The world has changed, and people are reimagining the future of work, as commuting is quickly becoming unnecessary and working from home is becoming the norm. The new way of working enables people to spend less time commuting and more time creating a healthy work-life balance. Many people are looking at this as an opportunity to engage in entrepreneurship to gain greater control of their lives. As a company that supports entrepreneurs globally, we know what traits make these self-motivated individuals thrive.
Understand your why.
Once you have decided to be an entrepreneur, you need to articulate your business to others. What problem are you solving, and why are you the solution?
Perhaps you are a nutritional consultant. Your expertise has been achieved through courses, training, and years of improving your health. You have a passion for encouraging others to lead a healthy life and provide the tools and training to help them pursue an active lifestyle.
You need to write a business plan, defining how you will reach consumers, the resources you need, the competitive field, your unique offering, and your financial challenges and goals. Writing your plan will help you identify any requirements, weaknesses and strengths. It will serve as your guiding light as the company grows and provide a road map for the future.
Learn the legal requirements.
It is exciting to start a business. You may feel finally unencumbered to work for yourself and realize an entrepreneurial vision. Many first-time small business owners have no idea of the legalities involved in starting a company – even if you are the sole employee. Fortunately, there are numerous online tools and guides to help ensure you follow all the legal rules. First, make a checklist or use one from the IRS' website, which includes everything from making sure you apply for your employee identification number to establishing your business structure.
Find your funding.
Starting a business may require a financial investment to fund startup costs. For those without access to capital, several entrepreneurial businesses do not require a significant investment.
Consider a new career as a consultant, a personal assistant or providing a skilled service. There are many free online tools to help with everything from logo development to website creation for your budding business.
Power a passion.
Many entrepreneurs embark on their endeavor to power a passion. They follow their goal of being their boss and match it with what inspires them. From nutritional products to design to workouts to craft beer, the ability to fuel your business with your passion can help turn your goal into a reality. And it makes sense. Everyone wants to be inspired by their work, be excited to help others and be masters of their destiny.
Listen and learn.
Great entrepreneurs and business leaders are good listeners. People starting a business have an excellent opportunity to speak with customers pre-launch to truly understand the client's needs that you plan to solve.
By starting with listening, when you begin your business, you can articulate clearly what the challenges your customers face and how you plan to solve them. Post-launch, continue to ask your customers for feedback. As their needs change, you can pivot quickly to meet them and provide new solutions faster than the competition.
Find a mentor.
Starting on your own can be intimidating, but it doesn't have to be. Join networking organizations – from your local Chamber of Commerce to lead generating groups – camaraderie and mentorship are key. Ask someone in your industry to meet for coffee and pick their brain. Expand your LinkedIn circle, and reach out to people you admire to seek support from others who have mastered their business. Consider finding opportunities with built-in networks that provide resources, support, and ongoing learning, such as the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), which offers a list of free business counselors throughout the country.
Build your network.
When you leave a company – whether it is a large corporation or a small startup – you worked with colleagues and bosses that showed you the ropes, shared insights, and answered questions. Going solo – at least in the beginning – can be lonely. You may miss bouncing ideas off people or collaborating on the workload. Even if you know the subject matter, you may have never worked for yourself. Build a network with like-minded individuals. Find online forums with fellow experts who can help open doors and share best practices.
When starting a business, you need to help customers find you. Thankfully, there are numerous online free tools to help you with your marketing needs. First, where are customers who are seeking services or goods looking online? Having a website and LinkedIn presence is a good start.
Also, consider creating social media platforms for your company and adding followers not only with family and friends but also with target consumers in your area. For example, if you are starting a dog-walking service, look for dog meet-up groups in your area, and follow them on your social platforms. Direct message the leaders of dog sites in your area, offer your services on NextDoor, a neighborhood app, and contact local vets. Have your customers write Yelp reviews and postpositive client verbatims on your website.
Lower your risk.
Starting a business from the ground up can be daunting, but pursuing your passion can be a liberating and exciting experience. One way to own your own business while minimizing risk is by becoming part of an organization that allows independence and flexibility, and provides training and mentorship to lower the risk and provide needed support.
Become an expert.
Whichever business area you choose, you need to become an expert in that category and convey that depth of experience to your customers. Thankfully, there are a vast number of resources available to build your knowledge base, from online organizations, Facebook groups, articles, and books to classes and e-learning. Invest the time and energy to learn your category, and never stop investing the time and energy to grow.
Many small businesses start with two people: a husband and wife or two best friends with a dream. From humble beginnings, often brainstormed over a coffee or dining room table, great ideas are born.
The world has changed how we go about our daily lives, from going to work and school to interacting with family and friends. These changes have made people more open to exploring new ventures. Entrepreneurship is an attractive way to combine passion with opportunity and work flexibility. Our research shows that 76% of people globally have dreams of being an entrepreneur. There are endless options to explore. Find your passion, build your network, and seize the opportunity that being an entrepreneur can provide.