A guest post by Serena Schwab, CEO of Tigris Events
The A,B,C’s of How to Become An Entrepreneur
Are you an entrepreneur? Or do you hope to become an entrepreneur someday? If you answered yes to either of these questions, read on. There are a few basics you should know!
First of all, when you’re an entrepreneur, you need to be accountable and self-motivated. Some people may be born this way but many are not. For me, I learned at an early age that nobody was going to hand me anything on “a silver platter” so to speak. I watched many of my family members struggle and make poor decisions while I was growing up and consciously decided that I would never want to end up like them. I always juggled multiple jobs and had 2 part-time while starting Tigris, the business I would later come to own and run independently. Knowing you have no one to support is a great foundation for ambition.
Be the person that goes above and beyond; this position has served me infinitely well in business. You can have anything you want in the world if you can help enough other people get what they want. If clients call or email outside of work hours, they should hear back from you. If something goes wrong, you need to do everything in your power to make it right. It sounds like common sense and you’d expect it to be a given, but if you’ve ever hired a business for anything, you’ll know that it’s not. Although most companies profess to give great customer service, most do not. If you promise something, make sure you deliver on time. If you can’t deliver on time because of something out of your control, make sure you connect with the client to explain and give them a new timeline so your customer knows you have their back. Silence in communication is a killer for great customer service. No news is NOT good news.
When you’re getting started, one of the biggest challenges is managing cash flow. While Tigris was getting off the ground, I was also employed with another company – and the banks generously favour the employed over the self-employed. I could only obtain $3,000 credit on our company visa but with proof of employment, was given a $30,000 line of credit equal to my annual salary, with no questions asked.
Needless to say, I used my line of credit to my advantage so I could pay staff and vendors on time while waiting for payment from clients. Having adequate access to money allowed us to pay staff and vendors on time resulting in a dependable work force. You can’t depend on others if they can’t depend on you so this was really important for us.
When you’re working for yourself, there is a lot to learn and in recognizing this, you can propel yourself into success. Ask lots of questions, and find a mentor or two who can help you get where you want to be. It’s far more effective to learn from the mistakes of others than making your own, but when and if you do, don’t beat yourself up about it too much! We’ve all been there.
Founded in 2004, Tigris is Canada’s premiere brand experience agency specializing in dynamic personnel, promotions, marketing and events. Headquartered in Toronto, Ontario, we have over 1,200 temporary staff on our roster from coast to coast as well as an experienced team of account managers to turnkey events for maximum ease and cost-effectiveness.