These days, it is increasingly rare to build a career with a single employer for decades. All eggs are no longer put in the same basket, and people are not afraid to curiously explore a variety of options, one of which is entrepreneurship. Fortunately, nowadays starting a business has been made fairly easy, and all those interested are sure to find a form entrepreneurship that suits them. However, there are a few things that aspiring and beginning entrepreneurs should take into account when starting out. We will provide these pointers to you in the following.
For this publication, we interviewed Liisa Marin, who is Gradia’s entrepreneurship specialist and teacher of entrepreneurship. Among other things, her job description involves a variety of business studies, one of which is the Startup Factory’s course Idea to Business.
1. You do not need know everything immediately or do everything on your own
An entrepreneur does not need to have all the skills and do everything themselves. If everyone first focused on honing their skills to perfection, Finland would have quite a few entrepreneurs less. In fact, it is not even a good idea to learn how to do everything on your own, since you can use that time to focus on your own core expertise and growing your business. There is now a wide range of expert services available for various areas of entrepreneurship, such as bookkeeping, which is why outsourcing some things is smart thing to do. As such, the bar for entrepreneurship should not be set unnecessarily high, because you will learn along the way.
“Being a little uncertain and taking risks are parts of entrepreneurship. You should not hesitate to get started, even when lacking some of the necessary skills. If you work on and fine-tune your idea too long, you may find that the right time never comes or that the business idea is no longer relevant for the market,” Marin says in summary.
2. Test the business idea to gain confidence for getting started with your business
Even if you are eager to get your business going, you should first assess the relevant realities and test the business idea. It is advisable to build a business idea for a specific identifiable need or as a solution to an existing problem. This can be a way to ensure demand and assess the risks. You should also analyse and test the idea and its profitability through market research and various calculations, such as profitability and cash flow calculations. As an example, the course From an Idea into a Business is helpful in this regard, since it involves preparing the calculations together with a coach. The course also provides the opportunity to spar business ideas with the coach and other course participants.
3. Do not hesitate to get started, and find the way of trying out entrepreneurship that suits you best
For example, if you want to test and explore entrepreneurship at first, there are plenty of invoicing services available that make light entrepreneurship quite literally light.
It is a good idea to learn about the various business types, since many factors impact which one is the right one for you. Things you should consider include whether or not entrepreneurship will be your only source of income or something you do alongside another job or studies. You will absolutely find the suitable business type for you, since there are plenty of options.
“Professions are currently going through substantial changes. It is my belief that, in ten years, many of them will no longer exist or, at the very least, they will be significantly different. It is increasingly rare for people to stick to the “one job, one employer” model, which provides room for entrepreneurship and the productisation of personal competence. I find to be important to keep one’s mind and eyes open and to be ready to accept a variety of opportunities,” Marin says.
4. Believe in your own idea and take a determined course towards your vision
Since entrepreneurs do not have crystal balls, some uncertainty is always part of the journey. In order to tackle the uncertainty, it is extremely important to analyse demand and market potential, prepare calculations carefully and realistically, and of course believe in your own business idea 110%. There will certainly be days when you want to throw in the towel, but even then it is important to keep your vision in mind and push ahead with confidence. Moreover, the entrepreneur’s own faith and confidence are usually visible and help to convince potential customers.
“If you don’t have faith in your business idea, how could anyone else have it? Entrepreneurship takes a lot of determination and the will to strive towards your own vision – even through the boring and slow phases. To develop business, it is very important to have a clear vision and a strong will to make a reality,” Marin says in summary.
5. Learn about entrepreneurship through the Idea to Business course
Our job during the From an Idea into a Business coaching course is to help you identify whether your idea has business potential and help you refine the idea towards establishing a business. At the same time, our team of coaches will help you understand business and its potential and demands.
"Among other benefits, the sparring assistance with coaches and other course participants is very valuable. You can of course Google things on your own, but it is something entirely different to be able to ask questions based on your specific needs during the course. As such, we have seen many wonderful successes emerge on the coaching course, one of which was a business idea where a course participant created a summer job for themselves by setting up a gym in a storage container for the summer. The very same idea is now being further developed through business coaching, so it led something much more than just a summer job,” Marin says happily.