How to Become an Entrepreneur

Provided by Thomas Boyd, Ph.D, Dean of Kaplan University’s School of Business and Management.

Thomas Boyd, Ph.D, Dean of Kaplan University’s School of Business and Management.

Business analysts have stated that small business creation and a growth of entrepreneurship will be a key driver in the country’s economic recovery.

According to the Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurial Activity, the number of new businesses created during the current recession has increased. In 2009, business start-ups reached their highest level in 14 years – even exceeding the number of start-ups during the peak 1999-2000 technology boom.

While some may argue that you can’t teach someone to be an entrepreneur, according to Thomas Boyd, Ph.D., dean of Kaplan University’s School of Business and Management, there are many ways to incorporate your entrepreneurial spirit into your everyday life and work, to see if it is the right course for you.

Be more entrepreneurial in your current job:

Think like your customer – focus on customer value and new ways to create it.
Think like your boss – look for wasted time, effort, and resources.
Think like the other functional areas of the firm- identify how your group can better interact with them to improve the organization.

Acquire the skills to start your own business:
Assess yourself honestly. Will you be happy taking risks, being creative, and working long hours?

Take a certificate or course in entrepreneurship to assess your readiness and gain some knowledge of how to begin the process of starting your own company. Learn about market evaluations and risk assessments.

Plan accordingly: Will you need to keep your current job, or get a side job to sustain you while you are working on growing your own business?

Draft a business plan that identifies how much capital you will need to start your business, what investment sources you may need to tap, how you will differentiate your service/product from your competitors, how you will market and promote you business, etc.

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