Do you sometimes feel that you don’t quite fit the mould when it comes to careers? Like a square peg in a round hole? Then maybe look at starting a business one day or choose careers better suited to an entrepreneur.
According to John Holland, an “Enterprising” Type of person is adventurous, ambitious, enthusiastic, confident, optimistic, and persuasive. They prefer work in business, leadership or politics and where they can present in front of people. They prefer work environments where there is risk but also high reward, where there bonuses are linked to incentives and where shares and profit share is available. So job satisfaction is not just about the job but also about the work environment and the reward systems of the job.
So if you think you are an entrepreneurial type of person, choose a career and a work environment to suit your personality. If you can find out which careers suits you then you can explore these careers first, not waste time exploring every single career.
The word entrepreneur derives from the French “entre” (to enter) and “prendre” (to take), and in a general sense, applies to any person starting a new project or trying a new opportunity. An entrepreneur is simply a person who takes the risk of starting a new business. Question: Are entrepreneurs born or are they made? Is there something like an “entrepreneur gene”? eg. a special type of person born with the characteristics. What do you think?
Assess yourself by doing this self-assessment:
Read each statement below and answer, “No” or “Yes” to each question. Then count up the number of Yes’s that you had for each statement. Be honest and realistic in your assessment of yourself.
1. I like to do things my way
2. I am very competitive
3. I want to be my own boss not work for a boss
4. I believe that money is a measure of achievement in life
5. I always question conventional wisdom
6. I am always looking for new and better ways to do things
7. I am a risk taker
8. I am always thinking up new ideas
9. I am someone who takes initiative if I want things done
10. I am responsible for my success or failure in life
11. I take shortest route to get a job done
12. I think ‘out the box’
13. People in my direct family run their own business
14. I like selling things to make money
15. I believe I can do things better than most people
16, I look for ways to make extra money like part-time jobs, or buying and selling things to
make a profit
17. I would rather fail at my own business than succeed doing someone else’s business
18. I get people excited about my ideas
19. I am always comparing the prices of things to buy
20. I am never satisfied and complacent with where I am or what I have in life
Scoring: If you answered 15 or more of these questions as “Yes” then chances are that you have good entrepreneurial instincts. Maybe you will have your own business one day or maybe you should look at careers that suit your personality. If you scored less than this then don’t be dismayed. One of the key aspects of success in starting a business is PERSISTENCE. If you are determined to succeed you will eventually make a success of your future.
Where to Start?
Decide if you want or need to have your own business and once you have decided then use the following guidelines to identify what kind of business you can do?
Identify an opportunity
If you have no idea of what business to start do the following: Make two columns on a sheet of paper, a narrow one on the left with the heading, “Human needs” and a wider one on the right with the heading “Business opportunities” In the left hand column, list all the different human needs that you can possibly think of, eg. the need for “food”, “shelter” etc. In the right hand column write down a number of business ideas that you associate with this need. Discuss this with family and friends and decide which idea would best suit you.
Identify a field of interest
It is better to start a business in something you are interested in doing rather than something that you have no interest in at all. If you are interested in something you will more likely succeed in what you are doing? In fact, you probably already have a hobby and have developed some skills in a field already. In order to get some direction, do the PACE Questionnaire, this is one of the most widely used interest questionnaires and will give you some direction where to start looking, https://www.gostudy.net/sa/questionnaire
Ideas for careers that are entrepreneurial:
Computer Systems Analyst (and other careers where new opportunities exist)
Engineering Technologist (and other careers which involve setting up a manufacturing business)
Plumber (and any other trade where you can start a business)
Do you plan on opening a business one day?
Write down your business ideas: Before wasting time on a detailed business plan, write down your ideas and test your business idea or concept using the headings below as a guideline. Write or type out your business concept on 2 pages covering the five main points below.
What is your business name?
- Choosing the right name will add considerable value to your new business.
- Brainstorm possible names then choose between the best 3 options.
- Ask people what they think of the names.
What does your business do?
- What product or service does it produce?
- What product or service are you selling?
- Hint! A product is a thing whereas a service is something you do. Which industry does this product or service fall into, i.e. construction, retail, manufacturing, travel and tourism, hospitality, mining, media, etc. Is it a growth, stable or declining industry? What are the trends in this industry? Are there any seasonal considerations in your industry, eg. ice-cream is sold more in summer than winter?
How much is the product or service you are selling?
- Hint! If you are selling a service its a service will you charge an hourly rate?
Who is your target market?
- Customers are people or organisations that you intend selling your product to, the demographic profile of your user: Determine the profile of your typical customer. Who is this person / organisation? Where does your client live, Who is your client ito age, gender, income level, etc?
What makes your product or service unique?
Customers may have thousands of other, fairly similar options to choose from. Why should they choose your product or service? Compare your product to similar products ito: price, quality, speed of service, packaging, customer service, etc. Describe how you would differentiate your product or service from those of your competitors.
Price (What do your competitors charge?)
- Quality (What quality aspects of their product can you identify, both good and bad?)
- Unique Features (Are there unique features that make their products special?)
- Supply channels (where do they get their raw materials? / How do they get their product to the customer?)
- Geographic location (in which areas do your competitors operate?)
- Market Share (what percentage of the market do they supply in that areas?)