Starting the journey of entrepreneurship can be a confusing ride, especially for those starting for the first time.
From deciding on whether or not entrepreneurship is right for you, to identifying your deepest passions, deciding on the correct type of business which aligns with your skill sets and learning how to solve the important problems of your audience, there’s a significant amount to learn.
That being said, at the end of the day, there’s no better way to learn than to simply get started.
How to determine whether entrepreneurship is for you or not.
Before diving in headfirst into the sea of entrepreneurship, ask yourself the following questions:
Do you have a tolerance for risk?
Are you someone who prefers a steady salary or the possibility of unlimited earnings in exchange for risk?
Are you ready to take on a multitude of responsibilities every day?
If you’re already running a business, are you genuinely passionate about it?
Do you have some support from other stakeholders?
Are you good at making decisions?
If you're in a confident position to take on the risks, responsibilities and rewards which come along with starting a business, then keep reading. If you’re still in two minds about starting your business, this is okay; we recommend talking it over with friends or family members or perhaps even a peer who has been down this road. Gather the feedback from them and consider pausing your business ambitions should you feel that the time is not right.
Discover what your passions are and turn them into profits.
To stand any chance of success in the realm of entrepreneurship, your reasons for going into business have to be genuine.
Of course, turning profits and eventually earning more income than your day job is an excellent reason for starting your own business, however, merely taking advantage of a market opportunity you’ve identified as a reason may be enough of a reason to set sail, but it is imperative that you take time to learn the depths of the waters ahead.
Would-be business owners who are not genuinely passionate about a business opportunity will find themselves increasingly tempted to give up when faced with their first failures. However, by solving a problem which you genuinely care about, you’ll be aligning your goals with the success of people your business offering will be helping; therefore you’ll be more likely to push through any tough times and obstacles which come your way.
Most importantly, however, you’ll be setting yourself up for success in the long-run as an entrepreneur.
How does one discover their passions?
Many people commonly don’t know precisely what their strongest passions are or which ones have the most potential for developing a long-lasting and successful business. Should you feel this way too, ask yourself the following questions:
What are your favourite hobbies?
Which part of the day is your favourite?
What do you, as a person, love doing?
Which topics or fields of interest would you enjoy writing about the most?
What kind of conversations do you enjoy having with friends and family members?
What are your most reliable skills?
Do you have any topics which you feel you’re an expert on?
We recommend taking the time to carefully examine how you spend any free time outside of your 9-5 as this will allow you to take a glimpse into the various areas of interest which you have genuine passion and enthusiasm in. Humans have a habit of falling in love with things they excel at, so we recommend performing a SWOT analysis to determine what your greatest strengths and skills are as an entrepreneur.
Following this, take the time to critically think about possible overlaps between your areas of interest and your current strengths. By allowing yourself the time to do this, you’ll define the best possible path to start turning your passions into profits.
Perhaps you’re a trail runner; whether it be competitively or just for health reasons, maybe your friends are continually seeking out your advice regarding running shoes or trails or competitions to enter, this is surefire evidence that your community already sees as an authority figure on the subject of trail running.
The next step is to develop a business model and the specific problem you hope to solve within your most influential areas of interest.
How to decide which business type is best for you.
Perhaps you’re still unsure as to which type of business suits you best? Take the time to continue reading on as we explore a diverse list of small business ideas which span a myriad of sectors to see if anything inspires you.
Once you have determined a broad topic area around which you desire to develop a business around, while maintaining your day job, evaluate which of these popular business ideas best align with your current skills, strengths and lifestyle goals.
Should you possess skills in web development, graphic design, writing, content marketing, or any other skills which are always in high demand, freelancing, consulting or even starting your own digital agency are all excellent ways to develop a service-based business aligned with your interests. It’s a fantastic idea to leverage your current professional network to acquire your first customers, by reaching out to coworkers, acquaintances, former classmates and ask if they know of anyone who could benefit from your services.
Then it’s up to you to nail your first projects and create a portfolio which highlights your best work. Keep on using referrals for as long as possible to generate business, before turning to the cold-calling approach.
2. Physical products.
Maybe you have an idea for a physical product which you want to develop? It could be a book, smartphone accessories or something completely new and innovative. Whatever it might be, selling physical products requires door-to-door shipping solutions. After your product has been prototyped and developed, we recommend setting up an e-commerce website to market your products to your desired target audience effectively. We also recommend partnering with other businesses who reach your target audience to foster joint promotions, distribution agreements as well as marketing partnerships which will aid in your continued growth.
3. Digital products.
Writing, selling e-Books, online courses, graphic design templates, online magazines, online workshops and training seminars (webinars) are all great examples of digital product-based businesses. Once your digital product is created, it has the potential to live out in the market for years, scooping up sales and boosting your bottom-line. On the plus, this can be achieved without the need for significant and regular updates should you manage to find the correct niche and the most-effective marketing strategies in reaching your target market.
Opting to start a blog, and develop your authority within your areas of interest is arguably one of the best investments you could make for your future as an entrepreneur, regardless if it isn’t your primary business model at first. Start by writing about topics which you’re genuinely passionate about and share them with others in your community who have similar interests and spread out from that point. Next up is determining how you’ll monetize any traffic reaching your blog and implementing promotion strategies to fast-track incoming funds with every visitor to your site.
Podcasting is an excellent way to earn money once you’ve built up a listenership in the thousands for each episode you produce. We advise getting started by recording a few chapters which speak to the various issues and challenges you’ve encountered in your areas of interest. Following this, you could set up interviews with other peers with expertise in your field and start promoting your first couple of episodes to other individuals whom you know share the same interests. Once you’ve completed the above steps, you’ll have the weapons to approach sponsors to sell ad space on your podcast.
Taking on the world of entrepreneurship requires notable levels of action and commitment every day. We advise getting out there and building connections with people who share similar interests and passions.
Lastly, learn how to solve their problems, their needs and wants. Determine the best methods in reaching a more broad and diverse audience who share similar struggles and begin spreading out to help more and more individuals as your business grows.