So, for the last few days we have focused on articles about entrepreneurship. But I'm sensing there may still be some people reading this thinking 'but how would I know if I have the potential?'
Yes, we ran an article looking at the 'entrepreneurial process', showing it's actually a simple problem identification and solving process. But not everyone who loves solving problems would like being self-employed.
So, there are two questions I'd like to pose today.
- do you have to be self-employed to be an entrepreneur?
- how do you know if self-employment is for you?
1. Do you have to be self-employed to be an entrepreneur?
Strictly speaking, yes. An entrepreneur is officially defined as
"someone who starts their own business, especially when this involves seeing a new opportunity".
However, companies really, really love people who have the characteristics of entrepreneurs i.e. the entrepreneurial people.
They are the people who will spot an opportunity and make it happen, who take a company in an unexpected direction, or who enable a company to steal a march on its competitors. And because they can't call these people entrepreneurs, they have invented a new word to describe these people: intrapreneurs.
"an employee within a large company who takes direct responsibility for turning an idea into a profitable new product, service, business, etc., often instead of leaving to start their own company"
So, if you are always coming up with new ideas but want the security of an organisational structure and regular salary, then maybe you should be looking for a company that actively selects for intrapreneurial spirit.
2. How do you know if self-employment is for you?
This is a tricky one. After all, you may never have worked for anyone before so how do you know if you would rather work for yourself? But hints might include the fact that you hate being tied down into a particular way of thinking. What you want is the reedom to pursue your ideas in your way at your own pace. If that sounds like you, then maybe think about the idea of freelancing, consulting independently or setting up your own business.
Maybe you are always inventing things that fill a need no-one else has seen. Yes, you could take that ability to a design company. But if your ability to spot and fill holes in the market is also coupled with a strong independent streak then maybe you should find out a little more about setting up on your own. Enterprise Bath are there exactly for students like you! And that goes for whether what you make is an app, a gadget, a plate, a bag, soup - they have supported all these ventures and more.
If this has made you think even a little bit that entrepreneurship might be for you, why not pop along to a Banter meeting and chat to some like-minded people?