Consistency is key in Entrepreneurship. Just like in baking, the ingredients change but there are exact measurements for each recipe. How much you put in will without a doubt determine what you get out. I have experienced it for myself, so I know it is true. You cannot go into running your own business believing it will progress without effort and without flaws. It’s going to happen. I have heard there is no blueprint to success, so I came up 5 steps to begin your entrepreneurial journey.
Step 1: Ambition and action
You are going to need this. You cannot be lazy and expect it to just happen. Understand that your business only stops when you sleep, other than that, it’s an ongoing process. The hours of 9-5 do not exist. You have to have to passion, drive and determination. You have to eat, sleep, think, breath, and day dream about your business. Focus is what brings dreams to existence, so use what you have to get what you want. It’s take time, patience and repetition to sharpen those skills. Accept that you are entering one of the most tumultuous and equaling rewarding journeys of your life.
Step 2: Research
Study your industry, consumers and competition. You need to know what you are getting yourself into. Don’t just come up with an idea to sell a product that warms up your food in 30 seconds! With research you would have found out someone already invented the microwave! Conversely, if you decide you want to create a multi level marketing company like Avon and Mary Kay, then you will need to consider what it will take to make your company different. What is your marketing edge? What it is they do better? How will you pitch your idea to investors? What will you say when a potential clients mentions them?
It will take both time and money! You will need to conduct customer surveys, analyze statics, ask questions, have meetings, send emails and make phone calls. And I’ll tell you, its so worth it!
Step 3: Continuous Education
Take a class! Matter of fact, take a few classes. If you’re starting out as a solopreneur, it may behoove you to learn how to create graphics, prepare business plans, handle your finances in QuickBooks, video editing and social media.
Related: From Partnership to Solopreneur
These are only a few class ideas but the list can go on and on. Whatever industry you’re entering into, you’ll want to learn its ins and outs. Why? Because it can prevent you form losing money and delaying customers. For instance is you rely on a manufacture for a certain product, what happens if that manufacture does not fulfill the order on time. I ask because this has happened to me, and at the time I had not a clue how to make the product myself. So the hard lesson I learned is to always be self-sufficient. If someone can’t fulfill their duty, it will always fall on you, the business owner, to step in.
Learn as much as you can on your own. At the very least, you should know how every aspect of your business, service, and product is made and functions so you are not at the mercy of another.
Step 4: Protect Yourself!
I’m talking contracts and disclaimers! Take the time to speak to an attorney, accountant, and business consultants to learn how to best protect yourself. The professionals will know what notes, attachments, disclaimers, directions, etc. are needed and why.
Just look at the things you purchase regularly. When you buy coffee, look at the cup and you will notice it has a warning that the contents are very hot. If you’ve ever purchased a television, I’m sure you’ve noticed that it comes with various directions and disclaimers. Same goes for when you sign up for something online, there are boxes to check instantly to opt-in or view their user agreements.
When you develop your new product or service, make sure you have the proper intellectual property protection. Before you incorporate talk to an account and attorney for advice on which option is best for you, especially for tax purposes. Preparation will keep you protected.
Step 5: Build Capital
I saved this for last, because it applies to each step. Capital to run a business is very important. As a business owner there are hidden costs, every single day. You may pay someone for a project and realize as you are in the middle of working you forgot to add in a cost that is needed to complete the project. You’ll need last minute money. You may get an overwhelming amount of orders and need to pay for services to get more products done. You can also incur cost from errors and have to purchase more supplies.
This is something I dealt with, my manufacturer made my product an inch longer than it should have been. I had already purchased boxes ahead of time, that now could not be used because of his error. I had to buy more expensive boxes all because of 1 inch. It may not seem like a lot but when you have specifications and packaging prepared it can totally change your whole plan. That’s extra money spent, even if it will be reimbursed. I think having an extra $10,000 is a comfortable cushion for most businesses. It can cover payroll, supplies, travel, or any other unexpected cost. But of course every business is different and may require more or less cushion than others.
For sure everyone will have different experiences but these are for sure the top 5 priorities to begin your entrepreneurial journey. Behind every successful person there may be lots of unsuccessful years, but do not be swayed. Live your life fearless, do what you love, and protect yourself. For more information on my services and for business consultations, please contact me at email@example.com