For many people, being an entrepreneur is a way of life. And it’s a way of life that continues to grow in popularity. According to the 2017-2018 Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) report, global levels of entrepreneurship are increasing and people who have the entrepreneurial spirit never stop looking for opportunities.
But taking the plunge into entrepreneurship is a major decision and, before making it, you should prepare well and get some things straight.
As many experts point out, the most important thing is to find the right business. We can have many ideas, but getting them off the ground and making a success of them is another story. To try to predict if ours is a good initiative, we have to review whether there is a demand in the market, if there is a gap that our idea can fill or a service that it makes sense to improve. It is also necessary to analyse our potential competitors and to have a clear definition of who our customer is going to be.
Having chosen the business, as well as appealing to the market, we should be passionate about it: it is something to which we will devote many hours, and whilst it’s possible to get any training that we might need, adopting a passion is more difficult.
Speaking of passion, other essential ingredients for becoming an entrepreneur are initiative and attitude. “You need to be clear that you will meet many obstacles. Your attitude and your motivation are what will make you continue moving forward”, says the entrepreneur and co-founder of Independence Brand Javier Pérez de Vargas.
On the other hand, it is necessary to draw up a business plan, a strategy and methodologies to follow. One option is to use the Lean Startup methodology, the method that reduces the risk of innovating. It allows you to test and make quick adjustments to a product without investing too much money. Pérez de Vargas rates it: “We launch an idea, we see customer reactions, and we bring it out again a little changed and adjusted to the feedback”.
Another good idea to minimize risk in case the proposal was to go wrong is the well-known bootstrapping: starting with few resources and with minimal expenditure. Use what you already have at your disposal – some personal savings, your own computer, your garage… You know, many of the greats started out that way.
Getting training is also vital, at all levels. You don’t need to have a specific education, but you do “have to teach yourself about what the world of entrepreneurship is, analyse successful models and immerse yourself in the ecosystem”, indicates Pérez de Vargas. Look for advice and mentors from within the entrepreneurial environment who can advise you on your journey.
As an added essential today, it is important to really bear in mind technology and digital presence: a good online image is indispensable, because that is where your future clients will go to find you.
Finally, it is important to remember that we are not alone in this. The entrepreneurial ecosystem is huge, there are more and more co-working spaces and more companies and organisations creating initiatives to support startups. At MAPFRE’s insur_space startups are offered advice, a work space and the possibility of working with the company on their acceleration and adoption programmes.