It’s natural to think that the grass is greener on the other side. It’s normal to think that the dead-end job you’re in now isn’t what you deserve. Even so, the move from a stable, yet unsatisfying job to self-employed entrepreneur can be daunting and challenging.
It’s not impossible, however, and there are things you can do to improve your business prospects. It’s a matter of ambition, determination and direction. Here are a few tips to help you be successful.
1. Develop an idea
You can’t become an entrepreneur without an idea – without something to sell. It doesn’t have to be a complicated idea: in fact, the simpler the better. You’ll have time to expand and evolve your idea later on if it gets off the ground.
2. Develop a business plan
This might seem like a dreary and unnecessary chore, but it isn’t. It helps clarify what you want and how you aim to achieve it. It helps maintain focus and keeps goals realistic. Develop a budget, a timeline, foreseeable profits, product description and anything else that would be good to write down. This business plan will help refine your idea and your means of achieving it.
3. Pitch it in 30 seconds
Whether you’re pitching your idea to potential investors or customers, you have to know your product and how to communicate effectively. Three essential things to include are your mission, your service or product and your goals.
4. It’s okay not to know stuff
A business encompasses a whole range of different elements and fields. If you’re not sure of something, find someone who does. Effective networking will help get you friends who can help you out whenever you need it.
5. Be frugal
Not cheap, frugal. If there’s something you need to buy, don’t cheap out. But at the same time, don’t spend money unnecessarily. Your venture will only be sustained by the money in your bank account.
A business plan is helpful, but you’re dreaming if you think it’ll turn out perfectly. You’ll have to be flexible to changing markets, hostile competitors, and strained finances. You learn best through experience; trial and error; mistakes. Let yourself make mistakes, but never repeat them.
7. Assume that no one will invest in you
Investment isn’t always likely, and even when it is, it isn’t always good. Remember that investors want to make money off of you. If you let them in too deep, they’ll take control over your dream project. Finance your project yourself, at least for the beginning. Simplify your idea to a point where you can afford to be the sole authority and investor.
Go out. Meet other entrepreneurs. Find out what works and what doesn’t. Entrepreneurship is a lifestyle that’ll take some getting used to. You need to meet people who will help you in the future by referring potential customers, lending you some technical aid and giving you advice. This part is essential.
9. Promote yourself
If you have a working prototype or portfolio, start promoting yourself. The internet is a great place to start. Kickstarter is a great place to promote your product and find investors all the while not giving up control of your baby.
10. Know when to move on
Don’t mistake stubbornness for determination. Yes, one must be determined to achieve their goals, but if after multiple failures your project won’t get off the ground, then there’s something not working. When it becomes impractical, redundant or turns into an irreversible mess, it’s time to stop, reflect and move on.
Linda Campbell is a freelance writer and entrepreneur who used vendor finance to help pay for her first business. It is a great service to finance a business endeavor and helped her get her business off the ground.
Image courtesy of marin / FreeDigitalPhotos.net