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Entrepreneurship

Information and advice regarding Start ups, Business and Investing

What Is an Entrepreneur?

An Entrepreneur is someone who can create a new business from an idea, someone who can think outside the box and see opportunity. An Entrepreneur is not only someone who wants to make a profit, but someone wants to change a culture or change the way we do things. An example of an Entrepreneur could be Jeff Bezos (Founder of Amazon), Jeff Bezos created Amazon in 1993 to initially sell books, but since then amazon has become a household name and now stocks nearly every household item that can be purchased online. Not has this entrepreneur create a new business, but he has also changed the way we shop and our idea of shopping. Items can now be purchased at any time online from the comfort of our homes or on our phones.

 

Entrepreneurs do not take a traditional route to find a job, instead they believe they add more value when they are working for themselves to create independence or creating a new product. An Inventor invents and creates a new product, but an entrepreneur not only invents and creates a product but he or she also raises funds to fund the process through investors, advertises the product, launches the product, sells the product and also reviews and makes changes to the product if needed. Many Entrepreneurs work in the early stages of their lives, so they can save funds. Once funds are saved they are used to create a product, a service or a business. Entrepreneurship involves designing, launching and running a new business, reviewing and amending.

 

An Entrepreneur can come in many different ages and there is no restriction. An example of this would be Charles Ranlett Flint (Founder of Computing Tabulating Recording Company) better known as IBM. He became the Founder at the age of 61. Charles had been involved in other companies but began IBM at a later stage in life. He was aware of the changes in those times and created a system that could record information and store it. Many Entrepreneurs often create businesses based on solutions to everyday problems or issues. Whilst other entrepreneurs may create a business or a system based on their hobbies or interests, an example of this can be JK Rowling (Author and Creator of Harry Potter). Harry Potter is a fictional character of JK Rowling which has not only become a film, but books, adventure park rides, toys and even games. Another Entrepreneur that comes to mind is Gurpreet Singh (Founder of Minority Mindset pictured above). Minority Mindset is an online service which offers advice, ideas and inspiration for becoming an investor.

 

Financial Stability

Being an entrepreneur is not easy, but it is possible, with the right qualities. There are many different aspects that need to be considered when considering being an entrepreneur. Ensuring financial stability is an important part of being an entrepreneur as it means you have the funds available to create your product and have funds available when they are needed for the product to be made or advertised. This is a very part of being an entrepreneur but not necessarily the first stage as you can also find investors who may be interested in investing once you have your idea. This also depends on the type of business you have in mind. For example an online business may have a lower cost of starting up then a business that requires you to have a physical location such as a restaurant. You may be able to afford the initial costs of the internet start-up company but may need investors or a loan to rent or lease a space for a restaurant business. There are also different types of funds that need to be considered. Let’s consider an online retail store where the entrepreneur makes designs on t shirts and sells them on their website.

 

  • Initial Start-up costs

This consists of the initial amount of money you need to begin your business. For example you will need to purchase a domain name, domain space, web designer and funds to purchase or create your product.

  • Running costs

This consists of regular daily outgoings. This can be the cost of the maintenance of the website, cost of the t-shirts and any other products needed to create the designs and then the packaging of the product. The weekly or monthly outgoing will need to be calculated to ensure you have the funds in place for operational needs.

  • Upgrades

Over time you may decide to use a better quality of t shirt or different material for the design so this will increase your cost. You may also decide to include a new range of t shirts or new products, which will also increase your costs.

 

Variety of Skills

Having a variety of skills is a must as you must ensure you are able to manage all aspects of your business. This can range from creative skills (to design and create your product and advertise your product), financial skills (to calculate how much is needed to create your product or service, to ensure you have enough funds to run your company, and calculate tax). Peoples skills (as you will need to be able to sell your product or services to others so being able to engage with others is crucial), IT skills (which are essential in the current day to promote and reach target audience on social media and use the computer to produce databases and reports). Acquiring all these skills can come from previous jobs, learning from others, reading books to understand the stages and plan strategies and also reflection to review and make changes when needed. Learning is an ongoing cycle as you will never stop learning. These are the basic skills you must have or be willing to learn in order to be an entrepreneur as they will be used daily with all aspects of your business.

 

Engaging with your audience

We are currently in a time where technology is present in all aspects of our lives from travelling, phones, entertainment, shopping and socialising. Therefore it is vital to be able to use technology to assist you when engaging with your audience. This can be done in a variety of ways which can include websites, eBooks, articles, video logs, podcasts and other forms. The most important part of engaging with your audience is not only the method you choose but more important your content. Is your content helping? Bringing value to someone? Is it relatable? Understandable? And what expertise or knowledge do you have in the particular area you are focusing on? All these make a difference to your content. You should be able to look at the world around you and understand how people prefer to engage and develop a method which also highlights your product or service.

 

 

 

Identify a Problem to Solve

Is your business or product solving a problem? An Entrepreneur like Jimmy Wales (Founder of Wikipedia) used Wikipedia to solve a problem by creating an online encyclopaedia where information can be found easily and quickly. This saves many people time as all the information can be found using a search function, if Wikipedia was not available they we may have to trawl through lots of pages. However, not all entrepreneurs solve problems, for example Doris F Fisher (Co-Founder of The Gap clothing store) does not. The Gap does not solve a problem but instead it provides a better quality of product and focuses on making more durable clothing made from cotton.

 

Solve That Problem

Have a think about your daily life. What tasks do you complete on a daily basis? Can you create a product or a system that will help save time or money each day? Solving an everyday problem is a popular way that is chosen by many entrepreneurs. An example of this can be Compare the Supermarket . com (BGL Group) which compares a large number of insurance companies and makes the process of finding insurance companies easy and time saving.

 

Useful Links

Entrepreneur.com | Investopedia.com | Business and IP Centre | Business News Daily |

YouTube Pages

Minority Mindset | How to be an Entrepreneur | Life of an Entrepreneur |

What Is a Business?

The term “business” can refer to the effort made by a team or an individual who are producing, creating products or providing a service with the intention of making a profit. A business can often be an organisation that is engaged in commercial, industrial or professional activities. A business is created to give you structure and accountability and involves you providing value to your customers in return for money. You must choose a business name and follow the steps to register your business. The next step will be to complete a business plan, a business plan is a document which includes you explaining the purpose of your business, your aim, your company branding, research into other competitors, projection of your starting costs, tax and profit and strategies you may be implementing. The business plan can also be used to apply for a loan or seek an investor. Legality and taxes will also need to be considered in your business. There are many different structures in business and each one is different and operates differently.

 

  • Self Employed

Many professionals are self-employed, which means they are providing a professional service as a contractor. An example of this can be a Doctor, instead of being a direct employee of a hospital or GP Surgery the Doctor is a contractor and submits an invoice to the hospital at the end of each work for the hours completed. The payment will then go to the company and the Doctor is responsible for paying their own tax. The hospital (employee) has no obligation to pay the Doctor a pension, provide sick days or provide any annual leave.

 

  • Limited Company

A limited company provides a structure of a company but can also be used for a self-employed professional. A limited company ensures you have a structure in place to pay and receive payments. An example could be purchasing property, you might purchase a property within a limited company name and the company will receive the income from the rent. The company will also receive invoices from the management company, accountant, repairs and other companies that the limited company will need to pay. All taxes and legal issues will also be completed through the company. The company owner is separate to the company and any legal issues or tax issues are resolved through the company and do not affect the company owner personally.

 

  • Sole Proprietor

Sole proprietor is when a company is run and managed by a single individual.  There is no legal separation between the business and the owner. The person is responsible for tax and legal liabilities of the company. For example, if I created a new ice cream, I may choose to become the sole proprietor and sell the ice creams and then complete my own tax forms and manage any incoming and outgoing invoices.

 

  • Partnerships

Partnerships can be a useful structure as a company when you and someone else may want to work together. An example may be, two friends who create a new product, they may have thought of the idea together and want to work together. They would be equally responsible for all the costs of the business and will receive equal shares and profits in the business. If this structure is selected then both parties should have a legal document drawn up by their own solicitors to confirm each person owns equal amounts of the company.

 

  • Charity and Non for Profit

A Charity or Non for Profit is not a normal business. A Charity or Non for profit may not sound like a business but it has a similar structure. A Charity or Non for Profit will also require a structure but often uses a board (this can consist of a Chair Person, a Secretary and a Treasurer).  Each member of the board is not paid but they have a responsibility:

 

Chair Person – Is responsible for holding 2 Annual General Meetings (AGM).

Secretary – Is responsible for recording and storing all the meetings and decisions made by the board.

Treasurer – Is responsible for managing and using the finances of the Charity.

 

A Charity of Non for Profit are exempt of paying tax, however if the organisation receives funding and decide to hire a staff or contractor, then that individual must pay tax on their salary.

 

Useful Links

12 Steps to Starting a Business | Starting a Business | Empowering your Business | Start A Business |

YouTube Pages

How to Start a Business | Napolean Hills 10 Rules of Self Discipline | Robert Kiyosaki Starting your own Business |

What is a Business Plan?

A business plan is a written description of your business. The document describes what you plan to do, how you plan to do it and what options you have thought about if your business does not go to plan. You might also include your USP (unique selling point) that makes you different to other companies or businesses. A Strategy is also a good idea as it shows the person reading your business plan that you have thought of a plan. You can also include the problems that you may face along the way , as this is a useful way to consider problems and solutions.

 

Business plans are very useful for you to refer back to once they are completed, as they will be like a guide for you. However, they can also be useful when seeking investors or funding as it shows you have a plan in place and have completed your research. There are a few sections that should be in every Business plan, these include:

 

  • Business  Concept – This section includes information about your industry, your business structure, your product or service and how you plan to start your business.
  • Market Place / Industry – This section includes research about the field you have chosen, identifying your customers and other competitors in the same industry.
  • Finances – This section includes information about your finances which consists of start up costs, cash flow statement and operational costs and finally sales projections and profit.

 

 

If you are thinking of starting a business or company then it is advised to write a business plan as this will help you think about potential issues, strategies and solutions. It will also give you an understanding of the costs involved in beginning and running a company. It is better to make mistakes on paper and amend the business plan each week, instead of blinding opening a business and paying for mistakes. However, do not let a business plan stop your creativity or stop you from pursuing your business.

 

 

 

Useful Links

Business Plan Template | 7 Samples Business Plans |

YouTube links

How to write a Business Plan | How to write a Business Plan for Beginners |

Disclaimer – All information in this section is not financial advice.

What is investing?

Investing can often mean exchanging one resource for another. For example, each day we invest our resource (time) for another resource (money) when we go to work or we invest our (resource) time for another resource (education) when we attend university. Therefore, we all invest something on a daily basis without even realising it.

When we think of investing from a business perspective it is often done with the intention of financial gain. An example of this could be an investment into a dividend share, this will include me using one resource (money) to purchase another resource (share) which will give me a return on my original investment.

 

Types of Investments:

 

  • Bank Account (Savings Account)

The most easiest way to invest is to simply place your cash into a high interest savings account, which can be opened at your local high street bank or online. This may include you placing a certain amount of money into that savings account each month which will pay you an interest. This is similar to an ISA account, however it is important to remember that ISA’s can put your capital at risk and you may get back than you originally invested. The amount of interest you receive will also depend on The Bank of England base rate and to see a profit you must ensure the interest is not affected by inflation.

 

  • A Bond

A Bond is a type of debt often taken out by large corporations or governments. This works by the investor buying a bond from a large corporation or government, in agreement with you receiving a fixed return by a certain time period. The amount you lend (in the form of a bond) will be used and you receive a higher amount at a later date.

 

  • Mutal Fund

 

  • Exchange Traded Funds (ETF’s)

 

  • Stocks and Shares 

 

  • Hedge Funds

 

  • Real Estate 

 

  • Peer to Peer 

 

  • Start Ups

 

Robert Kiyosaki

 

Robert Kiyosaki is a business owner and investor who has created the Rich Dad Poor Dad brand. The Rich Dad Poor Dad is a book which explores the difference of views in regards to finances and wealth from Roberts two Fathers, the Rich Dad (Roberts friends Father) who promoted the education of finance and seeing it as a tool to build financial independence and by the second Dad who was the Poor Dad (Roberts biological Father) who believed in remaining an employee and staying in a steady job.

 

Robert Kiyosaki teaches people about the Cash flow Quadrant and how the aim is to become an investor as soon as possible. We may all begin life as an employee but over time the aim should be to become an investor and allow our money to

work for us, and not for us to always work for money.

 

 

The 4 Sections in the Cash flow Quadrant include:

 

(E) Employee = you have a job

 

(S) Self Employed = you own a job

 

(B) Business Owner = you own a system, people work for you

 

(I) Investor = money works for you

 

 

Maya (Desires)

It is important to remember that as a Sikh we should not be attached to Maya (desires) and money can often be seen as Maya. However, we should not get attached to Maya but should still be able to create it to use it for good purposes.

When we think of Maya being used correctly we can use it to donate to more charities that help the needy, we can use it to create a fund for education for the less fortunate, we can use it to pay a wage for the next generations Giani Jis (Priests),

we can use it to purchase land and grow our own vegetables for Langar, the list is endless. Therefore we should only see Maya as a tool and not become attached to it, what it represents or what we can gain from it.

Our Mentoring Scheme

Do you remember when you first graduated? or maybe you are about to graduate? it can be a difficult transition as the safety net has been removed and you must now find your place in the world. I am sure we can all relate and would all appreciate some guidance along the way, whether it be completing applications, advice for the interview process or just discussing a job to get a better understanding of what it involves. Our Mentoring Scheme offers Sikh Graduates the opportunity to connect with Sikh Professionals an receive support with applications, interviews and advice on career progression.

 

 

Sikh Professional

Being a Sikh Mentor may involve providing advice for Sikh Graduates about your job, role, field and sector. This could be information about entry requirements, advice on completing application forms, interviews, open days, recruitment fairs or internship or opportunities to develop experience.  If you are a Sikh professional and work in an exciting field or for a large company, we would love to hear from you. If you would like to join our Mentoring Scheme, then get in touch, you can send us an email to info@sikhplace.com and we will send you our registration form.

 

Sikh Graduates 

If you are a Sikh Student or Graduate, you can also get in touch. You can tell us more about the university you attend, degree you are studying, when you finish your degree,  the sector you would like to work in, job role and the area you are from. You can also email us at info@sikhplace.com and we will send you our registration form. The most important aspect of this scheme is for people to network and that can only be done by sharing and following our social media posts with other Sikh Professionals and Sikh Graduates. So get sharing today! You can also add us on Linked In

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