Do you want to become an entrepreneur but have no idea, experience or even money? No problem. If you believe that being an entrepreneur and leaving your nine-to-five job is worth pursuing then there’s nothing you can’t accomplish.
However, there is one thing that needs to be cleared at the beginning: There is no perfect time to start. People tend to wait for the right moment to find an idea or turn their ideas into a business but this is not the right approach. You will never be 100% ready to launch your business so you need to act right now to follow your dreams.
In this blog post, we will be listing down the skills needed to become an entrepreneur, the ways to find a business idea to become an entrepreneur, and how to finance and market your business. In the end, we are hoping that you will start thinking like an entrepreneur and not going to be afraid of a potential failure anymore.
1- How to think like an entrepreneur
It might sound like a cliché but it is all about the mindset. You are about to become an entrepreneur who will make decisions for yourself, network with other business owners and create ideas about your own business. It is hard work but there is nothing you can’t achieve as long as you have the passion and perseverance. You will eventually find yourself in challenging situations and this will allow you to grow unless you give up.
Here are some common characteristics and skills of the most successful entrepreneurs;
- Taking risks
- Investing in themselves
- Willingness to work hard
- Curiosity and constant learning desire
- Knowing what they don’t know
- Harnessing the technology
- Strong people skills/building relationships
- Basic money management skills
Even though there is no formula or exact set of characteristics to become a successful entrepreneur, you will need to have some of the above skills to be able to succeed. Even though some of these skills are ‘gifted’ by birth, you can still learn and develop others like creativity and basic money management skills.
You should challenge yourself in every step and always strive for better.
Because you will need to take ownership of outcomes and focus on the future. There will be no superiors who will tell you what you need to achieve and do so you will need to be a self-starter and your own motivator.
Organisation and time management are other skills that you should learn. Once you are an entrepreneur, you will need to schedule, and organise your tasks in the most efficient way possible. Because there will be a lot of ideas and so little time you will need to prioritise and set boundaries for the distractions. Have a look at our post about effective time management to learn more about it.
2- How to find an idea to become an entrepreneur
You don’t have to see an opportunity to start something great. You may have no idea but still want to be the boss of your own business. In order to come up with an idea, you should first think about what you are passionate about. Could this be yoga, marketing, DIY, building toys or painting? You need to find out what you love so that you have the passion required for your business.
Looking for an opportunity? Then think of what frustrates you the most in life. Is it not being able to order your books or groceries online, or not being able to find affordable house cleaning services? Here is your opportunity! Why don’t you go for it and build solutions to your biggest frustrations?
Still no idea about what your business will be about? Then just start with something. If you don’t like it, you can always switch to something else. Don’t be afraid of trying and failing. Because you never know, maybe it is what you will love and work for passionately. It might also help to be future-oriented and brainstorm about what people might be needing in the future.
The last one is to ask your friends and family. Ask them what you are good at doing because people might not recognise their strengths or what they are passionate about. Alternatively, you can think about your past work, volunteer, education experiences and even what you do in your free time. This might give you a clear idea about what kind of tasks are fulfilling for you.
3- How to finance your business idea
You’ve got the drive, and idea and now you need to focus on the capital. First of all, to establish some kind of business, you don’t need to have a lot of money. For example, if you are going to provide a home-based consultancy service, all you need is a website, some (free) online communication tools and a social media existence. You can spread the word by telling your friends and family and get your first referral clients – or make use of Facebook groups for free advertising. Once you get your first client, you can review your upcoming costs and even use some of the income to promote your business with paid ads.
And naturally, this doesn’t sit well with some entrepreneurs. If you need an inventory and don’t have any saved money, you will either need a small business bank loan or go for crowdfunding. Crowdfunding is a great way of obtaining finance for a new business, however, getting your voice heard in the vast crowdfunding landscape might be a bit difficult.
Some governments might grant programs and financing opportunities to entrepreneurs. It’s worth checking them out, depending on where you live.
Alternatively, you can ask your friends and family for extra funds or raise money using your social media channels.
4- How to promote your business idea
Sales and marketing is the essential part of your business. Once you set up everything, you will need to put your word out there. Here are some low-budget marketing ideas to promote your new small business;
- Collect leads through your website and run email marketing campaigns
- Make use of social media channels. Create accounts on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Twitter and show up consistently. Give social media ads and interact with others to build meaningful relationships
- Create videos and make use of YouTube. You might even earn money by using YouTube
- Repurpose your content. Transform a collection of blog posts into an ebook or social media posts
- Create a referral program. Offer something (either a free service or money) to your clients for referring new customers
- Run contests. Give something away to increase your visibility on social media or to collect leads
- Collect referrals from your clients. Don’t be shy to ask and promote these on your social media channels
- Partner up with other businesses. If you are a copywriter, partner up with website designers to work together. Teaming up with a business related to your industry is a great way for you to introduce your business to a whole new audience
- Start a podcast. Starting a podcast is not expensive and it is a great way to build awareness, showcase your knowledge and humanise your brand
However, marketing only will not help if you are lacking sales skills. Don’t be afraid of the word “sales” because we will not ask you to sell your products. Before anybody is going to buy from you or your company, they’ve got to ‘buy’ the idea that you are somebody worth working with. In order to achieve this, you need to,
- Define your unique selling proposition
- Build an industry authority through a blog or social media
- Get and showcase your reviews and testimonials
- Welcome your visitors to a website that showcases your quality
- Showcase the benefits, not the features – show your customers how your service/product meets their needs
Always remember that people buy products emotionally, and justify the purchases logically. It is essential to create a strong desire in people’s minds and give them assurance (with privacy links or return policies etc.) so that they feel confident enough to make that purchase.
Most business owners will agree that entrepreneurship is amazing. Having full control over your destiny, setting your own terms and being able to work with no dress code or a bossy manager makes it even more attractive. Especially the satisfaction of saying you are a business owner is unbeatable.
Never be scared of starting somewhere and never compare your start with someone else’s middle. Start with baby steps and let it lead you to great results. Take them one at a time, and don’t forget, failure is a great way to learn. 20% of founders who failed on their first startup have succeeded on their second.
You got this! Today is the right time to jump into this opportunity and build your own empire.
Need help or have questions about building up your own business? Contact us by clicking here.