It is often assumed that you are either born an entrepreneur or you’re not. That you either have that risky, quick-thinking, innovative nature or you don’t. That you will either succeed in business or you won’t. However, the truth is anyone with a bit of determination and a great idea can be an entrepreneur!

Almost all references that attempt to educate one on how to become an entrepreneur start with the step, ‘think of a great idea.’ For some this can be the hardest part. It is important to remember that an idea does not necessarily need to be entirely original or a one of a kind invention. Instead, it may be a service – a way to do something better or a product that is more efficient than its predecessors.

Entrepreneurs relish the opportunity to take an idea no matter how brilliant or underwhelming and develop them into successful business ventures. More often than not, at first entrepreneurial ideas either seem too unrealistic or just plain terrible. When Perrier first contemplated the idea of bottled water, there is no doubt that it would have been dismissed as ludicrous.

One of the most unique and powerful characteristics of an entrepreneur is his/her ability to turn an unrealistic idea into a profitable business venture. Above all else, entrepreneurs themselves rate passion and self-belief as one of the most important things to possess when setting up a business. It does not matter if you don’t have accounting skills or any marketing knowledge – these are all skills that can be purchased or borrowed from other people. What is most important is that you believe enough in your idea to stand by it and put in the hard yards.

Hard work comes with the territory of an entrepreneur. Aside from driving the idea and planning for a new business, you will often find yourself working in a myriad of different and challenging roles to keep the business afloat. In the beginning these jobs may include, pitching your business to investors, drafting marketing plans, and importantly predicting and evaluating the profitability of your business. However, as your business grows you may find yourself as the ‘jack of all trades’ doing anything from wining and dining your new clientele to unpacking stock.

To ensure that any hiccups or obstacles that are bound to come your way do not disrupt the entirety of your business you must plan. Passion and belief may be enough to drive your idea but it is intelligent planning that will ensure it grows. A really in-depth and well researched business plan is key to this. Many universities and TAFE’s offer short business planning courses that will go through this step by step. They are also a way to learn from people who have done it all before. Alternatively, there are endless examples on the internet that will point you in the right direction.

A business plan should include a clear mission statement that guides and determines everything else you plan to do in or for your business. In addition to this, a business description/overview, marketing strategy and a financial plan are extremely important in the early stages of your business.

Whilst your path and in the end your business will change time and time again, a business plan provides a focus, and helps to eliminate unforseen problems from arising in the future. The more research and time you put into planning for your business, the easier establishing yourself and producing an initial cash flow will be.

Good luck in your future entrepreneur endeavours!