Entrepreneurship is a sure path to increase your income stream. Anytime the government review prices, the effects of this price review are immediate. Transportation costs for both goods and humans go up. Prices of foodstuff and groceries go up. Prices of services, hairdressing, vulcanising, dry cleaning are all up.
Basically, everyone increases their prices to reflect new economic realities. I made some interesting observations about how different people react to abrupt price changes such as this. The bus driver and conductor who are small business owners increase their price, the pepper seller also increases her price, so also the hairdresser and the tailor.
Interestingly the only persons who can’t increase their earnings immediately are salaried workers. Your boss doesn’t come in the day after the price increase and tells you, take this 50% raise because fuel prices have gone up.
The salaried worker with the same pay check is expected to deal with the realities of these many price increases. If you have always thought entrepreneurship isn’t right for your type of person or you simply can’t find time to run a business for purposes of secondary income, then this write up would serve as a subtle nudge for you to rethink your position.
Four Ways To Entrepreneurship
Entrepreneurship isn’t so complicated. You buy/produce/acquire/outsource a product X and sell at price Y, ensuring the difference between Y and X can take care of expenses and allow you to make a profit. Anything short of this is busyness and not a business.
There are four types of entrepreneurial ventures according to Steve Blank. Steve Blank has written some of the most thought-provoking books on entrepreneurship. You should read The Four Steps to the Epiphany and The Startup Owner’s Manual.
Small Business Owner
This is where the majority of entrepreneurs fall. It is usually a small operation delivering a specific or limited range of products or services. Think of a product or service that you could sell. You don’t necessarily need to be the person to run the operations of the business.
You could employ someone or put together a small team and distribute work accordingly. Invest small and watch the business grow. The idea is to build secondary income and not to lose the cash generated from your primary income. An easy way to come up with an idea on what to sell is to look at what you and your colleagues spend a lot of money on.
These are ventures that have high growth possibilities. They usually have high adoption rates, high engagement rates, high revenue rates, etc. There’s something about the product or service that sticks and causes it to go viral. While you can start this business while on your 9-5, you can’t sustain its momentum or fulfill its growth potential without committing full-time to it.
The work that needs to be done in a scalable start-up is strategic, with long execution hours. You will need a funding plan to scale quickly and a no-excuses execution team. Jumia and konga are prime examples of scalable start-ups. These businesses are less than ten years old and have significantly altered the retail space in the country.
It is possible you aren’t driven by the need to make money but your entrepreneurial side can’t help but notice certain gaps in the market, especially with regards to making available products and services for the less privileged or low-income earners. These products or services serve to elevate the standard of living of the people they are targeted at.
Social entrepreneurs aren’t particularly driven by the need to make money, but their ventures must remain profitable and self-sustaining. Look around you at some societal ills and see which you can bring your trainings and skills to bare on to solve. The world could do with more social entrepreneurs.
Large organisations, because of their size and balance sheet, many times become complacent and fail to innovate. Some have paid largely for this by losing market share and sometimes going bankrupt. Working in a large organisation gives you a unique opportunity to show off your entrepreneurial skills.
Think of a new product or service that ties closely with the value proposition of your company and chances are that if management is convinced about your capacity to lead, you will be given the responsibility to lead the team that builds this new product.
A good number of employees have made quantum leaps and skipped several levels to go right to the top, managing new ventures within large organisations. Even when you don’t get to lead the team with the new venture, you accomplish two things: one is that you continuously flex your idea muscles and second is that you position yourself as an indispensable resource to management.
I am convinced that everyone should have a minimum of two streams of income. One of those streams should be such that one doesn’t need to go on strike or call for meetings or make appeals for its increment to happen. It should be a ready resource to help you cope when prices go up as they will eternally do.
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