Entrepreneurship has traditionally been the best way to work your way up in the world. However, in the past hard work, a little capital money and innovation were really all you needed to be successful. Today this is not the case. There is a long laundry list of skills, assets and knowledge that you need in order to be a successful entrepreneur.
To start up nearly any business today you need capital to invest. The amount of money that you need is going to vary between a couple hundred dollars and several million dollars depending on your industry. Most home based businesses can be started up for under $500, however, businesses that require a traditional store front, large pieces of equipment and a staff will require at least $100,000 to start up. Franchises also require a large investment for start up, including about $100,000 to invest in franchise fees, equipment and other start up costs, as well as about $250,000 for real estate purchases and remodeling costs. As you can see it is not cheap to be an entrepreneur.
Understanding of your industry is also critically important if you want to be a successful entrepreneur. It is not enough to know how much money is generated by your industry. You need to know who your customers are, what they respond to in terms of advertising tactics, what products they are interested in and how they shop. You also need to understand who your competition is, how large your market is and what advertising options are available to use.
Entrepreneurs require a number of skills that make them more than business managers and more than just innovators. To start with entrepreneurs need a good head for business. This means that they can read and product financial statements, that they can track inventory, that they can manage a staff and that they can develop business plans and marketing concepts. Next they need to know how to use technology to both run their business and to market their business. For example, entrepreneurs need to know how to use accounting software, business management software and they need to know how to use the Internet as a marketing tool. Entrepreneurs also need to be public relations experts. This means that they need to know how to approach the public with their products and business ideas, and they also need to know how to use public opinion to keep their company afloat even during rough times.