A lot of people dream of becoming entrepreneurs.
However, most people with such dreams are currently working for other corporate organisations.
Certainly, such people will be wondering what to do before they jump from the corporate life to entrepreneurship.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of EDEL Technology Consulting Ethel Cofie who has made the jump has these steps to share.
• Don’t jump immediately.
“I don’t subscribe that you jump immediately. There are certain skills you need to have before you jump,” Cofie said.
• Learn to deal with failure
Ethel Cofie told a story of how she failed terribly when she started her first business. “I lost all my savings at the time and I was back to square one,” she said.
She later started working for other firms “in an attempt to ensure that I could get back on my feet and start a business.”
• Recognise the key skills you don’t have and work to acquire them
You may be dreaming of starting a shoe manufacturing company but you also need to learn to market your products.
For Cofie she admits that she did not know how to sell “I was a technical person, good at building software and consulting for my client on how to use technology to build their businesses.”
“But if you can’t sell then you don’t have a business,” she added.
• Learn how to sell
Start volunteering to help sales personnel on the field. Ethel said “you can start volunteering in your church when they go for fundraising drives. It is a good place to learn how to sell, how to convince people and how to negotiate.”
She alluded to the fact that in the learning process it may not be comfortable but you must learn to sell “or you have a hobby, not a business.”
• Learn how to be uncomfortable
There is a lot of uncertainty in entrepreneurship. She advised that to do this you must do something out of the box. “So if you are a lawyer, ones a week spend time with your friend that runs a restaurant. It will give you a different perspective on how things are done.”
We all have to learn from another industry and apply it to our sectors of interest. Ethel added that “do something out of the norm at least once a month.”
• Be a power listener
“Listen to what the client is saying and be able to realise what the client needs and sell it to them.”
To develop this skill you have to give full attention to what someone is saying to you and take your time to answer questions.