No one ever said it was easy being an entrepreneur. Whether you're in the early stages of your statrup, just secured funding for your startup or you are ready for product launch, there will always be those three components when you ask yourself if this whole entrepreneur thing is worth it. Instead of giving up and throwing-in the proverbial white towel, this forum will help in giving you all the motivation you need to achieve your result.
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How to set up a profitable business in 21st century
The subtitle to the
new bible for holacrats, written by Brian Robertson, pretty much summarises the
concept; “the revolutionary management system that abolishes hierarchy”. Put
very simply, in a holacracy, tasks are performed by self-governing and interlinking
teams, without reference to line managers and executives.
Zappos’ adoption of the approach has
stimulated a lot of discussion. Is such a radical move simply faddish,
off-the-planet silliness, or are we entering a new era of
extreme autonomy for staff? It’s a debate, however, that misses much of the
The rise of
The question is not whether
holacracy is too radical but whether it is radical enough. Robertson wants to
empower staff to generate change without needing to get permission to do so.
But this principle of empowerment is increasingly being applied across the
whole gamut of organisational relationships, not just the employer-employee
link. Some of the most successful organisations now work with models that treat
customers, suppliers, investors or even competitors as changemakers deserving
of empowerment. Giving staff autonomy is a very important part of this shift,
but it is only one part.
Witness, for example, the way social media companies such as Facebook,
Twitter and YouTube have grown exponentially in the last few years,
by empowering their users to generate and share their own films, photos,
articles, music and messages with audiences across the world.
The burgeoning online
investment world, led by firms such as Crowdcube,
are empowering large numbers to invest who might otherwise have just kept the
money in a bank account. More exclusive firms like Fundersclub are making it easier for
established investors to choose where their money goes and how it is used.
This has created a far more complex and fast-moving world of smaller
players. The result, is that competitors increasingly seek to empower rather
than destroy each other, recognising that it takes collaboration as much as
competition to survive in such a challenging world.
Sellers on Etsy for
example, regularly work together offline to educate one another and launch
joint initiatives to grow their businesses.
Even the lumbering giants of the corporate
world are increasingly providing the space, support and funds to encourage the
very start-ups that might one day disrupt their markets. Telefonica’s backing
for technology accelerator Wayra is
a case in point – as is the rapid growth of the corporate
venturing trend in recent years, with big businesses now
supporting small business investments totalling $26 billion
From products to tools
cynics who dismiss holacracy and these other instances of empowerment as a fad
or oversold, ignore two important factors;
this is hardly a new trend. There is now a wealth of
academic evidence showing that the desire for self-expression,
autonomy and choice, has been growing in intensity in the advanced economies
since the 1960s.
That fundamental social trend has been
transforming the offer to consumers for fifty years. We have moved from
standardised commodities in the post-war period. To greater consumer choice in
the 70s and 80s, to ‘open
innovation’ in the noughties and then to today, where
‘customers’ generate their own products to suit their very specific needs or to
distribute to others. In each case, the shift has been an intensification of
consumer power and control.
technology that makes these business models possible is now reaching into new
largely untouched sectors. The combination of networked
technologyand artificial intelligence is likely to empower customers
in new fields such as manufacturing, energy generation and finance.
The overarching outcome is a progressive shift away from producer models
that create products or services to sell to customers, towards changemaker
models that create tools that empower customers to generate those products or
services for themselves.
a Changemaker organisation
Sooner or later, firms that
place this empowerment principle at the heart of everything they do will
emerge. Rather than just empowering customers or giving staff full autonomy,
they will seek to unleash the creativity of everyone they work with.
These ‘everyone-a-changemaker organisations’ will secure their investment
from tens of thousands of small backers and they will provide a platform for
suppliers to sell directly to customers. These customers will be buying an
empowering tool that gives them much greater choice and control and staff will
be free to make rapid, creative decisions to respond to a highly fluid and
complex market. Oh, and these enterprises are just as likely to be
collaborating with the other players in their market as competing with them.
confectionary firm of the future. It crowdfunds $500,000 in equity to launch a
website which makes it easy for artisan chocolatiers to write downloadable
designs. They can then sell to customers who 3D print their own personalised
collections of chocolates. The firm grows rapidly, attracting thousands of
sellers, and soon has millions of customers.
different national cultures demand very different types of chocolate – and
those tastes are shifting all the time, as sweet-toothed consumers come to
enjoy the freedom to print out new and interesting concoctions. So our firm has
no choice but to empower its staff to make their own decisions about what will
work in the wide variety of different niche markets. The chocolatiers are also
soon working together in groups to pool skills and ideas to keep up with those
shifting consumer demands – although there is still a clear competitive edge
behind the collaboration. Before long, our everyone-a-changemaker chocolate
company goes back to the crowdfunding sites for growth capital. Old firms still
packing treats into cardboard boxes wonder why sales are starting to dip.
Of course, in what sectors these everyone-a-changemaker firms will really
emerge in, and what they will offer to their users, is impossible to predict
but they will emerge. Chances are the start-ups are already launched.
Incumbents take note. Even those that are embracing elements of the
changemaking model should know that something much more radical is around the
Twenty percent of small businesses fail within their first year. Entrepreneurship is no walk in the park. In fact, the amount of new businesses that fail exceed the number that succeed. That’s why it’s more important than ever to create a unique product or service that helps you stand out from the rest.
However, don’t be discouraged. If you believe in your business, passion will prevail. On average, 75 percent of small-business owners are confident in their company. And why shouldn’t they be? They’ve turned their passion into profit. Yet, keep in mind it’s important not to be overly confident. Instead, take things one step at a time. Typically, 20 percent of small businesses fail in their first year, 50 percent in their fifth year and 70 percent after a decade of being in business.
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It is incorrect to conclude that pursuing Entrepreneurship is better or worse than pursuing a role of a senior corporate executive. Being an entrepreneur is not for everyone. However, not every successful entrepreneur has the skill set to thrive in a corporate environment. Life as an entrepreneur, especially during the early stages of a business, is very challenging. There is an element of uncertainty and risk that one will not face when he/she signs up for a stable job with a large corporate. Further, the perks at the office and the lifestyle are typically not as extravagant. There are various reasons why people choose to pursue the path of entrepreneurship. Solving a problem/Addressing a need - The root of entrepreneurship is often based in solving a particular problem. For many entrepreneurs, ideas are driven by real life problems that they have faced. A prime example for this can be Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia, founders of Airbnb. The need for a pocket-friendly accommodation other t…
Africa is a growing continent that
has great potential and natural resources. Because there are many business opportunities in Africa, most
entrepreneurs are now venturing in the continent. They take this opportunity not only to gain money but also to improve the
lives of the people in that region. To be a successful
entrepreneur in Africa, you have to look beyond the resources
the continent offers, the Gold, Diamond, Copper, Oil, Timber and many other
resources. The term “millionaire” is taking on a new meaning in Africa. It’s no longer just about the size of your bank account; any shady
politician, corrupt bureaucrat, or unscrupulous businessman on the continent
can easily claim to be a millionaire. But Africa’s new and emerging generation
of millionaires are not just excited about money. They’re also passionate about
impact; they want to create value that touches and improves people’s lives. It’s called impact
entrepreneurship. It’s the new way of making money and doing good, at the