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Everyone has the potential to start a business, but not everybody is willing to do it.
One may just choose to become an employee and do whatever his boss tells him. Another person may simply want to become a member of a company and earn a fixed compensation monthly.
One may just choose to become an employee and do whatever his boss tells him. Another person may simply want to become a member of a company and earn a fixed compensation monthly.
However, there are people who are not content with just being someone else's employee. These individuals have the drive to manage their own enterprise and generate their own profit. Still, one question remains: do you have the similar characteristics of these successful entrepreneurs?
Assessing yourself before venturing into a business can make a huge difference. Knowing your strengths and weaknesses can help you choose the business structure that suits you. You may want to start a small business first and when it becomes profitable, you may expand your opportunities and earn more profit.
Identifying Your Passion
In managing a business, there lies a huge difference between "you have to" and "you want to". The first one dictates that you are obliged to accomplish something even if you see no reason of doing it. You are forced to complete a task that in return, produces poor outcomes.
Mediocre outputs may mean downfall to the business since the customers always want the best products and services. In order to generate better results, doing what you want helps you achieve this goal. Recognizing your passions can definitely help you attain success in your endeavor.
Additionally, identifying the purpose of your business can aid you in continuing what you have established. Reminding of yourself why you started in the first place may inspire you to carry on with your venture. In the long run, you will realize that managing a business is easier when you are motivated.
Establishing Your Goal
The moment you realize what you want for your business, you are now ready to set your own goals. Your targets are your commitments to your venture since you are bound to perform them in order to achieve your aims. Here are some guidelines in establishing your business goals:
Be realistic. Aspiring to be the best in your field in less than a year is good but may not be attainable.
Remember that your goal should make you feel accomplished. In doing so, you have to set your mind to things that you can do in a given amount of time.
Be precise. Make sure your goals are not vaguely constructed. It is important that you have a clear distinction of which path you want to take.
Be prepared to take action. Developing an action plan can help you identify the first step in achieving your goal. Keep in mind that you need to execute these plans in order to succeed.
Perfecting Your Ideas
Conceptualizing your business may be the most critical step in starting your venture. During this process, you need to consider which of your ideas are essential. Remember that not everything is beneficial because some will only do you more harm than good.
Be sure to eliminate those options that do not have much significance. Always weigh the consequences of each concept as this will also dictate your startup costs. Conducting surveys and interviews can help you decide which of your concepts are the most appealing.
Getting the opinion of others can make a difference, especially if you are having a hard time in choosing your strategies. Also, researching about your business structure can aid you in formulating your next plans for your establishment. Take advantage of the advanced technology and allot some of your time to study the necessary points for your business.
Business ventures succeed because their proprietors ask for pieces of advice from the experts. This may also be helpful to you especially if it is your first time to put up an enterprise.
Having the knowledge on how the industry operates can give you the advantage in running your own business.
They say that the only thing constant is change, and the consumer market is not an exemption. From time to time, supply and demand may rise then fall. The preferences of customers may also differ whenever a significant event occurs. Additionally, advances in technology affect the market behavior.
Your business must be able to adapt to all these situations for it to "survive". Needless to say, you need business professionals to help you in identifying the significant things necessary to operate your enterprise effectively. One of the major keys in achieving success is getting help from the right persons.
Some of the most successful businessmen in the industry partner up to earn more revenues.
They develop their connections so that it is easier for their enterprises to become more established.
They engage in partnerships and joint ventures so that their opportunities will grow and their cash inflow may increase. As a newbie, you do not need to call Bill Gates right away to lay down your business proposal.
Think of the persons close to you who were successful in putting up an enterprise. You may ask them to support you in any way possible. Who knows?
Some may even offer you financial provision while building up your own business. Keep in mind to value your connections because you will surely need this in the future. Remember to return the favor so you can retain a good relationship with them.
As an entrepreneur, you need to be fully equipped with the knowledge on how to manage your business. Experts in the field can really aid you when you are still starting up. However, they can only do as much.
They can just give you some suggestions on how to improve your work but they cannot guide you for a long time. You are then really advised to have the proper training so that you can fully understand the complexities of your venture. Different agencies conduct various seminars every year. This will surely help you to improve your business perspective. Attending talks and discussions will also expose you to the different types of businessmen.
They may give you the essential tips on how to cope with the industry efficiently. Remember to keep connections with them so that when your business needs help, you have the right contacts.
Devising Your Business
Plan Creating a well-defined business plan may be a difficult task for a beginner because you need to understand how the market works and how the people react when a new product is introduced.
Knowing how to prepare the basic plan can help you in devising a more complex one in the future.
Choosing Your Business Structure
You can minimize the risks of starting a business if you have enough knowledge of the most common business structures. This will enable you to decide whether you should be in the sole proprietorship, partnership or corporation.
In the sole proprietorship, you are eligible for all the gains and losses of your enterprise. Having the sole authority of running your business, you assume all of its legal deficiencies and liabilities from creditors. New businessmen usually choose this because this is the simplest among the three.
Partnership involves two or more owners who merge their resources to open a business. You can generate more capital in this structure and better business opportunities are expected. The downside is that a partnership easily dissolves if one partner decides to leave. The corporation is the most complicated business structure for it involves many legal requirements. However, more profit is ideally generated since it is well-established.
Recognizing Your Target Market
Different business structures cater to the different needs of people. Well-known companies have already established products and services to meet the diverse demands of the various types of customers. However, if you are still a beginner in the industry, it is better if you first direct your attention to the needs of a specific group of people. Narrowing down your target market can help you focus on their demands.
In this way, you will be able to save time, money, and effort. This means that lesser costs are expected since you only supply what the people need. Additionally, identifying your target customers will allow you to create more unique items. In this way, they will recognize your products and eventually patronize them.
Of course, this means that the more clients you have, the more profitable your business will be.
Fixing Your Budget
Budgeting is essential for people who have scarce resources. It is something that helps them determine the limit of their expenses. This process of making financial arrangements may also be applicable in planning your business.
You need to learn how to work on a limited amount of fund so that your costs will not exceed your profit.
Gathering Your Resources
Starting up a business may be costly, and this is why most people prefer to be a regular employee. Producing a large amount of capital is difficult, especially to those individuals who do not have enough means to shell out a certain sum of money.
As an aspiring entrepreneur, you need to really save up for your business.
While large capital may not always mean large return on investments, sufficient startup money can definitely help a business to expand faster. Your initial investment may have a great impact on how your enterprise will react to the constant change in the market.
Business loans are always available to help you yield your desired capital. Usually, banks and other financial institutions will lend you the money if you applied for it.
Of course, expect interests and other charges when availing of these programs.
Obtaining a Place of Work
Once you have decided what you want to offer in the market, you need to find a place where you will start your business. Selecting the right office generates more outcomes that are positive. Having the right kind of working environment can boost your determination in getting things done.
Keep in mind that your place must be relevant to what products you produce.
For example, if you opt to manufacture house furniture, you need to consider a bigger space. In addition, study the nearby establishments within the vicinity.
This may help you formulate strategies on where to set up your workplace. Treat your office as your second home since you are going to spend most of your time here. Be sure to keep the calming ambiance in your office so you will feel less stressed despite of the deadlines and quotas to meet.
Advertising Your Services
Getting your business known is one of the most difficult things to accomplish, and yet, it will influence your business's profitability greatly. Your target market should be aware that your business exists otherwise you will not gain any customers. Advertising is the best method to introduce your services and products to the public. You will need a well-designed marketing strategy so your advertising expenses will not compromise your income.
You need to plan this step carefully so your money will not go to waste. Since promoting a business is costly, remember to always consider your target customers. Focusing on a specific group of people allows you to devise a plan to get their attention. For example, if your target market is students, be sure to set up your advertising near their schools.
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Movement and a Compass.
There are no maps for your destination. In order for a map to work, you need to know exactly where you are going – and you don’t, can’t, shouldn’t. Point A straight to point C, without passing point B, doesn’t exist. Something always comes up, gets in your way, and proves your initial thoughts or ideas wrong.
You need to accept that and use it to your advantage, or else you will starve yourself of your true potential. You are lost in the middle of a forest without food, water, or an idea of what direction you are heading. What are the two things that could help you most in this situation? Movement and a compass. If you stay in one spot because you don’t know what your next step should be, you will die. You can’t let the pressure of ignorance and disorientation keep you from moving towards salvation.
Let me ask you a question. Have you ever felt so stuck that you might as well be in the middle of a forest without water and food? I have. I have felt that in the pit of my stomach, and I work every day to never have that feeling again. When lost in a forest without a compass, you will walk in circles and end up back where you started.
It is essential that you start moving, because that is the only way to get anywhere. With the help of a compass you can pick a direction, based on your most educated guess, and head that way. Pick a direction based on everything you know at this moment, not what you will know next week or month.
Your water is gone – you don't have time to put movement off any longer. Here's what happens when you start moving: a river, road, or mountain crosses your path.
A river and a road you can follow – you may even be able to hitch a ride.
If you hit a mountain that you didn't know was there in the beginning, you now know that you need to try a different direction.
That is not a setback, but excellent information that tells you what direction not to go, which is just as important as knowing what direction to go. This is exactly how you need to direct your life and business. You will never have all the information, only the information that is available to you where you presently are. As you move and gain momentum, more opportunities and information will present themselves. Opportunities and information that will never be available back where you started.
Move From Consumer to Producer We spend our entire lives consuming products and services. We want new phones, clothes, and cars. We buy apps and music without even contemplating the purchases – which is great for the producers. Producers create every app, song, video, phone, website, podcast, and article of clothing that you own or use – and they get paid to do it. All of us are here because we want to build something out of nothing. We want to create, inspire, and get paid so we can buy the time and freedom to do the things we love to do. In short, we want (and need) to be producers.
Consumers pay for producers to live bold, exciting lives on their own terms.
The Internet itself was built by people like you and me.
Every time you visit a website today, think about the people that made it from the perspective of a producer. Move from being a consumer to being a producer. Being a producer does not mean you can no longer consume goods, but it does affect how you see and interact with those goods.
Every website you visit was made by someone like you, except they decided to become a producer. They are not smarter or better than you, but they did step up to produce. Being a producer is not for everyone. My gut tells me that it is for you. As a producer, you should think about the people behind every purchase you make. Think about the lives they live due to their decision to produce rather than simply consume. Producers do not have to learn to design and code – unless code and design is what you produce.
Producers need to take an idea and turn it into reality. Create something out of nothing – that is your job as a producer. The producer of your favourite TV show does not hold the camera and edit the final show. She simply takes an idea and organizes the right people around her to create the best final product possible.
I don't want to oversimplify this point, but it really is just a mindset shift that needs to take place within you. This new mindset will lead you to doing work that matters to you and to the world. This is just the beginning, and I cannot wait to see what you produce.
Your Losses Will Lead to a Win,
You have to be resilient and able to continue building what you believe is the next best thing. Things you build will often not succeed, but ultimately, those losses will add up to a win, based on what you’ve learned.” – Todd Garland, founder of BuySellAds When you build something and put it out there, it very rarely takes off and goes viral.
Todd didn’t suddenly overcome his struggles, create BuySellAds, and start earning ten million dollars a year.
The process took seven years and was full of struggles, hardship, and things not working the way they were supposed to. Those struggles are never a reason not to build a business – they are necessary to achieve the success of ten million dollars a year. Not only are highs and lows necessary – they should be the reason why you do it. There is no avoiding struggle and success. To truly find success and happiness in this game of entrepreneurship, you need to enjoy the journey. Nobody is trying to fail, but it’s a necessary evil that will push you, allow you to learn, and help you figure out where you are supposed to go.
There is a story of a great king who asked his royal jeweler to make a ring, engraved with a statement on it that would be true in any circumstance. After much thought, the wise jeweler gave the ring to the king with the inscription, “This too shall pass”. Enjoy the lows, because they make the highs much higher.
Three Steps Ahead
I follow my gut.
I don’t play chess, but I imagine that if I did, I would think of every opportunity three steps ahead in every possible direction. Even if it seems like something would benefit me now, it might not benefit me in the long run.
Because I don’t have a business background, I
I check my gut and say, ‘Okay, even though it feels good today, it could wind up going down the wrong path, so let’s not do it.’ I never thought I’d be an entrepreneur. I didn’t even know how to spell ‘entrepreneur’ when I started.” – Jessie Shternshus, founder of The ImprovEffect and co-author of the book CTRL Shift: The Book for Any Day I love the comparison between entrepreneurship and playing chess. You always have to think three steps ahead.
Don’t just ask yourself, “What is happening right now ?
” but, “What will happen three steps from the action that I’m going to take today? Obviously, you won’t be successful if you expect one thing to be the big entrepreneurial lottery in which you’re the winner. Rather, you have to think longer term and have a vision of where you want to be. You have to follow your gut.
If something seems like it could potentially make you some money now,
ask yourself if it’s good for you and your customer, or whoever it is that you are serving. If it’s not good for them, as well as for you, in the next three steps, then don’t do it. It won’t help your business grow, and it won’t make you successful three steps down the road. So how can you think three steps ahead when you aren’t even sure what your next step is?
Good question. Remember, your business is not about you. It is never about you.
It is about your customer. Starting today, you need to figure out what your customer needs or what transformation you can help them make in their life.
Once you determine exactly what this is for your customer, then and only then can you use this as your guide.
Always think beyond today.
Do the Hardest Thing “The hardest thing is usually the thing that you should be going after. Chances are that nobody else is, or at least very few people are. Personally,
I feel comfortable and even thrive when I don’t have a clue what I’m doing.” – Josh Pigford, founder of Baremetrics It is essential that you get used to the uncomfortable feeling of not knowing what you’re doing. Whether it's getting on stage to speak, launching your product, or writing a book, we tend to see others doing it and (falsely) assume that they've always been good at it.
We all have to do everything for the first time, and none of us do anything very well the first time. We tend to avoid the things we are not good at, simply because we are not good at them. Unfortunately, this is a self-fulfilling prophecy.
If we never do the things we are not good at, how will we ever get good? It's true, we don't need to be good at everything. However, many of the things we want to be good at take doing them over and over again until we have mastered them. The problem is that we don't want to do things we aren't good at. How do you do something confidently when you are self-consciously aware that you are no good at it?
Pretend You're Good At It. Don't discard this idea – it truly works if you take it seriously. Pretending you are good is what people we admire do.
They seem masterful, but they are pretending. Seriously.
This is the only way to become good at anything.
Pretending you are good at something will allow you to do it confidently enough times until, guess what?
You become good at it.
When you were a kid, you learned that you couldn't get good at something unless you practiced and practiced.
Yet, somehow, as we become adults we tend to stop wanting to practice things we are not good at.
We stop growing.
We stop learning.
We live unfulfilled lives.
I want you to consciously decide to do one thing you are not good at.
Not only do it, but pretend you are good at it. Pretend you are a complete natural at whatever it is you need to learn.
Do it confidently and know that if you pretend well enough, anyone watching will simply think you are good at it – you may even think you are good at it too. Or maybe you are? This simple change in your mindset will allow you to learn and master the things that have always frightened you.
Know Enough to Be Dangerous
“As entrepreneurs we need to know enough to be dangerous in every area.
If someone who isn’t good at their job crosses our path, we have to be able to recognize that. That's part of what creates these long days: we need to learn all aspects of the business. If we don't, it is hard to delegate, because we won't know what is good and what is bad.” – Michael Sacca, co-founder of WithCircle and host of Rocketship.
FM Knowing enough to be dangerous gives us the leverage points we need. It is very hard to outsource something if you know nothing about it. Yes, do the things you are good at and outsource the rest, but don’t use that as an excuse to not learn about the essential aspects of your business.
As the owner, you are the captain of your ship, so you need to take responsibility for everything that happens, good or bad. How can you possibly do that if you don’t learn how to steer ?
Don't listen to the experts who tell you that you should only do a tiny bit of your business and outsource the rest. There's no such thing as a four-hour work week and being able to outsource everything, especially not at the beginning.
Obviously, we don't need to be accountants, lawyers, and editors all-in-one, but we have to know enough to be dangerous. You have to dive in head first and learn everything there is to learn about your business.
Then, when you get lucky and have that momentum, you can take the revenue you've created, take all the bits of knowledge you have, and put people in place to take care of those things.
Bear in mind, though, that it's still your business and you are still responsible for it.
Determine Your Why
Everyone is talking about success, money, and results, but you can also do something that just makes you happy.
For example, someone else can code a webpage for me, but doing it just makes me happy, and I want to get really good at it.
Success, money, and results may not be the most important things to you. Time is my most important metric, because it is a non-renewable resource. We can focus on building massive businesses and realize they have consumed our lives, or we can focus on building lifestyle businesses.
I personally focus on the latter: I have a business that gives me the lifestyle I want without having to work all the time. I don’t want to create myself a job – I want to create a business that provides me with the freedom to travel, hang out with my family, play the drums, and do cool projects. It’s awesome if you want to build a hundred-person team and take over your market, but do not think that it is necessary.
Don’t let fate determine what kind of business you will end up with. Decide where you want to be, and then work backwards.
If you want to get really good at something, you have to do it yourself, instead of outsourcing it. It is fine that it takes you ten times as long in the beginning. Sean mentions writing because he offers a writing course to people. I love how he clarifies that he was not a good writer, but he simply loved doing it and worked at it until he became a good writer.
This is the growth mindset as opposed to the fixed mindset. The fixed mindset tells you that you can't learn, get smarter, or become better at things, because the skills and knowledge you are born with or without certain skills and knowledge.
The growth mindset tells you that if you put in the work and the time, you can master anything and simply do it for fun, because you love it.
That is a meaningful clarification in the world of business.
Do what makes you happy.
The idea of the entrepreneurial gap has struck me so deeply that I have started to work this question into each of my interviews. Judging by the responses, the issue is definitely not mine alone.
Time is precious, and you are exactly where you need to be today.
Everything you want will take time. No matter where you are six months or a year from now, know that you will still naturally project your success into the future.
This projection is inevitable and necessary to your growth, but it can also be devastating to constantly live in the gap between where you are and where you want to be. This is as true for you, as it is for me.
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Knowledge is Power.