6 things to consider before starting a business

@Nikole Hyndman

We’ve made a list of the six things you should think about before you start your journey.

Deciding to embark on an entrepreneurial journey is always daunting. There’s no guarantee of success, and there’s no way to be ready for all the obstacles you’ll face along the way. In spite of the many challenges of entrepreneurship, pursuing a career in this field can be hugely rewarding, and in some cases, life-changing.

Before you take on an entrepreneurial venture, it’s important that you are confident in your capacity to carry out your project. For this reason, we’ve made a list of the six things you should think about before you start your journey.

1. Turn your idea into a plan

Every entrepreneurial journey starts with an idea. But how can you bring your idea to life? Take some time to lay out a rough business plan, and anticipate the challenges you’ll face. For example, if you’re considering creating a networking app for young legal professionals, consider the logistics behind designing and developing the app, and how you will manage to meet the needs of this specific target market.

There is a lot to think about, and you don’t need to have all of the answers at this stage. Try making a mind-map outlining the process of making your idea a reality. This exercise will not only help you create your formal business plan, but it will also prepare you for the obstacles that you’ll find in the process.

2. Self-discipline

This may be one of the most important qualities for an aspiring entrepreneur to have. You are at the heart of your business idea, meaning that you will be the one to hold yourself accountable. As an entrepreneur, you’ll have to stick to your business plan, make and respect your budget, dedicate time to developing your business, and meet the goals you’ve set for yourself. If you find yourself lacking in self-discipline, this might be something to work on before you pursue your entrepreneurial dream. You have to be ready to put the time and effort in before you begin your venture.

3. Be flexible

Once you have your business plan and idea firmly set, it can be hard to accept the need to make changes. While this is understandable after putting immense time and effort into developing one idea, it’s important to be open to changes. Throughout the entire process – from conceptualizing your business plan to carrying it out – your brainchild is vulnerable to countless factors that could result in big or small changes to your plan or idea. As challenging as this may be, being flexible can mean the difference between success and failure in the world of entrepreneurship.

4. Follow your passion

Passion is the thing that keeps entrepreneurs going through the hard times. If you really believe in what you’re doing, and the project you’re developing, it will make you more resilient and determined when faced with obstacles. With passion, you’ll also be more effective in communicating both the potential of your project, and your own potential as an entrepreneur.

Make sure your idea is something that drives you. In addition to making you more motivated, it will also enhance your ability to sell your idea to potential investors.

5. Listen to the pros

Watch TedTALKS on entrepreneurship, listen to podcasts, attend conferences and lectures, read books, talk to other entrepreneurs at different stages in their own processes… Every little bit helps. These insights are invaluable to aspiring entrepreneurs. By listening to the real-world experiences of other entrepreneurs, you’ll better prepare yourself for your own process. It’s important to remember that each experience is unique, but making these connections will get you ready for what’s in store.

6. Find a nurturing environment for entrepreneurs

At IE University, we foster an environment of creativity, discovery, and inspiration. It is this entrepreneurial spirit that makes us one of the top destinations for students from all over the world. There are countless ways in which we prepare our students for a career in entrepreneurship, from lecture series, to simulations, to competitions where students have the chance to pitch business plans to investors. It is this nurturing environment that has led to countless students and alumni realizing their entrepreneurial ambitions.

Feel free to share your thoughts and opinions with us. If you would like to learn more about IE University’s entrepreneurial spirit, don’t hesitate to get in touch at university@ie.edu.