Being an entrepreneur can be difficult. 75 percent of startups backed by venture capital fail.
But it can also be a fantastic calling. There’s the freedom it gives you to set your own hours and work in a way that best suits you.
Then there’s the potential to do great things. You can develop products and services that can help people. Look at entrepreneurs like Richard Branson, Elon Musk, or Lord Alan Sugar.
Are you wondering how to become an entrepreneur? Read on to learn more.
Figure Out Your Passions
Want to swap the security of a 9-5 for being an entrepreneur?
You need to make sure you choose something that will keep you going. Even if things get difficult while you’re setting everything up.
So do a skills analysis. What are you good at?
Are there things that come easily to you, but others struggle with them?
Think about what you enjoy doing. When you enjoy doing something, it becomes easier to access a flow state. While you’re in flow, you get more done with less effort.
At this point, don’t worry about what might work as a business. You’re thinking about what you might like to do.
Still Stuck? If you’re still stuck, look at it this way.
What work have you done before, even just as a favor or to help out?
How could you turn those skills into a business?
Which businesses interest you?
Figure out how you could put a new spin on an existing idea.
Are there any gaps in the market? Can you work out how to fill them?
Do Your Research
Now you’ve got ideas about what you’d like to do. Not all of your ideas will work as a business. It’s okay to leave some things as hobbies.
But now you need to figure out which ones would be suitable as businesses. Spend some time researching who else offers what you want to offer. Is it an innovative product you’ve invented?
See what might be available that’s similar. Don’t worry if you find something similar exists. Work out how your offering is different from what already exists. This is especially true if you want to provide services. Use this time to see if you need any further education. You may need accreditation before you can practice a skill.
Create a Business Plan
You’ll need a business plan if you want investors. It also helps you set up your business faster because you know what you’ll need in place. At its heart, a business plan captures those things you want to achieve with your business. Then it maps out what strategy you’ll use to do that. Include a way to measure how successful you’ve been in meeting your objectives. This is also the point when you choose your business model. Take time to learn the financial terms you’ll need to run a business.
Identify Your Target Audience
It’s a good idea to do this before you start creating. Knowing your target audience will have a huge impact on many parts of your business.
It’ll dictate your branding because you’ll need a brand that appeals to this audience. But it will also guide your marketing so you know where to show your messages so this audience sees them. You may need to open your business in a physical way, like a store or gym. Once you know who you’re targeting, you can narrow locations that fit.
You’ll do a lot of the work yourself in the early days. But by networking, you can start identifying people you’d like to work with as you gather momentum.
These collaborators may join your business. Or they may partner with you if their businesses are compatible. You can start looking for investors if you need them. Or start building a network of potential clients and customers.
Treat these early customers well. They’ll love being involved in the first stages of a business. By making them VIPs, you’re more likely to build loyalty.
Create Your Offer
Now you finally get to start creating! It’s best to wait until this stage because you now know:
- what you’re offering,
- if there’s a market for it,
- where you can sell your product/services, and
- how you’ll sell them.
If you’ve created your product or service without doing the previous steps?
You risk opening up shop and selling something there’s no market for.
Get your marketing materials together. Do work for people for a lower price in exchange for testimonials. Start telling people you offer these services. Pull a portfolio of examples together.
Selling a product?
If you’ve invented it, go through the research and development phase to make a prototype.
Creating an app?
Make a prototype so you can start hunting for investment.
If you’re selling someone else’s product, start sourcing suppliers. Figure out where you’ll store your stock. Set up an e-commerce website to begin selling.
How you market your new business will depend on what it is. Nearly all businesses can benefit from being on social media. Set up accounts on all of the major platforms. Use your trading name as the handle. Do this even if you don’t plan to use all the platforms. It’ll stop someone else taking your name later.
Focus on the platforms where your target audience spends time. If they’re on Instagram and Facebook, Don’t waste time and energy on Pinterest and Twitter.
Create an email list so you can contact customers and clients. Not everyone will buy from you the first time they see your offer. Having an email list lets you keep in touch until they’re ready to buy. For products, make videos that show how good your product is. Show how easily they solve your target audience’s problem. Create demos to show what people can do with your product.
Will you have physical premises?
Take out ads in your local press. This covers people nearby who may not use social media.
This may seem a strange choice for a final tip. But it’s true.
There’s no point leaving your 9 to 5 and creating a new job you hate. Choose something you’re passionate about to help see you through the tough times.
How to Become an Entrepreneur
That’s how to become an entrepreneur! Follow these steps in this order to see the best results. Don’t skip steps to speed up the process.
Enlist the support of your friends and family. Keep learning at every stage.
Check out the articles in our general category for more tips to expand your business education.