January 27, 2021 7 min read
The opinions expressed by the entrepreneur’s contributors are their own.
You are reading Entrepreneur Middle East, an international franchise from Entrepreneur Media.
This article was co-authored with Lara Hamdan, co-founder of Cloudhoods.
Over the past decade, the number of startups, SMEs and entrepreneurs has increased – or perhaps more correctly, despite the global stagnation of the economy. As industry giants continue to cut costs, more and more people are turning to entrepreneurship to pursue their own career paths. This entitles them to flexible working conditions that break out of the rigidity of the system and let their imagination, creativity and ambitions run free.
Globally, men are still more likely to set up companies than women. One of the main causes may be that women remain responsible for household maintenance, raising children, and providing educational and recreational needs, while fulfilling their own employment obligations to provide additional income. However, things are visibly changing. In the past few years we have seen a large number of women who are committed to entrepreneurship, have been leaders in various industries, and have written beautiful success stories that inspire.
The transition from the corporate world to entrepreneurship requires much more than capital or skills, especially for women in male-dominated societies. It takes a leap of faith. The shift may not be easy, but it’s more rewarding in the long run. If you think you have what it takes to be your own boss, take the plunge. We’re sharing some guides that can be useful once you’ve made the decision to become an entrepreneur:
1. Get ready before you begin. Determine what you can offer that will be of value to others. Pick your area of work, research it, define your target audience, review the competitors, create a work plan, and set realistic goals to be achieved in the first year. Ask yourself important questions like: Do I want to work alone or with a partner? Do I want to have a physical address for my business or work from home? Does the type of business I want to venture into require certain technical skills or financial and marketing tools that I lack? It’s a good place to start asking other business owners in your area about the pros and cons of the business.
2. Take the risk – there is no “perfect time” to start. While it is important to prepare for your move from corporate to entrepreneurship, avoid turning preparation into an excuse to suspend your business plans. There will never be a perfect time to start your business, only a better time. When you’ve gathered enough information and laid the foundations of your business model, dive in. Risk is an integral part of entrepreneurship. Many entrepreneurs take smaller but safer steps initially, and once they have solid foundations in place, instead of starting big, they take bigger risks and get stuck.
3. Don’t imitate – innovate. Don’t choose to become an entrepreneur just because someone else made it big. Become an entrepreneur because you’re passionate about running your own business, or because you have a great idea that you think is a success, or because you have talent that you would like to turn into a career.
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4. Expect to wear multiple hats. Yes. As an entrepreneur, you have to do a lot more than you used to as an employee, especially at the beginning. When you choose to do a one woman show, you are the boss, the finance and collections departments, the marketing and design departments, and everything in between. Even if you have a few trustworthy people on board to assist you, you need to multitask to make everything work. However, it is important for you to know that multitasking is not only the result of fewer employees, but also the result of a growing sense of responsibility and ownership. Entrepreneurs begin to develop ownership of every feature as they become increasingly aware that every detail can affect business, profits, and reputation.
5. Accept mistakes and failures as part of your success. When you become the captain of the ship, you have to face monster storms and huge waves. Even if they leave your boat damaged, roll up your sleeves and start mending. In every company there are mistakes and failures. Whether a product you introduced failed to sell, your supplier got your order wrong, your social media account hasn’t garnered enough followers, or a competitor stole your idea, these are the examples that will lead you to one Make stronger, smarter, and more capable entrepreneurs.
6. Discover the real meaning of “being tired”. Entrepreneurship is not just about making more money for yourself and having more free time to do what you want. It’s hard work. The downside is that most of the time you will be without fixed hours as you constantly feel that the more you work, the more rewards you will reap. Profits are undivided. This leads to burnout. So try to stay grounded and work with preset goals. On a more positive note, your brain is working at full speed and you are discovering skills and abilities that you never knew you had.
7. Organize yourself, especially if you are a mom becoming a business owner. When taking the entrepreneurial leap, many think about breaking free from binding organizational structures. However, being an entrepreneur does not mean taking a break for the rest of your life, quite the contrary. Imagine you also have a toddler walking around the house. or even a couple. Therefore, you need a work structure that will help you maintain your work-life balance. Here’s how:
- Step 1: Set working hours and days, work according to pre-defined schedules, create to-do lists and most importantly, don’t accept more work than you can handle. This will help you keep your business out of your personal life.
- Step 2: Make sure you have personal time for yourself, time with your partner, time with your kids, and some social time. This is not easy to achieve, but it is possible. Hire a professional assistant, babysitter, or reliable relative to assist you at home or at home.
- Step 3: If you are working from home, try to assign a quiet work area without interference. If that is not possible, leave the house and make yourself comfortable in your favorite café. There are also work rooms that you can rent on a monthly basis with access to various business services.
8. Learn how to handle your money. As a business owner, your relationship with money will definitely change. Sometimes you will make more money than you would in two months of employment, and in other cases you will be without income for months. Also, remember that entrepreneurs pay taxes when their income exceeds a certain amount. So it is always best to consult a certified accountant before starting any financial plans.
Remember, every inspirational story begins with a leap in confidence. Believe in yourself and you could be the next big business success story.
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