Being an ‘enterpreuner’ is a challenging task. At the same time, calling oneself an ‘enterpreuner’ has become a fad what with the boost given by governments to ‘enterpreuners’, small businesses, start-ups, and the likes of promoting oneself independently in the caboodle of job market.
Governments promote Enterpreneurship mainly for two reasons : (1) It will promote creativity and innovation in a way that can bring grist to the GDP Growth mill and make the economy strong and sustainable ; and (2) It will relatively ease the Government of its chief burden of job promotion and minimisation of job losses. Ideal and noble as they could only be.
For Enterpreneurship to succeed, one needs the intent of the Government and that of the Enterpreneurs to succeed atleast in equal measure. As Margaret Thatcher said : If someone comes to me and asks, “what are you going to do for small businessmen” , I’d say, “The only thing I’m going to do for you is to make you free to do things for yourselves”. Most governments are doing their best to make enterprises and small businesses to grow and succeed themselves taking this cue.
As for the enterpreneurs, whether they are in the nascent stages or whether they are in growth mode – face the daunting task of funds and sourcing of funds. This is usually satisfied in 4 ways generally : (1) self earnings cum savings ; (2) resources from family ; (3) resources from friends ; and (4) resources from public contributors/investors.
It would be ideal and less problematic to start with funds based on one’s own earnings cum savings while treading a slow path of growth even while utilising a part of the profits for sustaining future growth.
But this is not what most enterpreneurs do and any failure resulting from the other three modes hand a telling blow not just to the enterpreneurs but others near, dear, and far. More so, if they fail to follow certain basic principles essential for every enterpreneur to keep in mind as below :
(1) Keep your lifestyle simple while curtailing spending behaviors ; you can’t have big money to throw away without purpose.
(2) Keep your mind alert ; know how many beans make five ; learn the working aspects of your business thoroughly and start assimilating more than what your competitors can/will do.
(3) You should be like “sponge” as Thomas A Edison said to the North Carolina Governor when he complimented him as a great, great inventor : ” I guess, I’m an awfully good Sponge. I absorb ideas from every source I can; and put them to practical use. Then I improve them until they become of some value. The ideas I use are mostly the ideas of people who don’t develop them”. As enterpreneur you are not facing any examination ; the only examination you face is that which shows the progress of your business.
(4) Keep your mind clear and focused only on building your business ; No politics; No birthday splashes; No get togethers; No big charity; No big membership of Association/Organisation – yes, they may enhance your image temporarily with little benefits, but certainly not in the long-haul. They actually distract more.
(5) Always harp on “real marketing”. Pamphlets, ads like musical plays, discounts, exhibition and sponsorships are all old plays. Yes, they help boost demand and growth initially, but will not guarantee sustainable success over a long period. Real strength lies in your product. Product improvement is the “real marketing”. Product Improvement = Product Fit + Customer Interest. The rest are all simple accessories.
Conclusion : Enterpreneurship is not a past time play. It is a real task. One has to make a good assessment of the task first, and then only, then only, then only, can be sure of success.
P.S. I write this piece only for the benefit of anyone interested in applying in practice. This is my 442nd piece, after retirement as National Professor, and Dean.
“Dieu avec nous”.
Wednesday, November 13, 2019 – 4.49 p.m. (IST)
Tidbit : ” What deserves ‘name’ is that of pursuing our own good in our own way, so long as we do not attempt to deprive others of theirs or impede their efforts to obtain it ” –
This is my credo in life, that I have been sincerely and diligently adopting since the beginning of my professional career in August, 1974 in the Holy city of Gaya.