How To Become An Entrepreneur With Absolutely No Money & Experience
“It's not always about the destination, it's about the journey”, this is the ethos upon which every entrepreneur’s dreams are based. From Vandana Luthra (VLCC) to Suchi Mukherjee (Limeroad), these women have overcome countless struggles to make it big.
Who is an Entrepreneur?
An entrepreneur is a person who takes a risk to win financial gains. The aim is to create a business that is disruptive. The business is characterized by innovative products, services or operational processes. The business owner is just not a manager but a risk taker as well. An entrepreneur should have leadership capabilities and the capacity to think about the big picture and scale the business up.
Self-discipline and confidence are the keywords of the entrepreneurship model. Passion and hard work are the pillars of the true entrepreneur. The willingness to work long hours, learn and network are the skills that you need to succeed in your endeavour.
I have witnessed my sister’s entrepreneurial pursuits firsthand. When she wanted to start her own business, the family was quite apprehensive. She had plans, ideas, strategies and a passion to make something of herself. And, she didn't stop there. She stuck to her idea and started planning her way to the top. It took her a lot of time to sort things out and to get the business up and running. I believe that it's that drive inside her that helped her make her business into what it is today. After all, a vision is what makes an entrepreneur.
What should I major in to be an Entrepreneur?
Every entrepreneur who has made it big may not have graduated from Ivy League universities. In fact, many of them have started without any degree. However, being an entrepreneur means that you have to be able to understand the risks, the factors of business and the laws of business. For this, it might be better to thoroughly study your niche before stepping into the business.
It is not mandatory to have big degrees to be an entrepreneur, but a basic degree in Business Administration does come in handy.
- The first step is to know your industry. The idea that is now a germ in your mind needs nurturing to grow into a successful business. It is important to learn as much as possible about the industry you are planning to enter or disrupt. If there are any available courses on the subject, do indulge.
- A basic degree in Finance and accounting does help in the long run. Any business needs a strong hand to guide its finances. There is much financial wizardry that is required to scale, attract investment and pace the business. Marketing, advertising, and other allied courses may also be beneficial. Knowledge is the way to success.
- There are many innovative courses available on entrepreneurship grooming. It might be handy to sign up to a reputed institution. The degree looks impressive to network partners and also gives you the knowledge of the skills you need to hone to be successful.
(Check these 11 Indian Women Entrepreneurs & Their Success Stories!)
How can I be an Entrepreneur without any money?
Coming from a family with an entrepreneur, this is a journey I can connect to. When my sister started her catering business, she was cooking out of her studio apartment. She didn't have the sort of investment she needed. Yet, she gathered a couple of her friends, raised funds and breathed life to her business.
Many young entrepreneurs like her have the passion and willingness to work but not enough money to invest.
Here’s how you can fund your way up the ladder -
- Ask your friends or family to seed fund your venture. You can get a loan without interest or even offer a small stake in your business.
- Find a co-founder who is able to invest time, skills and money. This can be a good move when you are ready to scale too. Investors are less wary of business models run by more than one person in charge.
- Bootstrap your way towards growth. Keep your costs pared and look for revenue growth to fund your idea. Growth may be slower but you can retain a large chunk of the business.
- Crowdfunding can be a good source of initial investment. Platforms like Kickstarter, GoFundMe and others can create capital, brand awareness and equity for your business. The process of market survey and feedback appraisal can also be simplified.
- Angel investors have been known to buy into a good story and can seed fund a good disruptive idea. Typically they look at companies that can generate 10 times the return on investment in a few years. Prepare a solid pitch and woo the moolah! You will also gain a lot of knowledge and experienced advice on how to trim your processes and scale up your business.
- The last but not the least important way to get funds for your initiative is to try and get a business loan or use a credit card for the initial funding. But do be warned that this may be a big risk as the interest rate may be humongous.
How much does an Entrepreneur make in a year?
When my sister started her business, she had trouble to keep things afloat and run things at home. It wasn't until later that the business broke even and profits started rolling in. The much coveted entrepreneurial journey requires a lot of patience and it can take quite a while for the business to make a good profit.
There is no fixed remuneration for an entrepreneur. For a small business, the take-home pay can be just expenses and a small amount in the beginning. Set the pay for yourself as a percentage of the profits to make it accountable. Do not forget that Mukesh Ambani takes home a salary of over 15 crores per annum as an entrepreneur, but that’s FAR from where he started!
Join the She Starts up Community to connect and interact with aspiring as well as established female entrepreneurs.
You can also read about their journeys and post your queries to get answers and clear your doubts regarding your venture. See you there!
Sheetal AreWe are glad to share that we too promote entrepreneurship which helps in creating jobs.
Sheetal AreThis is great.
Sheetal AreHey this is a great encouraging write up.
Shilpa GoreHi kanika your article is to nice and helpful ,its change a mind.
Seema RastogiHelpful article
Anu KalikalHelpful article.
Geeta UpaseGood read dear👌👌 , tqs for the tips and information.
Priyanka NairYour articles are always helpful. I am planning to get into entrepreneurship but yes little clueless about some facts But thanks for this one.