So you want to be an entrepreneur? Start acting like one!

if you’ve ever seen Dragons’ Den, you’ve probably marvelled at the dragons’ ability to turn virtually everything they touch to gold. You could assume that these people have an entrepreneurial spirit that is a natural gift.

On the other hand, you could reason that they weren’t born entrepreneurs; they just tried and failed enough times until they succeeded. If you want to harness your inner entrepreneur, start with a few simple changes.

Exploit your existing market

Although the most famous entrepreneurs end up with a whole range of successful businesses across industry sectors, they usually started off exploiting opportunities in a market they knew well. Look at the faults that exist in your daily life or solutions that your existing clients have been yearning for and which, with a little creativity, you could make money out of.

Even the sluggish economy could provide opportunities, as rapid changes reveal gaps in the market that you can exploit. Remember that simple improvements can be just as successful as full-blown innovations.

Change your company culture

One of the most celebrated examples of a business encouraging entrepreneurship is Google. From the start, founders Larry and Sergei established a way of doing things that involved employees working on their regular projects for four-fifths of the time and dedicating one-fifth of it to being creative. If the legend is to be believed, this policy resulted in a series of money-spinners for the company, such as Google News and Google Shopping.

Now you might not be Google (in fact, you may not even have any employees) but you can make the same sort of changes to your business. Force yourself and/or your employees to ignore the daily grind for a small proportion of the working week, so you can dedicate time to brainstorming and creativity.

Encourage freedom of thought and promise yourself that you’ll follow through with the really brilliant ideas. If you set the right foundations, you’ll succeed in identifying new revenue streams and retaining ambitious staff.

Start acting like an entrepreneur

The truth is that entrepreneurs do think differently to the average person, so you need to get into their mindset. Entrepreneur forums and events can help, as can the most successful entrepreneurs’ blogs, books and top tips.

As well as thinking differently, entrepreneurs usually also have vast contact networks. If you’re not a social butterfly, recognised in your market and beyond, it’s time to start networking. Having a range of contacts to call on can quickly generate a buzz around your new idea and also help you with the areas of this new venture that aren’t your forte.

If you are well-connected, don’t forget that you’ll also need a capable team. These are the people that you rely on to put your plans into action. The right team will help you to stay focused and avoid the serial entrepreneur’s curse of being tempted by every new development, which can be distracting.

Do you have any tips on entrepreneurship to share? Do you think entrepreneurs are a specific breed or can anyone improve their business by thinking more like an entrepreneur?

Cameron Moore has been managing industry-leading financial software with Intuit since 2005. For his current position, Moore brings his experience in online and mobile applications to the Intuit UK team as the Product Management Leader for QuickBooks Online. Previously, he led the Consumer offerings for Intuit Canada, including TurboTax, TurboTax Online and Quicken. He has also adapted award-winning products to meet the needs of key global markets, with previous experience working in France, the US and Mexico.