Being your own boss is just one of many perks when starting your own business. There’s no one to boss you around, shout at you, or breathe down your neck while you go on about your daily tasks; what’s not to like, right? Yet, despite this newfound freedom, it can also be a double-edged sword as you rely solely on yourself for encouragement and motivation. Likewise, you’ll need to take full responsibility for all your business interactions, especially the poor decisions you make during your entrepreneurial career.
Now, are you still with me?
Excellent, that means you’ve got the necessary resolve to become a successful entrepreneur. So, give yourself a good ol’ pat on the back and take a look at these five awesome tips before making your first step on this new and exciting journey.
1. Do Your Homework
You’ve probably had your fair share of eureka moments, yet how many of these have actually become viable business models? Just the one? Let me tell you why. Market research is perhaps the most commonly overlooked business step with new entrepreneurs. Having the passion to start your own business isn’t enough if the only thing backing it up is a half-baked idea. This is why you need to consult experts in the field, test the demand for your products, and get a close look at the competition. Also, you need to conduct online surveys and engage your followers on social media to get a good idea of who they are and where they reside. Additionally, you need to keep an eye out for current industry trends so you don’t lag behind the competition too much.
2. Know Your Limits
Another thing budding entrepreneurs tend to neglect is knowing their own limits; more specifically, their financial resources. Now, seeing how you’re the author of your own paycheck, it’s easy to get carried away with dreams of grandeur, new cars, and swimming pools. Yet, you have to ask yourself one fundamental question: can my business afford it? Thus, before you go on your shopping spree, you need to determine precisely how much funds you need to allocate for the week-to-week operation of your business; what’s your starting capital; and what’s your projected profit. Only then will you know how sustainable your new enterprise really is and whether you’ll be able to actually make a living off of it at all.
3. Consider Your Options
When you take into account the amount of money you need to spend on marketing, building your brand, and creating a general business infrastructure, you’re left with nothing. As a result, you need to consider your options carefully before deciding on whether or not you should go as a fully-fledged startup, or try your luck with franchising. What’s franchising though? In short, franchising is when you operate your business under another company’s trademark or brand. This then gives you access to an already-developed business model, a brand name, and instructions on how to grow your business. For example, the Australian franchise, Blue Toro, offers a ready to go mechanic business for sale, as well as their full technical and marketing support, to novice entrepreneurs that are eager to make the first step but lack the general know-how.
4. Expand Your Network
Making strong connections with industry experts, investors, and social media influencers is vital for the success of your newly established business. Just think about it, when you’re in foreign land whom better to ask for directions than the ‘locals’? Hence, begin with your LinkedIn profile and search for relevant contacts; meet up with former colleagues and friends that are familiar with your industry; and attend industry events and seminars for a chance to investors as well as experts in the field. Finally, keep engaging followers on social media and look towards building your network. Remember, it’s a jungle out there, you need all the help you can get.
5. Learn from Your Mistakes
In the end, you need to realize that the road to success is paved with failure. Therefore, instead of getting disheartened by the many inevitable mistakes you’ll make on your entrepreneurial journey, look at them as a learning experience; evolve and adapt. Nowadays, failure has become a sort of social taboo in our society, but in reality, modern science is based on the method of trial-and-error. So, whatever you do, don’t sweep your mistakes under the rug but rather learn from them. Even the likes of Jeff Bezos, Arianna Huffington, and Richard Branson failed a few times before ultimately becoming successful. It’s all about the right attitude.
At the end of the day, the only person you can really count on is yourself. So, trust your guts, do your homework, and keep your eyes on the prize.
About the Author
Elaine Bennett is a marketing specialist and a blogger. She writes about business, marketing, and finance, and she’s passionate about helping startups and small businesses grow. You can find more of her work on Bizzmark Blog.