Starting your own business seems like a lucrative investment these days as many professionals find it more profitable to earn money on the side instead of depending on a 9-to-5 job alone. However, entrepreneurship is a challenging venture that isn’t suited for everyone.
So while having a full-time job is not without its benefits, the future is entrepreneurial. Starting your own business venture is certainly riskier but it also comes with higher payoffs – the freedom to live and work anywhere in the world, a more rewarding career, more free time and greater personal and professional fulfilment.
Becoming an entrepreneur creates an incredible opportunity for people with useful skills to start a business on the side, and eventually grow that into a sustainable self-employed career. And this is just one of the many reasons you should become an entrepreneur. Let’s look at the rest.
Entrepreneurial work might seem like a bit of a gamble because you are leaving behind a monthly salary and venturing into the unknown. While it is true that it does involve a more intensive work schedule (most entrepreneurs work well over after the end of normal business hours as well as most weekends), after a while, you fall into a pattern as well and it becomes more organized and manageable. This is particularly true when you have a plan of action.
Most successful entrepreneurs follow comparable patterns and similar basic characteristics. So what are a few points you can use to guide you in your entrepreneurial endeavors?
- Sell what you do
Most people leave the 9-to-5 world to ‘follow their dream’. Or in other words – to do what they have a passion for. That is a crucial component of entrepreneuring. You MUST love what you do in order to sell it. Identifying a business that is ‘right’ for you makes it easier to package your skills and create value for potential customers – two important aspects of making space for yourself in the market.
2. Sort out your finances
Now that your personal and business lives are interconnected, you will have to think about the capital needed to fund your venture. You are likely to be your first — and possibly only — investor. Therefore, understanding your personal finances, and having the ability to track them, is an essential first step before seeking outside funding for your business. Setting up your personal accounts in a money management system can greatly simplify this process.
3. Study the market
Testing out the waters, so to speak, is part of the beginning of every business. Studying the market, your direct and indirect competitors and, finally, your target audience, are important steps of your journey as an entrepreneur. Before you spend any money, you want to find out if people will actually buy your products or services. And if your offering brings any added value to the already existing alternatives on the market.
4. Plan ahead
After researching the market, you need to craft a plan to make a name for yourself in it. This is where your marketing strategy comes in. Anyone who is someone in the business world is online and if you want people to find you, you will have to put your business on the digital map. Embrace and use the most effective online tools (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn) available to broadcast your company, products or services. Build a following, engage with your audience and convert them into paying customers. This is a process and you have to be consistent to see results.
5. Invest in yourself
Many entrepreneurs often spend a few years working for others in their field of choice before striking out on their own. Spending a few years in the industry under an excellent mentor will provide a good launching pad. Find someone willing to teach and add your own personal flair to the know-how you acquired to create a new business that is truly unique.
Becoming an entrepreneur may seem like a great idea at the beginning but it’s a process that takes a lot of dedication and perseverance. Jumping all in is rarely ever the best way to go about it. The stories about overnight success about people who invested everything are more fiction than fact. Risk management is an essential factor in any startup, and balance is crucial. Starting out small and, possibly, pursuing your entrepreneurial project in addition to keeping your full or part-time employment is one way to minimize risk (check out our Part Time Entrepreneur E-book). You want to be smart about it and invest only what you can afford to lose – that applies to both your time and money.
One of the best things of the Information Age we live in is that you are literally one click away from thousands of stories of other entrepreneurs. And you can learn something from both their successes and failures. Learn from your predecessors’ mistakes and brainstorm about how to improve upon their model. Find someone willing to teach, use the wealth of knowledge you can find online and craft the blueprint of your business bit by bit. Make plans, trust your instincts and take action.
-Article written by Guest Writer