Entrepreneurship is not the job you apply to obtain and wait for instructions on your duties. Making the choice to step out on your own and create your own business can be daunting. Yet if you put in the work and push through the tough times it can be the most rewarding decision you make for your life.
Here are a few practical tips for what every new entrepreneur will need to start their new journey.
Tip #1 Work on your Passion
As an entrepreneur, you will be working for yourself. You will be your first motivator, along with your dream and vision for success. You must be passionate about what you are doing to continue to get up and go out and work. Why do you want to start this business? Keep the answer to that question at the forefront of everything you do.
Tip #2 Do Research
Understand your target market. Who would be your consumers and what is your ideal consumer’s need? Who in the marketplace has a similar product and how can you differentiate yourself? Think about profitability, Is there a need for your product or service, if so where? What will be your startup costs? Think about your financials. How soon should you expect a return on your investment in your business?
Tip #3 Focus on the essentials
Depending on the type of business you will be running, the essentials will be different. Creating a business plan will help you better understand what your essentials will be. As your business grow it is imperative you create plans for the future as well. Create a one year plan, a five-year plan, and even a 10-year plan. Be sure to review these quarterly to ensure you are working according to plan. Don’t be afraid to update plans annually or occasionally when you look at the plan quarterly if you feel that changes are necessary.
Here’s a bonus tip when starting a business: develop a strategic marketing plan. Creating a strategic marketing plan will help draw in new consumers and help build your business. Your marketing plan should include all the details that make your brand special and explains how your business meets the needs of consumers.
Tip #4 Network and Learn
Always be open to meeting new people. Go out to networking events or use LinkedIn. You never know how a new connection will help your business. They could be your next partner, mentor or even customer. We learn from others as well as what we learn on our own through research, however, human testimonies are lessons. Do not shy away from networking up by connecting with people in higher positions or more successful than you. They can always be a mentor or a potential investor in your business. Network across with those who are in similar positions as you, other new entrepreneurs can help you in your journey.
Networking down is important as networking up or across. There is a saying, “each one, teach one” by sharing the knowledge you gain to others, you become a resource. You can also build brand awareness and influence new possible clients. Another benefit of building a strong network is being able to ask for help, sometimes we may be stuck, reach out and ask for help. You will be surprised by who may be willing to help you.
Tip #5 Work hard
As an entrepreneur, you work for yourself. You are in charge of your time management and scheduling. Don’t fall into the trap of working irregular hours and going with the flow. Be diligent about the time you spend building your business and record what you do and how long it takes. Be mindful of your time as well, just because it’s your business doesn’t mean you are available to work 24 hours seven days a week. Create boundaries for yourself and remember what is also important to you as well.
Tip #6 Take risks
Be open-minded, and don’t take no for an answer. Try things out and see how they work for yourself. If anything piques your interest, of course, do your research, but don’t be afraid to fail. Sometimes we can see something that others may not, and what didn’t work for them may, in fact, work for you. You know what you are capable of, so believe in yourself. If you do fail, take it as a lesson and keep pushing forward.
Tip #7 Build an Email list
Email is absolutely important in business. It is the way we communicate. Collect emails to create your own email list of people you want to update on your business and continue building it. As you network collect emails and on your website have a form available that allows people to share their contact.
Tip #8 Keep a journal
When you have an idea, write it down. People forget great ideas all the time. Write down what you learn each day so that you can look back and see your progress but also see if there is anything you learned that you forgot to implement into your business.
Tip #9 Disconnect
Sometimes you need to get away from the voices and thoughts of others to hear yourself only. Disconnect every now and then from social media, network events and people in general. Meditate during these breaks or just get your mind off your business in general and give your brain a break. Sometimes in those moments of disconnection, we can realize things without the noise of others.
Tip #10 Remember your brand
Your brand is an extension of you and your business. Be mindful that all that you do can affect your brand so make sure the brand values align with your personal values. Always ask yourself, could this negatively affect my brand image.
Bonus tip: Take care of your health; mind body and soul. Eat well and find a workout solution that works best for you. Make sure you keep yourself mentally fit as well by reading and constantly learning through personal development. Take care of your spirit and soul with meditation or faith. Be sure you find something that centers your so you can continue to walk the path you’ve chosen. Don’t give up you’ve got this!
Now tell me, what are some things you wish you knew before becoming an entrepreneur?