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If you’re thinking of taking the big leap of being your own boss, feeling anxious or scared is justified. With fear may come self-awareness, a trait of utmost importance for any entrepreneur. To start your entrepreneurship journey, answer the following questions and chart out a solid path forward:
1. What are my goals as an entrepreneur?
In entrepreneurship, the line between passion and business nay often get blurred. If you have managed to make your passion your business, that is fantastic, but it would nevertheless do you good to draw a line between the two. Outline your business goals from the get-go so as to keep yourself focused.
2. Will I be able to scale my business?
Armed with a great idea, you might be able to get your business off the ground, but will you be able to sustain it long-term? A truly great idea needs to be scalable so that the business can generate incremental returns and grow. Think about your product or service and whether you can deliver it to ten, a hundred, or maybe a thousand-fold more customers.
3. Who are my competitors and how am I different?
Whatever your business, it will face competition. Competition can be direct or indirect. A savvy entrepreneur needs to widen his field of view and identify every direct and indirect competitor so as to position his/her products and services uniquely. You need to know what you bring to the table that others don’t, be it price, functionality, design, branding or distribution.
4. Who is my target audience?
Having a great product or service is often not enough; you need a clear idea of who you are going to sell this product or service to. An entrepreneur needs to be empathetic, to be able to put himself in the shoes of his potential customers. What do your customers want? What need of theirs is unfulfilled by the options currently available? Where are they located? How do they prefer buying products or services? Can their buying habits be changed? Identifying your target audience is a complex task due to the large number of variables involved, but it’s one of the most crucial ones that you need to undertake.
5. How will I fund my business?
You need seed money to get your business off the ground, then obtain working capital to keep it running, and finally, find additional funds to grow. Money is precious, and no one will give it away with a free hand. You should think about what your funding requirements are and how you could fulfil them. Will you borrow or take investments? Will your sales provide working capital?
6. What is my profit goal and how will I achieve it?
Any sustainable business is built on the bottom line. In business, profit is king. Now that you’ve answered all the above questions, you need to ask the final, big one—will your business idea turn a profit? Profits allow you to sustain yourself and the business to grow. You need to have a clear idea of what your profit expectations are and then direct all your plans and efforts towards meeting them.
At IDFC FIRST Bank, we support the spirit of entrepreneurship and appreciate the hard work and mental fortitude it entails. We offer a range of financing options for entrepreneurs, ranging from secured and unsecured business loans, working capitals loans, business solutions like POS terminals and virtual payment gateways, and a variety of current accounts suited to different types of businesses.
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