24/11/10

By Brian Chernett, Founder, The Academy for Chief Executives

Last week, from 15th November until 21st November it was Global Entrepreneurship Week and we need entrepreneurs more than ever. Back in July, I wrote about the need, “we are in the process of emerging from a global recession that has seen high levels of public spending around the developed world. In the UK, and other developed economies, need for growth to come from private business has never been greater. In developing countries, growth will also come from private business, preferably from businesses set up in their country of origin and run by citizens of that country. Such businesses are set up by entrepreneurs, by individuals who are prepared to take a risk in setting up and growing a business in return for some type of reward later. Not all rewards are monetary, though the need for a business to be profitable is universal.”

In the UK, the Government are looking to private business to be the engine for growth over the next five years. We have had the spending review and the cuts and economies are still unfolding — and will do so over the next 5 years. Businesses are to be part of the economic development of their locality through Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) that will replace Regional Development Agencies by early 2012. Support for businesses will also change as Business Link becomes a website and call centre and face to face support may well have to come from private businesses, too.

As I also said in July, being an entrepreneur is not an exclusive occupation that requires qualifications to join. Anyone can be an entrepreneur. To be one you need an idea for a business. It can be
•A completely new idea or an invention that solves a problem
•An adaptation of an idea from somewhere or someone else (that doesn’t infringe intellectual property)
•An existing idea applied to a new market
•Or doing something commonplace (like running a shop) better

What is without question is that an idea is not enough. Along with the idea, the entrepreneur will need qualities that come from within and resources from external sources. Qualities include passion, determination, courage, drive, emotional intelligence, sense of timing and speed of action. Resources would include research, finance, access to learning and support.

You will need to understand your potential markets, though it doesn't need to be formal market research. You will need to know that your product/service has the potential to meet the needs of enough people to make it pay its way.

You will need determination and passion — and persistence. Building a business is hard work and you'll need to believe in what you are doing and stick with it, especially when, as they will, things veer away from plan.

Is it worth the effort? A lot depends on your purpose in setting up the business. Do you want the freedom of working for yourself; to create something tangible; make a good living; to do something worthwhile or to make a fortune?

All these things are possible. It depends on what you want from your business venture — and it depends on taking some action towards it.

In my current book ‘The Entrepreneur Within’, I quote Goethe - “Whatever you think you can do or believe you can do, begin it. Action has magic, grace, and power in it.”

Brian Chernett is founder of The Academy for Chief Executives (ACE) - He has 43 years' experience as managing director of private and public companies, including subsidiaries of Booker Bros McConnell, the Landmark Group, and several other major companies. Find out more at www.chiefexecutive.com. We always welcome your feedback on the articles. Email them to brian.chernett@freshbusinessthinking.com

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