There are as many paths to entrepreneurship as there are entrepreneurs in this world. Take these steps into account and you’ll be well on your way to being your own boss. Imagine that awesome feeling.
Topics: Review your Strengths & Interests, Make the Commitment, Validate your Business Idea, Create a Competitive Advantage
We are living at a time of unlimited potential. Never before have we experienced such a rapid growth in the number of young entrepreneurs who’ve begun working for themselves. From App developers, to Freelance writers, business Consultants, creative Producers, & startup Founders, there’s no shortage of people willing to take large calculated risks in the name of creating their own self-employed dream careers.
The Opportunity. Every single day, many of these ‘solo-preneurs’ are growing their small businesses into the millions. Yet, despite the optimistic outlook, the majority of would-be business owners still fall victim to the fear of turning their sideline business ideas into reality. In a recent study, over 66% of those aged 18-34 cited a desire to start their own businesses. Yet, as of 2013, only 3.6% of businesses in the U.S. were owned by those under the age of 30. And it’s not for lack of education or talent.
Courses to prepare. Global access to free and inexpensive online education resources on platforms like CreativeLive, Skillshare, General Assembly and others, have helped drastically cut the learning curves & barriers to entry in many industries (also see Training). With valuable Online Learning opportunities as readily available as an I’net connection, there’s no excuse for not picking up new concepts and building powerful skills. The three most common reasons people don’t follow through on starting their own businesses are:
- A lack of confidence in themselves
- A perceived lack of necessary resources
- And most of all, a lack of motivation
Risks & Rewards. Starting a business while you’re still working full-time is hard. But it can afford you many luxuries & securities that go straight out the window when you quit your job to pursue a business idea. From the obvious of having a steady income to fund your new venture, to forcing yourself to focus only on what delivers the highest impact and lessening the pressure on yourself. Now, before you take the plunge, you need to have a solid plan. Here are my 10 steps to starting a side business while keeping your full-time job:
1. Review your Strengths & Interests.
Which skill sets does your new business idea require? You likely possess at least some of the necessary skills to make your business happen, but if you don’t, you’re now faced with a tough decision. Pause to spend time learning a new skill or out-source to someone else who can help you fill the gap. If you want to discover your strengths as an entrepreneur, take a “free” online test – which will help you uncover both your soft & hard skills + uncover your strengths in business. If your ideas & your skills don’t match up, that’s still okay. If you look in the right places there are scores of talented Freelancers out there ready to work with you – especially if you can captivate them on the passion of your idea.
2. Make the Commitment.
This will get difficult. It will strain your relationships and you’ll continually be forced to make tough decisions. Do your schedule of all the activities & commitments you have during your week with the amount of time you devote to each. Take note of the ones you can afford to lessen your involvement with and let them know you are stepping back a bit – to focus on a new project that means a lot to you. Next, start to cross off the easy stuff first: significantly reducing Time spent watching TV, playing Video Games, surfing Facebook, Instagram, etc. The more time you can free up, the quicker you’ll be able to start seeing results from planning & starting your business.
3. Validate your Business Idea
When Fortune magazine asked the Founders of failed startups what went wrong, the #1 reason that came up was a lack of market need for their product (almost 50% cited this as the reason their company died). Early on in your development, you need to “validate” your business idea. This means getting honest feedback from potential customers. When it comes to qualifying Customers, the only answers that matter are dollars spent. People vote when they pay for something. That’s the only factor that really matters. It’s human nature to think that we’re right and that our ideas are always amazing. Unfortunately, our business concepts & product ideas are often not fully thought out, useful, or even properly researched. By slowing down and building a very basic “proof of concept” with ongoing feedback from your target audience, you’ll gradually create a solution that’s guaranteed to meet their needs. You’ll be able to grow from there.
4. Create a Competitive Advantage
It’s defined as your unique advantage that allows you as a business to generate greater sales or margins, and/or acquire and retain more customers than competitors. It’s what makes your business an outstanding business. The simple truth is: “Better, Faster and/or Cheaper”. This can come in the form of your cost structure, product offering, distribution network, strategic relationships, customer support, or elsewhere in the business. Get honest with yourself here. Not only does your business honestly have to fill a market need, but it has to do so in a way that’s different from what’s available now – a unique “niche”.
Comments: Steps 4-10 in Part 2 Business?
from Crew Blog 10 Jan 17 enhanced by Peter/CXO Wiz4biz
For more Info, click on Starting a Business.