This pandemic has created a big shift in people’s aspirations. With a lot of redundancies being made, we are forced to look for different options and one of the most attractive ones is that of being your own boss. In order to run your own business successfully, you need to gain certain business experience. How exactly can we do that?
The most desirable way would be through joining a successful, small company. Working there will give you the ins and outs of daily operations and you can gain an understanding of what kind of resources you would need and what problems you may encounter. A lot of businesses are started by those who have worked for someone else and decided that they can do it better themselves. The issue with this method is it relies on you being able to get a job in that company and that’s a lot easier said than done. It may be worth seeing if you can shadow someone in the workplace so although you wouldn’t get paid, you would skill gain a lot of insight into the processes within the organisation.
The second way of gaining experience is through theory. There are countless business books from successful entrepreneurs as well as online courses that are designed to enhance your business knowledge. Understanding the theory behind running a successful business means you are halfway there. You will be able to write up good documentation, understanding marketing techniques, understand the legislation involved, etc. as well as understanding where you should begin.
The third option is to find a mentor. There are people that appear on shows like Dragons Den who usually are somewhat successful but they are also happy to assist others who want to build up a successful business. A business mentor will not necessarily need to be someone who is in the same industry as you plan to be, but it’s more about their experience in the business world. Entrepreneurs aren’t just successful because of their industry knowledge. It’s their capability to mold well into the business world. They understand the fundamentals of business which is one of the most valuable insights and experiences you can get. You learn how to build good relationships and have a large turnover (as well as making a profit). Seeing that they are able to do it should leave you inspired that you can do it too.
The fourth option is to gain experience through practice. I’d highly recommend at least having some kind of theory behind you to give yourself a good shot at success. Often we gain the best experience by doing it ourselves. Obviously, that means there is a greater risk as you’re more likely to make mistakes but the point is, you get a chance to learn and overcome them yourself. Every business is unique so you can gain a lot of experience by navigating your own way through it. There are plenty of support resources such as online groups or government advice. The experience you gain will be incredibly valuable, but you need to have clear plans in place for if things were to go wrong. If you start a business on a whim, you can end up spending a lot of money and just going around in circles, not bringing in any customers.
Ultimately, there is no right or wrong way to gain business experience, it really depends on what you want. If lockdown has given you the inspiration to try and start your own business then you should go for it. Be realistic but don’t let that stop you from pursuing your goals.