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Building Success: Essential Factors for Aspiring Entrepreneurs

Earning a living has always been a necessity for human survival. And to maintain this, they either work for others (do a job) or work for themselves (do a business). Many people are looking for a secure employment with a stable income, fixed working hours (usually 9am. to 5pm.) and a specified task to follow, while innovators are looking for an alternative route. They are not meant to be ruled and need to think out of the box to bring change.

The journey of entrepreneurship and innovation is not an easy one to take. It is full of challenges and requires a higher level of risk acceptance. But with more risk, greater rewards will come. On this daunting entrepreneurial journey, you need to have self-discipline, time management skills, strategic views and persistence. Although there is no guarantee of success, many people have taken this journey and have made this world a better place for others. Consider Amazon, Apple & Alibaba. These companies have revolutionized the ways of doing business by converting their ideas into reality.

Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple said in the commencement address at Stanford University (2005): [1]

Steve-Jobs

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

KFC, story of Harland Sanders’ persistence [2], [3], [4]

KFC

The face you see when you enter KFC, also known as Kentucky Fried Chicken, is by Harland Sanders. He was born in 1980. After his father died, he struggled to provide for his family. He was at the tender age of 7 when his mother taught him how to cook. He tried his luck by working as a steamboat pilot, railroad fireman and fisher but deep inside, he knew he was built for more.

He never gave up. At the age of 40, he started serving his childhood recipe of fried chicken to travelers at a Shell filling station. The demand for his chicken gradually grew and he started being recognized but still it took him ten years to perfect his “11 herbs secret recipe”. In 1952, he opened his first franchise in Salt Lake City. In 1995, he traveled to the US to franchise his chicken recipe to restaurant owners but was turned down more than 1000 times. Later his recipe was coined as “Kentucky Fried Chicken” for differentiating his product in the market and it immediately became a hit. After years of struggle, KFC managed to expand globally and continued growing ever since.

The efforts and persistence of Harland Sanders paid so well that from a business that was started from a roadside motel in Corbin. Kentucky has expanded to 135 countries having 23,000 restaurants worldwide.

Fun fact: In 2017, KFC Zinger became the 1st chicken sandwich to go to space. The company spent two months promoting the event campaign:

Factors to Consider When Starting a Business

The idea of being your own boss and managing your own time excites many. But only a few are able to achieve the desired future they want to see of their businesses. Many of those who face failures usually do not consider all the factors before starting a business. Prior planning is just as necessary to a business as it is to prepare for an exam before taking it. A person needs to decide, how feasible is his idea? What competition will he face in the market? What would be the market’s reaction? Which segment of the market will he target? What will be his source of financing? What would be the cost of arranging those financing? Where would his business be located? What quality of human capital will be required to run that business efficiently? What legal structure would be most suitable for the business? What would be the ideal size of his business? What are the chances of growth?

Questions such as these need to be answered. A thorough analysis of the market is also necessary before stepping in. Henceforth, market research is done and based on that; a business plan is developed. Although execution is important, the execution of a poor plan results in disappointment. Therefore, consider the following factors before starting a business:

  • A Great Business Idea: To embark on a business journey, a compelling and viable business idea is essential. Such an idea should be feasible, applicable, and profitable. Generating a great idea involves introspection about what characterizes an impactful idea. Life’s myriad experiences, whether personal or observed, can serve as a fertile ground for identifying problems that demand solutions. It’s crucial to analyze these experiences to uncover challenges faced by oneself or others. This involves questioning the existence of current solutions and the potential for offering a more effective alternative. A great idea isn’t just about innovation but also about its practical application and the ability to capture a significant market share. Through this exploration, you gauge your commitment to providing a solution valuable enough for people to pay for.
  • Required Expertise, Knowledge, and Skills: Professional execution of your business idea necessitates acquiring essential expertise and skills. This can be achieved through various means such as industry experience, experimentation, learning from failures, mentorships, and attending workshops. Education lays the foundational knowledge, but real-world experience is invaluable for applying theoretical concepts. Sometimes, gaining the necessary expertise can be a long journey, but it prepares you thoroughly for the challenges ahead. Research plays a pivotal role in understanding the problem you’re addressing, the current market conditions, and your prospective customers’ needs. This research informs your value proposition and helps tailor your offerings.
  • Legal Structure: Deciding on the most suitable legal structure for your business is crucial. Choices such as sole proprietorship, partnership, or limited liability company (LLC) affect taxation, ownership transparency, liability, financing capabilities, business size, and compliance requirements. The decision should be based on the business type, capital needs, and other strategic considerations.
  • Growth Potential: Assessing the future growth prospects of the business is critical. Venturing into a market that is either saturated or declining can be risky. Innovations and market shifts, such as those brought by e-commerce, necessitate a keen understanding of current trends and the agility to adapt.
  • Consideration of Legal Matters: Legal considerations are paramount, varying with the business size and structure. These may include jurisdictional laws, employment and workplace safety regulations, documentation, taxation, and intellectual property protection. Hiring experts may be necessary to navigate these complexities.
  • Startup Capital: Understanding the financial requirements is the first step in planning your business. This includes initial setup costs and operating expenses. Funding options range from personal savings (bootstrapping) to external financing methods such as crowdfunding, angel investors, venture capital, business incubators, loans, and government programs.
  • Understanding the Market and Competition: A thorough analysis of the market and competitive landscape is essential for determining the viability and strategic positioning of your new business. This understanding helps in assessing the potential for market share and profitability.
  • Target Market: Identifying and understanding your target market is crucial for tailoring your products or services. This involves analyzing the characteristics, preferences, and behaviors of your prospective customers to effectively meet their needs.
  • Location: The choice of location is a critical factor that impacts various aspects of the business, from accessibility to cost considerations. The ideal location depends on the nature of the business, whether it’s manufacturing, merchandising, service provision, or an online venture.
  • Required Human Capital: The success of a business often depends on its workforce. Ensuring you have the right number of skilled employees, and managing staffing levels effectively, is vital for operational efficiency and staff morale.
  • Required Technology: In today’s digital age, leveraging the right technology can provide a competitive advantage. Decisions regarding the procurement, customization, and use of technology are integral to the operational efficiency and innovation capacity of a business.

Conclusion

Embarking on an entrepreneurial journey is both challenging and rewarding, offering a path to innovation and autonomy for those inclined towards creating their own businesses. Success stories from renowned companies and figures like Amazon, Apple, and KFC highlight the transformative impact of perseverance, strategic planning, and innovative thinking. Essential to aspiring entrepreneurs is the consideration of various critical factors. This overview underscores the importance of thorough preparation and strategic planning, suggesting that a detailed examination of these factors significantly enhances the chances of success in the competitive and dynamic business landscape.

 

 

 

 

[1] Stanford University. “Text of Steve Jobs’ Commencement Address (2005).” Stanford News, 12 June 2017, source.

[2] KFC Image from: By Source, Fair use, source.

[3] KFC. Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 22 Nov. 2019, source.

[4] KFC. (n.d.). Retrieved from source .

2024-03-14

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