Entrepreneurship refers to the willingness or the ability of an individual to start and manage a Business Venture. The risks associated with the new Business Venture are taken into account and the individual develops the plan to manage those risks and implement the plans in order to make profit. Such an individual can be referred to as an Entrepreneur. A new business venture depends heavily on innovation, inspiration, motivation and human and non-human resource planning and the risks associated with these factors.
An individual faces two options after graduation, whether to start a business venture or join an organization as an employee. Choosing one out of these two options can be difficult and tricky in today’s ever changing business environment around the world. Globalization has brought the people from different countries together and the exchange of ideas has become easier. But, at the same time, the overflow of information has made it difficult for entrepreneurs around the world, to evaluate those ideas and reach a conclusion.
A person who has confidence in his skills, knowledge and potential, is willing to take risks and can think differently is more likely to choose the entrepreneurial route. Working for an organization, as an employee, is a route taken by most of the people around the world, as it ensures security due to regular inflow of income with the least amount of risks. If you have the skills required to complete certain tasks, you are good enough to work for that job profile but setting up a business is a different ball game. It requires not just the technical knowledge to complete certain tasks, but to skills and ability manage the human and non-human resources.
When it comes to profits and revenues, we can simply consider the fact that higher risks lead to higher profits, and higher losses when things go wrong. So, a successful business venture can help an individual make such high profits that he can never make as an employee of an organization, thanks to the ability to take risks at the right time. So, when is the right time to take such a risk and start a business venture? There is no right or wrong answer to this question, since it’s the personal choice of an individual and there are several factors that impact the mindset of an individual to reach a conclusion. After graduating, I weighed and analyzed the situation based on my knowledge, skills and the current market scenario. I used SWOT analysis to analyze my strengths, weaknesses, opportunities in the market and the threats for a new entrant in the market. My final decision, whether to start a business venture or to work for an organization after graduating or to take an in-between path is based on the critical analysis of my skills, knowledge, financial capacity, professional experience and expertise and the current market scenario.
Entrepreneurship has several definitions and we can’t really have one single definition as it depends on several factors depending on the skills, knowledge, market scenario and economic, social and legal factors prevailing at a particular place. But one thing can be said that entrepreneurship requires skill, domain knowledge, the ability to manage the resources and taking risks. An entrepreneur goes the extra distance to make a career that he wants and tries to produce business ideas with the help of his skills that would help him in setting up a new business venture. It has been rightly said that higher the risk, higher is the profit or loss. Entrepreneurship is not a walk in the garden, it requires not just confidence and risk taking ability, but the knowledge and skills to manage the resources, and most importantly Human Resources. So, before entering the waters one should test the depth. What should an individual do after graduating from an institute depends on a lot of factors that vary from person to person and from country to country. The economic, social, legal and political factors have a great impact on the growth of any individual, organization or country and these factors change regularly in the current global market scenario. Globalization has brought a wave of entrepreneurship around the world and one should not just go with the flow but use his knowledge to decide what kind of career he should take up.
Working for an organization, on the other hand is a safe option as it does not involve a lot of risk and usually, the technical knowledge required to perform certain tasks and the ability to work in a team or a professional environment are sufficient for the effective and efficient working. The financial profits may not be huge but are certainly worth, if you are just working to learn about the organizational behavior, structure and processes.
Analyzing the current situation
Before taking the decision to start a business venture or to join an organization as an employee, it is really important to analyze the situation i.e. your skills, knowledge, professional experience or qualifications and market or economic conditions. Using SWOT analysis, one can analyze the situation and can get an idea about what decisions he should take for his career growth and development. SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. This model simply makes an individual or the organization aware about the current scenario and helps in making important decisions.
The strengths determine the areas you are good at and these are the areas where one should invest and be willing to take the risks. Weaknesses on the other hand determine the areas of improvement, areas where one should invest more time in learning and areas where the risks should not be taken in the current situation. The Opportunities and Threats provide the information about the market conditions. They provide information about the areas where other people are performing well and areas where not too many have tried their hands or failed. The opportunities are usually related to the skill sets of the individuals and organizations, for example, a student who has a degree in Computer Science would have the opportunities to work in the Information Technology industry or start an organization in the same field due to the levels of knowledge and skills. Threats are usually related to the competition that one might face in the market scenario, for example, the threat to a student or a professional willing to start a business venture in a market would be others who are in the same business. An individual or a firm developing software would have competition from other software firms in terms of quality, pricing, brand image and other related domains.
The SWOT analysis can help individuals and organizations in making the important decisions regarding setting up a business venture. If an individual feels that he is not ready to set up a business venture, he can definitely join a professional organization and learn the skills are processes and come back later, to start his own venture.
Financing is another important aspect that must be considered when an individual has to choose between becoming an entrepreneur and working for an organization. A fresh graduate may have the skills and knowledge to manage a business venture but may not have the finances to run the business. In such a case, funding or financing of the venture is important. Here, an individual can either look for venture capitalists in the market who are willing to finance the business venture or invest his own money. Finding a venture capitalist for funding is not an easy task and is not a very economic option either. What can an individual do then? There are banks and other financial institutions that offer loans at reasonable rates of interest but how much can they fund your project when you hardly have any material proofs to show that the business would work brilliantly in the future? Once again, it becomes difficult to get a reasonable amount of funding from banks when you do not have enough professional experience.
The option that still remains after the above two possibilities, is to work for an organization as an employee and support your business venture from your own earnings. This method may got get you instant funding and at times may even take years to accumulate savings that would be sufficient to fund your business venture. This process might take some time but is a good option for someone who does not want to share his ideas or profits with the venture capitalists and needs funding that is not unreasonably high. Also, when saving while working, an individual gets the flavor and experience of working in a professional environment, dealing with people and teams and understanding the business operations and processes.
Advantages of Entrepreneurship
Freedom – The first and the most important advantage of entrepreneurship is the freedom that one gets in making the important decisions and trying new business ideas. One can work according to his own schedules and comfort, which is not usually the case when you are working for an employer and you have to follow the schedules and other guidelines like any other employee of the organization.
Decision Making – An entrepreneur can up with innovative ideas and try to implement them in his business venture. This not only brings in personal satisfaction but also provides knowledge about what all ideas work and what all ideas do not, which is a great source of leaning and development. An employer may not provide the option to implement ideas or make decisions at will.
Earnings – An entrepreneur can earn profits that an employee working for an organization may not even be able to think of. It goes with the saying, higher risks lead to higher profits and losses. So, an entrepreneur has the opportunity to earn huge profits with his ideas and innovations but an employee working for an organization just gets his salary, plus some bonus if the employer is willing.
Leisure and work-life balance – An entrepreneur can take a break from work at will, go for a holiday, spend time with family and friends or just spend time doing nothing. On the other hand, an employee of an organization might need approvals before he can even think of leaving for a vacation or leaving early from office for a certain event.
You are your own boss – Perhaps, the one thing that most people want from their lives. An entrepreneur is his own boss and can make or change his plans without anybody’s approval. There is no one who would shout at you because you are late to office or did not follow the dress code.
There are certain advantages that entrepreneurs have over the employees working for some organizations, but that does not mean that there are no disadvantages or limitations. The employees working with organizations get certain benefits that an entrepreneur may not get like paid holidays, gratuity, provident fund, medical facilities and superannuation.
Disadvantages of Entrepreneurship
Effort and Time – A new business venture demands a lot of effort and time in the early phases which many people are not willing put in. Even, when the business has become successful, an entrepreneur needs to dedicate a lot of time, since the whole business is his responsibility and some wrong acts may hamper the image of the business. The leisure and work-life balance, at times, come at the cost of business opportunities and revenues.
Competition – In the current global market scenario, profit margins are low and there are too many competitors. An entrepreneur has to come up with innovations and new ideas for the business to continue o its path to success. An entrepreneur should regularly upgrade his skills and be aware of the current happenings in the market to stay in the competition. This requires a great deal of effort and time.
Low Success Rate – It has been observed that more than 60 percent of the new business ventures around the world, shut down within one year of operation due to low or negative profits. Sustaining the business after early success is also a challenging task and several ventures fail even after a successful start. In traditional employment, on the other hand, employees do not generally face such issues and can even switch their jobs when an organization is not any good to their career and development. Switching a job is not an option for an entrepreneur.
Work Schedule – An entrepreneur has to work at irregular hours, at times, depending on the requirement of the clients. Early phases of a new business venture require a great deal of time and no flexibility in work schedules, which is not usually the case with the employees working for an organization.
Irregular income – The entrepreneurs do not have regular incomes. There are times when revenues flow and profits are huge and there are times when the business has to go through losses i.e. negative income. An employee of an organization gets regular income, though it may not be huge but provides financial security.
So, I had this question in front of me, whether to work for an organization after graduating from a reputed institute or to start my own business. After analyzing the situation and my current skills, knowledge and professional experience and expertise, I have decided to take a route that is somewhere in between taking a big risk and taking no risk at all. Based on my level of skills and knowledge, I still feel that I need the knowledge about the processes that help the effective working of an organization. It is important for me to understand how people react to different situations at workplace, their attitude towards individual and team targets, their honesty and loyalty for the organization and their willingness to learn and grow. Since individuals are the most important part of any organization, learning about human behavior is really important. Employees make or break any organization, so, I first want to learn different aspects of human behavior in real time environment and then take the risk.
It is rightly said, one should test the waters before entering them. Working for an organization would give me a real time experience about the processes and operations of an organization. I want to start my career in the e-Commerce industry and learn more about people and processes. In today’s world, globalization has brought people together and technology has played its part in the growth of e-Commerce industry. There are industries that that rise and fall quickly, but in the globalized market today, e-Commerce is definitely here to stay for a long time. The success of organizations like Amazon, Ebay and Flipkart has proved that this industry is one of the most sought after industries around the globe. People just need an internet connection to access these websites and get the products delivered to their doorsteps in a reasonable amount of time.
These websites require two major things viz. the latest technology and marketing expertise. Marketing professionals around the globe have helped the growth of this industry and because of them, the industry has made a place for itself in the market in no real time. Industries may rise and fall, but people would never stop buying things, be it electronics, apparels or even food items and therefore e-Commerce industry seems to have a bright future. The initial costs of investment aren’t huge but professional expertise in technology and marketing is required, therefore, the funding or financing aspect of an e-Commerce firm can be taken care of easily, if finances are planned well.
There is tough competition in the market because of the presence of several big e-Commerce organizations but opportunities for a new entrant in the market are still there. New marketing techniques, use of latest technology and well planned finances can help me start my business in two to three years down the line. By then, I would have the professional experience and expertise and knowledge of processes of operations of an e-Commerce organization to manage my business. Being Ethical in approach and maintaining the quality are never out of fashion and these can help a new organization make a name for itself in this competitive market.
The decision to start working with an e-Commerce organization after graduating, and then starting my business venture after two to three years is based on the following parameters-
Finances – Being a freshly passed graduate, financing the business venture is a difficult thing. Since I do not want to be financially dependent on anybody for starting my business, I would work for a few years, accumulate some savings and then start my business venture. I might also start investing time and money in my business venture while working for the organization.
Professional Experience and Expertise – Since, I have not worked with any organization before, I want to learn about the processes and operations of a professional organization. Dealing with people is another important aspect that has to be taken care of while managing a business and working for an organization would help my career growth in the field of Human Resources, organizational behavior and organizational structure.
Freedom – I want to follow my passion and want the freedom to work on my own terms and conditions but I am also aware of the fact that freedom does not come easy or for free, it has a cost attached to it. I am willing to work for extra hours to get the professional experience and expertise and then move on to my own business venture.
Earnings – I do not want a limited income and therefore, I want to work hard and start my own business. I am willing to put in extra hours of work.
NO to Monotony – Life and work at many organizations become monotonous with time and I do not want a career where I get bored with my work, therefore, I want to take the entrepreneurial path, which never gets boring due to regular interactions with various departments like technology, marketing, operations and finance. There is something new to learn almost every day and that is the best part about being an entrepreneur.
Therefore, I have taken a decision to work for an e-Commerce organization for two to three years, learn about the processes and operations, get the required professional experience and expertise and then start my own business venture. I have taken this decision after carefully analyzing the current situation which included analysis of my skills, knowledge, experience, finances and economic, legal, social and legal situation for managing businesses in the country. I need some professional technical experience and need to understand how people work individually and as team members in order to gain the knowledge that would help me manage my business venture effectively and efficiently. Once, I am confident that I have gained the skills and knowledge required to manage a business venture, I’ll make a move and go ahead with my entrepreneurial/business ideas.
I would like to end on a positive note that nothing is impossible in this world, if you want to achieve something in life, you can definitely achieve it, provided you have the passion and willingness. There is nothing called Impossible, the word itself says “I M POSSIBLE”. So, going by this phrase I’ll try my best to achieve my future goals and start my business venture in the e-Commerce industry selling quality Electronics and Fashion goods to people across the world at reasonable prices and in an Ethical way.
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