Expat entrepreneurs

Expat World

Over the last 20 years expat entrepreneurial ventures have surged in numbers. More and more people are trying their hand at creating their own business and putting their livelihood into their own hands.

Advances in technology and shifts in the way society looks at business has undoubtedly played a big part in the increase of people wanting to be their own boss. The advent of the internet has led to many incredible success stories, even beyond the initial dot.com surge, instances like the Social Media boom and the astonishing rise of Facebook prove that the right idea executed in the right way will transcend perceived ‘slow’ periods, after all many speculators thought that dot.com millionaires were a dying breed, whereas now dot.com billionaires are a fledging race with ever-growing numbers.

Away from the business badlands of the internet, traditional methods of entrepreneurship- get idea, get backing, get profits- are also more in the public eye than in the past. The popular TV show Dragon’s Den is a perfect example. The gripping panel show that sees would-be entrepreneurs seek financial backing from wealthy investors is the kind of show that years ago would have been relegated to a graveyard slot on an obscure channel, yet its incredible popularity has it on prime time whenever it screens.

So what makes a good entrepreneur? What measures can you take to help your business succeed? If there was a definitive formula we would all be millionaires by now, but while a perfect answer is not available, there are certainly steps to take that will help entrepreneurs along the way.

The most important aspect of your quest is the business idea itself, this is the foundation, the essence, of the business so you need to think it through carefully.

Before you go ahead with your idea it is imperative that you do adequate research and get a good level of feedback. Discuss your idea with people you trust to give an honest answer, you may think your idea is fantastic but it is vitally important that other people agree with you. While it’s easy to think that you’ve come up with the best new business idea since sliced bagels it’s vital that you don’t become bull-headed. Present your idea to people you trust to be impartial, and then listen to what they have to say. When starting a business humility is just as important as confidence, in fact you need a steady balance of the two. If the majority of the feedback is less than positive you may need to return to the drawing board. However a keen entrepreneur will also know when advice is correct, so if a few people don’t agree but others do, then it will be your final call to decide if the business is a goer.

A key facet of business development is having the foresight to project. It’s easy to get swept up in the here and now, but to be successful you should have a good idea of what you expect from the business in years to come, and you’d be surprised at how many wannabe entrepreneurs neglect this. Think about the scale of your idea, how far can it go? How much money will you need for it to reach its peak? When will it break-even? With a clear future outline investors will be more open to pledging cash into your venture.

Following this train of thought, you should think about what exactly it is that you yourself want from the business. Write down your personal goals and objectives, what kind of perks do you hope to gain from becoming an entrepreneur? This is different to your future projections, this should act as a motivational tool to spur you on- and as you progress through the business world you can tick off your separate goals until hopefully one day they will all be realised. Concurrently, you should also keep a list of what you’ve achieved. There’s no doubt that you may encounter difficult and lean months, periods of intense work that may get you down. During these times motivational tools will be at their most important, remind yourself of the work you’ve put in and the amount you’ve achieved, even if that’s just getting your business up and running that’s still a lot more than the thousands who fall at the first hurdle.

Keeping a sense of motivation and drive is completely necessary if your business has a hope of surviving.

When you have figured out what you want to do, what you want to achieve and how you want to get there, you’ll have to start thinking about other people- competition.

Once you’ve got your business idea established, immediately make a list of all your potential competitors. Research your chosen industry with great detail, find out what works and what doesn’t, ideally you will have already worked for another organisation within your industry from where you will have a good base of existing knowledge. This way you can learn the ropes on somebody else time, and then be fully stocked with an arsenal of trade tips when you launch your own business.

Ultimately to key to being successful in business is planning. If you plan your finances in a direct and sensible manner you will only help your business succeed.