What is the best advice for a first time entrepreneur?
Hi, I am just starting my own business. I have been involved in photography as a hobby for over a decade, but I now plan to turn it into a full time business. Being new to entrepreneurship, I am a little confused on where to start. I would appreciate any general advice to point me in the right direction. Thank you.
Best advice? Read "the Lean Startup" by Eric Ries. You'll know what to do next.
Prepare for a long journey. :)
It helps to be financially, mentally and physically strong.
Conduct a market research and SWOT analysis (http://www.sales-and-marketing-for-you.com/swot-analysis.html):
- is there a match between what you have to offer and a market demand?
- who are your direct competitors?
- What can you learn from them?
Keep asking and learning...
The rest is technical matters.
This article will give you a bigger picture perspective on entrepreneurship:
Do you see life through your camera lens? Well, this one’s the perfect way to take your passion to the next level. There are many companies who require stock photographs, or collection of images. Many stock photo agencies offer great incentives to people who are good with their camera and can offer them a huge reserve of efficient photographs. Themes such as green, nostalgic and geometric, trends such as macro, global and minimalism, keywords such as retro, vintage, hipster, tattoo, stop motion, action POV, slow motion, 3D are all upcoming trends that are alluring budding photographers to reign the online zone.
Hi Sara, well done on making this commitment.
I would like to offer three pieces of advice:
1/ Never give up, if your passionate about your aims, IT WILL HAPPEN!
2/ Always plan for the worst scenario
3/ Take advice, but never be daunted, follow you instinct and thrive
Best of luck, Simon
Hi Sara - my two cents after 10 start ups and seeing my son head on a similar path
1. You have the paddle ! The right direction is the one your instincts and the your chosen market guide you to - no options are wrong and its a constant honing of the turrets based on what you learn from your last move.
2. Just hang a start up shingle out there and hang around other start up people - you'll quickly find like minded people in your neck of the woods and they'll more than likely share your problems and concerns and be more than helpful - a necessary part of the start up ecosystem is to pay it forward
3. Surround yourself with people that are smarter than you and think higher you than you do. Start up is by nature a relatively more risky, future tense, contrarian career move - 90% of people are in other more stable and secure careers and will perceive things negatively - all things relative. There's always 99 scenarios out of 100 that say you will fail so embrace the odds, look for that 1 path out of 100 for wild successes - but don't dwell on the negative feedback - its all around you in droves and well understood - listen to the positive people as they are likely to see your start up, you and its success in the light and the accurate scrutiny it needs to move forward
4. Seek out advice from experts but in the end follow your gut. Remember - the person with the most skin in this game and the person that knows you and the start best is you.
5. There's no recipe for success - that's why there are so few serial entrepreneurs but - the closest thing I've heard that almost all successful start up people have in common is the HedgeHog concept from Good to Great - find the nexus of your passion, what is driving your economic engine and something/some skill that you are one of the best in the world at - that's the sweet spot with the best odds and ensures you'll have the persistence, skills that you'll need to succeed.
First read my blog pages:
I advise you to attend this course online to guide you step by step:
Hope this helps
Hi Sara, entrepreneurship is a transformation. Invest in yourself every day to learn how to live your vision, set goals, execute plans, control limited resources and how to improve your craft, products and services. The only other thing but, most important thing, is to create and sustain clients. See YouTube video TedX Talk by Simon Sinek "What's Your Why." In a competitive services market, people don't buy what you do but why you do it. Talk with a business coach about getting into a Mastermind or Group Coaching to accelerate your learning and minimize mistakes.
Wishing you success beyond your current imagination!
I would put together a business plan and then create a blog with a optin box on it.
You can get with me on face book for any more help or call me at 405 905 4028.
Thank you Scott
Congratulations. I would suggest defining your target audience/clientele and then coming up with a plan of action for how you will reach these people as well as what you will charge for your services.
Hello Sara , congrats on your decision to start your own business , I would like to advice to focus on two points , plan & organise your work well , 2- widen your relations as much as you can ,try to work as much as you can two with your friends & relatives , they will definitly support your efforts , you can succeed even if you lower your prices for the first year .
Great advice below. Two additional pieces of advice, firstly, read Steve Blank's book on Customer Development which refers to getting out of the building and finding out what your potential customets want before investing too much in any produce/services. Secondly, remember someone has to make the stuff and someone has to sell the stuff. If you are the creative person (the technician) then find someone that can sell the stuff that you make. First prize however is that initially you can do both, but as a venture captalist I hardly ever come across new Entrereneurs that are highly skilled at both. One reminder that more businesses fail from a lack of customer and market development than product development. Best of luck
First, lets get the congratulations out of the way..... CONGRATS!
Ill keep my answer short by passing along a short, but vital piece of advice that was given to me when I first made the plunge into starting my own business.
"Never work for less than you are worth"
It is tempting to take work where you can get it, and sometimes, yes, you will come down on price to get a job. However, stay true to the value of your service and hold steady on your quotes as much as possible.
I have found those are the most stringent on price are also those who are the most difficult to work with, so what typically happens is you get less revenue and you spend much more time on that client than normally.
Remember, not getting a job only allows you more time to focus on other leads or complete other projects, do not look at it as a negative all the time.
Good luck out there!
Congratulations on taking the first step! Photography is quite a wide niche, i.e. aerial photography, product photography, wedding photography, events photographer, etc etc. You first need to decide what kind of photography you want to be a master of and then
1. put together a webside displaying your portfolio then
2. join Linkedin and make your bio as SEO strong as you can make it (or get professional help with this)
3. Create a Facebook business page and start posting your images on there and start building your followers
3. attend as many trade shows as you can and talk to businesses that are likely to benefit from your service.
4. make a short SEO optimised video and upload direct to FB page and then upload to Youtube (don't link)
5. Open a Periscope account and market your stuff there too.
6. open a Pinterest account and do the same there - linking your images to your website
The are so many different methods you can use but those are the primary marketing routes I would use
I earned my living through Photography for seven years. At its peak, my company was a 5-person organization with a 7-figure turnover.
The single most important piece of advice I can give you: Think of yourself as a business-person first, photographer second. It's not (all) about the art, it's all about *turnover*. This is the biggest difference between doing it as a hobby and doing it to pay the bills.
Businesses don't go under because of lack of customers. They go under because of lack of cashflow.
First of all, you have taken a great and wise step, in my opinion to start your own business. I wish you the best of luck with that.
I agree with most of the advice that you have already received on this HUB, but I would suggest the most important thing to remember is to be practical. Yes, it is very important to first establish WHY you want to sell your services, since that along with PASSION will drive you forward, but people will buy and even sell your your service because of WHAT you DO for them. WHY you do it will be in the way you do it.
By Practical, I mean you need to DO the following:
1. Have a look at what other professionals in your market are doing. What are they doing right, what are they doing wrong, and how can you improve. This will also encourage and inspire you.
2. Get yourself a professional logo. Your brand will be what people talk about.
3. Set up an easy to use Quote/Invoice (Admin) system to manage your services.
4. Create an easy to maintain website that will serve as your online sales representative.
5. Spread the word on social media and stay in touch with your followers.
6. Do a thorough review of your company each month to what is working and how you can improve on it.
7. HAVE FUN! Always remember WHY you started doing what you are doing.
Best of Luck to you
Understand your business and determine if the talent, and end product, that you are bringing to the public is something that people will pay for. Also, you must believe in yourself, your skills, and dedicate yourself into your project.
Start with printing your business card and start networking. Rest will follow.
I created a free resource just for entrepreneurs like you: www.rebelspatch.com
Enjoy getting inspired, the site will grow over time into a huge library of inspirational interviews and tools so sign up to the mailing list to keep in touch!
Discipline yourself to put together a business plan go to BeResource.com and start there...
An important key is to know yourself as well as you can and to express yourself fully through your business. You have unique gifts and talents that only you can deliver, and which you will love to deliver. When you build your business around what you love, you engage your creativity, make yourself unique, and find yourself attracting those who enjoy these things too, which makes for fun, loyal customers. Most entrepreneurs make the mistake of focusing on the money, rather than what will make you happy. If you're happy in your business (assuming it's run with reasonable efficiency), you will attract and keep customers, which will take care of the money.
When you design your business around who you are and what you love, you have no direct competition because no one can be you as well as you. So, find your niche, which has to do with what you love. Can you offer products or services that can be sold over the Internet, which is great for relatively inexpensive niche marketing e.g. information products with awesome photography?
It's up to your creativity, which in unlimited right?
Free wheel a little as to what would be an inspiring vision for your business, but do this in the context of what would be your ideal life. For example, would you like to travel more, and can photography support this (e.g. a travel blog).
If you allow yourself to design your ideal life, then see how your passion for photography can fit into this and support your life vision. There are probably many ways it can do so.
By doing so, you will be designing your business from the inside out, from what will make you feel good, which is perhaps the most important ingredient in attracting what and who you need to fulfill your vision.
I have a consulting client at present who is an artist who came up with a unique design for an in-store display, which is truly a thing of beauty. he didn't understand intellectual property and didn't patent his invention, and there is a Chinese firm that is knocking his product off, but his customers stay loyal to him despite his high prices because his products have his artistry which the Chinese knock offs don't. His business is growing fast now because he has one client in particular that is a major international firm that loves his product and is rolling it out around the world. They could just as easily (and at far less cost) buy from the Chinese, but love his product and creativity and have plans for millions of dollars of orders.
Do what you love Sara, and others will literally feel that and, it seems, that includes even corporate buyers.
Best of luck Sara, and if you need any help on developing this kind of business model, let me know.