The path of an entrepreneur is not for the faint of heart. This professional path often involves taking a risk, forging ahead into the unknown and is often littered with obstacles. However, if you have the drive, passion and discipline – there is nothing more satisfying. Seemingly every entrepreneur has his or her own unique narrative about how he or she arrived at this career. While everyone’s story is different, and that’s what makes this such an interesting professional choice, there are some tips that can help with transitioning into this career .
What business is best for you?
While knowing that you want to be an entrepreneur is an important first step, make sure you have a vision. And if your vision is still unclear, start with the basics. Ask yourself what type of business interests you the most that doesn’t require much more training or more certifications than what you already have. If you don’t have much experience, then take time getting to know different businesses that interest you. Reach out to people within your network who are employed at companies or organizations that you’re interested in. In addition to connecting with people that you already know in your network, make sure to do research on your own. Read about the businesses you’re interested in, and start to make new connections.
Share what you know:
Even if you haven’t enjoyed every job or turn that your career has taken in the past, chances are you gained marketable skills and experience from each opportunity. Take some time to re-familiarize yourself with what these learned talents are and consider how they can help you in your journey going forward. With a slight re-packaging, or some tweaks here or there, these skills can be used in your new endeavor as an entrepreneur, and used as an example of how qualified you are.
Before you invest capital into a new venture, make sure that you have planned. Make sure that you create a business plan that outlines your goals, strategies and actionable steps to help realize your business. Figure out what it is you are trying to create through your business, and how you are addressing client needs.
Know your Audience:
Before spending money, make sure that you have taken time to understand your market. Do some research to test your product or your business to see if there is a true interest in what you’re trying to do. Unfortunately the best laid plans can’t account for interest. Read census data, test people for free and see what you can learn. Is your business providing something relevant to a particular demographic? How marketable is it? Make sure to ask a lot of questions, and truly listen to the answers.
When just starting out as an entrepreneur, there is a good chance that your personal finances will be deeply connected with your professional expenses. When just starting out, you may be the sole or primary investor in your enterprise. Because of this, it’s critical to fully understand your finances, and are very organized in managing them. When developing your business plan, it’s important to consider the financial needs of the particular type of business that you are investing in. A lifestyle business may require a smaller amount of capital upfront than a technology based business. Be realistic about costs, and set up an organized system to monitor your spending.
Once you have begun to create the infrastructure for your company, make sure that you seek out support in the form of advisors and mentors and that you start to get involved in your industry. Gaining insight from others who have gone through the same sort of experience or are currently undergoing similar growing pains is invaluable and will grant you perspective that you might not otherwise have access to. This will also add a certain level of value to your company if you are using pooled knowledge and experience as opposed to simply relying on your own.
Spread the Word:
It’s easy to get tunnel vision when focusing on the development of your own company. However, it’s critical that you share the exciting news of your new company and its services with as many people as possible. Make sure that you are finding a way to connect with your target audience while being open to finding new markets. You and your company can’t exist in a vacuum, so make sure that you are connecting with people. Utilize social media, word of mouth, articles, speeches, emails – find imaginative ways to connect with people that can truly use what you’re making.