While becoming your own boss may seem like a pipe dream, especially in today’s economy, it can still be achieved at any age if you take the right course of action. But where does one start in the sometimes intimidating world of entrepreneurship?
The following tips will help set you on the right path to your new life.
If you’re unhappy about your current situation – be it career or personal life -, you must realize that you are the only one that has the power to fix it. No more playing the blame game. It’s not your bosses, your spouse or the economy’s fault that you’re are not satisfied. Once you understand that change will only occur after you make the decision to do something about it.
Find the Right Business
Unless you know exactly what you want to do, allow yourself some room to explore until you find a business or industry to get into. Look at the different aspects of your life – such as your age, personality and social style – and use that – as well as your intuition – to help determine the right path. For new entrepreneurs trying to find the right business, consider the following three most common approaches: do what you know, do what others do or solve a common problem.
The ‘do what you know’ approach essentially means starting a business with the skills you already have from past employment. For the ‘do what others do’ approach, you may need to learn about a business that you are interested in but have little experience. And the ‘solve a common problem’ approach is offering a way to fill a gap or need for a product or service.
Create a Business Plan
In order to have a successful business, you must create a business plan, however simple. This plan helps provide focus, confidence and clarity. Use the plan to write down the strategies, goals and action steps to make your dream real. Sit down with a pen and paper, and ask the following questions:
- What type of a business am I building?
- Who will my business serve?
- What steps must I take to reach my goals?
Find your Target Audience
Before you open your checkbook, do some research on who – if anyone – will want your service or buy your products. This could actually be the most important step you do. Find out your target market size and exactly who your customer base is. Does your service or product relate to your target market’s daily life? Why does your target market need your service or product? You find this information about your target market through Census data, industry articles and various other publications online and off.
While motivation may come easy at the beginning of your journey, it can start to stall if you hit roadblocks on your new life as an entrepreneur. Keep your eye on the goal, and if you even need inspiration simply look at the success that hardworking individuals and companies – such as John Ferraro Ernst & Young – have and continue to achieve.
Build Your Support Network
As you commit to your own business, at the same time put some effort into cultivating a network of allies, vendors, supporters, partners and advisors. This is very much easier now with the Internet. Take advantage of the social media boom to network both nationally and locally, and consider joining your local chamber of commerce or other business groups in your local area.