a share of your pie to the family member who has helped supply the cash.

Next you decide you want an even bigger share of the pie so you seek out additional Entrepreneurial Funding Sources in the form of Angel investors and Venture Capitalists who will provide the funding for a slice of the pie, your slice in terms of percentage get smaller but the overall pie is much larger so you effectively have more pie (Remember it’s cash we are talking).

Finally you want to take the pie public because that where everyone will have the opportunity to supply ingredients – yep cash – to ensure your pie is increased to the maximum size. Each of the pie investors will take a share, and your own share percentage wise may be small but worth a large chuck of… Pie.

So technically the 5 Stages of Funding Sources are:

Idea/Co-Founder Stage

This is where the idea is yours and/or your partners alone. You own everything in the company and there is nothing to share with anyone else. Family/Friends Stage This stage allows you to seek small amounts of funding from family and friends. The typical amount of funding here is $10-15K and for that the investor would expect in return a 5% stake in the business. This stage is often referred to as the FFF, friends, family and fools stage because it is high risk investing in a business at this early stage however the returns are often very high.

Angel Investment

There are two trends of investment that are starting to appear in this entrepreneurial funding sources. We are seeing the emergence of Incubators and business accelerators as a viable alternative to outright investment. The advantage of these funding sources is that they do not only provide the cash they also provide collaborative workspaces and business advisors to work alongside. The asking price is steep at 10%-15% for a $25K investment but often the chance to work with these advisors is worth the equity alone. The second choice is a straight out investment where an angel investor would contribute anywhere from $200K – $1M with the average in 2012 being $600K. (Source: Halo Report) with a typical equity share being 15-25% of the business. This is the type of investing done on television shows such as the Dragon’s Den which is a personal favourite of mine.

Venture Capital

This is where things start to get serious. Venture Capital can have multiple rounds and each round takes a share of the equity. VC’s typically invest more than $500K and it’s more likely to be in the multiple million dollar range to get them excited. They will value their slice of the pie as a formula of the companies net worth divided by the amount they are investing i.e. a $4M company valuation, where they put in $2M puts the company at $6M post investment so the VC expects a 33% share of equity.

IPO

An IPO is technically just another way to raise capital for the company. The company is listed publicly and anyone can purchase a stake in the organisation, including Mum and Dad investors who missed out on investing at the very start because they thought it was too risky.

So in summary, Entrepreneurial Funding Sources are straight forward and common sense. They are simply a way of increasing the amount of capital available for your business to grow. You will give up equity along the way to each of the Entrepreneurial Funding Sources however this sacrifice is to gain a larger and larger share as the pie gets bigger.

Simon Maselli, is a world-recognised business consultant for Metamorph specialising in business innovation. Simon has 20+ years of experience on international projects and business, developing profitable businesses and advising in the areas of Innovation, Entrepreneurial Leadership and Corporate Sustainability. He is known for his inspirational communication style and his repertoire of innovative, practical, and highly effective solutions to the challenges that technology-orientated companies face in today’s business landscape.

Entrepreneur Characteristics You Should Possess to Start a Business

It is not everyone who wants to be an entrepreneur. Many people are satisfied the way life goes on and are prepared to take things as they come. They don’t display any entrepreneur characteristics either. On the other hand there are others who are always enthusiastic, throbbing with ideas and continueosly on the look out for opportunities and ways and means of doing things different. In other words they display the typical entrepreneur characteristics that make them stand out from the rest.
Let us see what these characteristics are.

Self confidence plays a major role in whatever they do. They ooze with self confidence and inspire confidence among those who work with them. They are ready to take up any challenges and are confident that they will be successful. This is a characteristic absolutely necessary for an entrepreneur.

One of the major entrepreneur characteristics they display is the enthusiasm in whatever they do. They are very serious and passionate about whatever they undertake. An enthusiastic person can easily be identified from the rest for he glows and radiates enthusiasm. As Paul J. Meyer says “Enthusiasm glows, radiates, permeates and immediately captures everyone’s interest.”

The leadership characteristics they display are outstanding. They are always in the forefront and are prepared to assume responsibilities and lead from the front. They have the ability to identify problems and sort out issues. They have a vision and pursue that vision relentlessly while inspiring others to do the same.

An entrepreneur trait that stands out prominently is self discipline. Until and unless an entrepreneur is disciplined he can never be successful. They motivate themselves to do the things they need to do while many fall by the wayside.

They display a sense of urgency when jobs have to done. There is no question of their postponing or delaying any job entrusted to them. They never procrastinate and are quick in completing tasks allotted to them.

They will not hesitate to take calculated risks. They will dare do things others will never do. They know that unless you take risks you will not outsmart your competitor. This entrepreneur characteristic is typical of entrepreneurs who have made a success of their business.

In whatever environment they are in, thinking big is their nature. They are never short of new ideas and are constantly thinking of expansion and implementing new processes and technologies.

One of the important entrepreneur characteristics is the desire to learn and keep up to date with the latest developments in technology. They constantly update their knowledge and are very knowledgeable about their business.

They display excellent time management skills which is very essential for an entrepreneur. An important aspect of time management is planning ahead. They have a schedule of the tasks and activities that are important. They plan and execute their work so skillfully and in time that they are seldom or never stressed.

One of the most courageous entrepreneur characteristics that has brought success to many is never to quit under any circumstances, come what may. Failure is not an option for them. They will remain motivated till success is achieved.

People who display the above entrepreneur characteristics have the potential of becoming successful entrepreneurs. If you think you possess most of these characteristics why not go ahead and become an entrepreneur.