By definition, an entrepreneur is “a person who sets up a business or businesses, taking on financial risks in the hope of profit”.

Let’s look at some of the motivational factors why some people become entrepreneurs ……

Financial gain … it is perhaps the strongest motivation


Challenge of starting a new venture

Inspite of spectacular starts, how many of the thousands of new business ventures that are launched every year get to succeed? Most entrepreneurs are looking for financial gains and quick profits. Some seek spectacular profits from capital gains, while some others want to generate a satisfactory cash flow.

For some entrepreneurs, it’s action first and strategy later. That will get your business started, but, over time, taking action in the wrong direction will only lead you further from your goal. Lasting success requires entrepreneurs to keep assessing and asking tough and, sometimes uncomfortable, questions. Ask yourself questions on your goals and formulate a vision of where you want your company to go, not where it is!

Entrepreneurs require to answer specific questions and formulate a strategic framework to set goals for their business, pick the right strategies to achieve those goals, and decide if they can successfully strategize the plan of action. The framework doesn’t prescribe answers, but instead, “helps entrepreneurs pose useful questions, identify important issues, and evaluate solutions.

The options that are a right fit for one enterprise may not be so for another. Entrepreneurs are faced with having to make decisions from a range of bewildering choices, make the decisions that are right for them and use the framework to assess their company’s position and reach.

The framework consists of a three-step sequence of questions. How entrepreneurs answer difficult questions on a daily basis would make the difference whether a business sinks or swims. To ensure success, the three most important questions entrepreneurs must answer, are:

What are my goals as an entrepreneur?

The first step clarifies entrepreneurs’ current goals.

Do I have the right strategy?

The second evaluates their strategies for attaining those goals.

Can I execute the strategy?

The third helps them assess their capacity to execute their strategies.

The sequence of questions requires entrepreneurs to confront the basic, big-picture issues before they think about refinements and details. Entrepreneurs need to evolve a strategy for their goals. They need to ask that moot question “Where do I want to go and how will I get there?”

Entrepreneurs must be specific about their personal goals before setting goals for their businesses. It is only when entrepreneurs can truthfully say what they personally want from their businesses will it make sense for them to ask the questions. From time to time they must also ask themselves if those goals have changed.

Along with the many opportunities and problems, for an entrepreneur to be successful in the long run, they must focus on the most important issues that will move the company forward toward the goals of the entrepreneur. The first step clarifies current goals. The second step evaluates strategies for attaining those goals. Finally, the third step helps the entrepreneurs assess their own capacity to execute their strategies.

The Most Important Questions Every Entrepreneur Must Answer

What are my goals as an entrepreneur?

When setting goals for your business, separate them from your personal goals. Entrepreneurs should first ask themselves if their goals are well-defined, what kind of enterprise they need to build and, what they personally want from their business. Many try to build a business on their personal passion. Once entrepreneurs have determined their goals for their business, they should ask themselves what are the risks and sacrifices such an enterprise will entail? The focus should be on personal growth and to grow a successful enterprise at the same time.

Do I have the right strategy?

After a goal has been determined, an entrepreneur must first define strategies for short-term and long-term goals and understand how to best obtain results. Those who have launched successful start-ups have a blueprint to achieve milestones, who to bring on board and attract investors.

Do not start a business banking on short-term opportunities without a long-term strategy. Only long-term strategists become successful entrepreneurs, make the transition and build crucial capabilities and resources.

An entrepreneur with a sound strategy may get around initial mistakes but there is little chance of long term success if you don’t have a sound strategy in place.

Ask yourself some questions, whether your strategy is well defined, can the strategy you have devised generate sufficient profits and growth? Will your strategy serve your enterprise over the long term and, is it sustainable? Are your strategies sound? After verifying the basic soundness of your enterprise, determine if your plans for its growth are appropriate. Are your goals for growth too conservative or too aggressive?  Setting the right pace is important to a young business. Both, too fast or too slow, is not sustainable.

Can I execute the strategy?

Probably the hardest question to answer for entrepreneurs. Great ideas don't always guarantee success. Many entrepreneurs have failed inspite of a brilliant strategy. Every company has its own story to tell about the development of systems and strategy. Additional growth requires huge capital infusion. Investors and potential buyers aren’t keen on small, marginally profitable ventures. Even with funds, enterprises have failed because of poor execution.

This is why investors invest in people. No one person can execute on even the best plan. For entrepreneurs, their team is their greatest asset. Hire the right people and smart people, who will be able to figure out solutions when things gets tough.

The focus should be on building a great culture that encourages creativity. Your workplace environment has a big influence on how well you can execute on your strategies.

Eventually, having clear goals and sound strategies is not enough. These need to be executed as well. This third step helps entrepreneurs evaluate the strength of their organization, hire the right people, leadership in the future and consider their customers and sources of capital.

You need a longer-term strategy if you want to be proactive. Step back and assess where you want to take your business and devise a strategy to make it happen. Using a strategic framework will have a positive effect on your business.  It is important to know where you want to go today, if you want to change your tomorrow.

Entrepreneurs are inclined to shoot first and strategize later. That will get your business started. but, over a period of time, taking action in the wrong direction will only lead you further from your goal. Instead, ask yourself the questions discussed here in order to reflect on where you are now and where you want to go. You just may get there.