How Can You Build an Enterprise from Scratch

Source | Entrepreneur : By 

Excuse the generalization, but on the whole, Gen X was on a quest for job security and job satisfaction. In contrast, millennials are more focused on meaning, purpose and wanting to make a difference. There’s no question entrepreneurship is an alluring option for this generation. Above all, what makes it so is the ability to chart your own course.  This independence and freedom to create, combined with the ability to positively impact society and the world at large, through value-creation and employment, is tremendously satisfying. The opportunity for wealth creation is just the cherry on the cake.

Advice for young entrepreneurs who are just starting out

There’s a common myth among many today, especially among ‘wantrepreneurs’ and ambitious fledgling entrepreneurs, that entrepreneurship is a rather glamorous world, of raising lots of money, living an independent lifestyle and making big exits. Having spent a good eleven years on this journey, I feel somewhat qualified to shatter that myth. Entrepreneurship is in fact all about the daily struggle with its ups and downs. Remember, you’re in this because you enjoy building something with all the pain and pleasure that comes with it. To paraphrase the author, Ursula Le Guin, while it’s certainly good to have an end to journey towards, it’s really the journey that matters in the end.

Here are some of my top tips I would share with younger entrepreneurs just starting out:

  • Focus on finance from the very beginning: Have a clear vision of the financial structure and workings of your business from the very inception – particularly cash and working capital.
  • Work on your business model: Focus on this right from the start. It might keep evolving; in fact, it needs to keep evolving, based on internal and external factors. Start somewhere and keep refining it consciously.
  • Documentation of roles and duties: If you have co-founders, ensure the roles of all founders are clear, in writing, on the terms of working, and very importantly, on the process of separation, should things go awry. Make sure there is explicit clarity on the division of responsibilities and line of authority. Have the hard conversations upfront.

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