Capital is capital to entrepreneurship. From founder’s funds through venture capital, crowdfunding to IPOs, and many more; capital plays a vital role in business founding and funding.
Without sufficient capital many successful enterprises today would have failed to scale from startup. In fact, in 2014, reports suggested that 90% of startups fail. While some startups are dying some other entrepreneurs bury their dreams and never really start up for lack of funds.
In May 2012, Facebook went public raising money resulting in a peak market capitalization of over $104b. In November 2013, Twitter was valued at over $32b after it’s IPO. Renaissance Capital reports that the number of US IPOs rose 50% to 160 between 2017 and 2018, with companies raising around $35b.
Recently on March 12, 2019, Jumia; one of Africa’s leading ecommerce companies filed for an IPO on the NYSE according to confirmations from CEO Sacha Poignonnec. This move will position the company globally and further cement its place as a true market leader.
Interestingly, capital is not the only essential factor of production. In fact, some successful entrepreneurs argue that lack of business acumen and not capital, is the reason many businesses fail.
What and What Do Entrepreneurs Really Need?
In truth, there are a plethora of factors that may contribute to entrepreneurship success. Adequate funding is one of them as highlighted above.
In this post we’ll be covering 7 other essential things besides capital that entrepreneurs really need to succeed in today’s competitive market.
7 Essential Things Entrepreneurs Need to Succeed Today
For instance, in the last two decades ecommerce has witnessed tremendous growth. In 2018 alone global retail ecommerce revenue came to $2.842 trillion with online retail as top revenue earner for many top retailers. In China, AliBaba controlled 58.2% of all retail sales in 2018.
With online shoppers set to spend a whopping $4.878 trillion come 2021, now is a great time for brick n’ mortar retailers to consider an omnichannel or multichannel retail strategy. This way they can also tap into emerging and evolving retail technology like voice enabled shopping or programmatic commerce.
2. Startup Support
Some of the most innovative tech startups are products of startup incubators; programs designed to help entrepreneurs translate revolutionary business ideas into reality and profitability.
According to ASME.ORG:
“Business incubators are collaborative programs (often public-private partnerships) designed to help startups find affordable office space (up to 50% below normal market rates), suitable laboratory space, administrative services, IT and telecom capabilities, networking opportunities, and mentors who know business planning.”
LaunchBox Digital, Capital Factory, Ben Franklin TechVentures, TechStars, Y-Combinator, Summer@Highland, DreamIt Ventures, etc, are good examples of popular incubators. And for the records, incubators aren’t only for tech startups.
The National Business Incubation Association (NBIA) reports that 87% of companies that passed through incubators grew to become successful.
Startup incubators as mentioned above provide group mentorship and collaboration. For some entrepreneurs like solopreneurs, mompreneurs or freelancers, one-on-one mentorship is highly recommended.
Mentorship in entrepreneurship is essential because a good and effective mentor is one who has walked the entrepreneurial path. One who has acquired experience and expertise in entrepreneurship, either in a similar or related line of business.
Books are another great resource and trusted means of distilling other people’s knowledge and experience. Everything we know today, we learned, much of it from books. Jim Kwik is the founder of Kwik Learning, and a brain coach to big companies. He opines that most CEOs read a book a week.
With books now available and accessible in many digital formats, it has never been easier to read and learn.
The more you know, the more you know how to run a successful business. Whether you still love to hold a physical book, feel and smell each page as you flip, or prefer digital books, you’ll certainly learn something new from quality books.
Entrepreneurship can be really tough. One of the benefits we get from reading books written by successful entrepreneurs is motivation. We see how they faced, fought and won their many battles, and think to ourselves, I too can do this.
Make no mistakes, entrepreneurs like all humans also make mistakes, sometimes very costly ones. Neil Patel makes no fuss about admitting his business mistakes and how they’ve shaped him. These mistakes become motivators when we see how successful entrepreneurs managed to turn them around.
These days we can get motivational speeches from entrepreneurs like us by reading blogs, magazines, tweets, articles, listening to audio tapes, podcasts, radio and TV interviews, etc.
One of the benefits we derive from listening to motivational speeches is courage or encouragement. I started my first business propelled by the many business/entrepreneurship books I’d read, especially Think and Grow Rich and The Power of Positive Thinking. I still get a kick out of those every now and then.
Some business ventures aren’t worth the trouble. They could be a total waste of resources like time, money and human resource. Learn to recognize white elephant projects and avoid them. And of course learn your lessons.
Partnership is another great way to boost your courage to finally start that business; the right partnership I must add. This is because some partnerships can go south and end on a sad note.
To prevent a nasty break up or dissolution, it is essential to pick a partner you know and can trust. Furthermore, proper paper documentation, agreements, contracts, etc will help to protect both or all parties involved.
With the right partner(s) you can do a lot more than you can achieve alone, but it also carries it’s fair share of risks and headaches. Weigh the pros and cons of going into partnerships and decide if it is for you.
There are many moving parts to entrepreneurship success. All of which cannot be covered in a single blog article like this.
However, starting with these 7 highlighted above, you will be on your way to succeeding as an entrepreneur. Let us know which one(s) work for you.
Amos Onwukwe is an AWAI trained Business and Ecommerce Copywriter who has been featured in scores of blogs including Huffington Post, Dumb Little Man, Ecommerce Nation, eCommerce Insights, Understanding Ecommerce, Result First, Floship, Successful Startup 101, Small Biz Club, Small Business Bonfire, among others.