Want to start a business but don’t know where to start? Fret not. You’re not alone. Lots of people have come to the conclusion they’d rather create work they love, built to fit around their lifestyle and goals.
Whether you want to become a freelance copywriter, artist, plumber, decorator, graphic designer or removal van, you can be your own boss today.
1. Business Funding.
As an entrepreneur, you’ll need to create a business plan and consider what sort of business you’re building – is it lifestyle (smaller amount of start-up funds), a franchise (moderate investment depending on the franchise) or a high-tech business (will require significant capital investment)?
Depending on where you fall on the scale, you’ll need a different amount of money to launch and grow your business. Funding is currently widely available at the moment on the web, making it a breeze for you to get the funds you need to get on the entrepreneurial bandwagon. I suggest checking out the Everline blog - they’ve got a great post that helps explain business funding for the first timer.
2. Get a Hold of Yourself.
If you’re unhappy in your current situation, man up. No one can sort the problem out apart from you. There’s no reason to blame the economy, your boss, your partner or your loved ones. Things can only change if you decide to get on the bandwagon.
3. What Type of Business is Right for You?
Identify your strengths, personality, social style etc. and take heed of your intuition. It’s no good deciding to be a builder if you’re scared of heights and in the same way, it’d be foolish to launch a business in copy-writing if you’re qualified in web design. Think about what gives you energy when you’re feeling tired?
Is there a gap in the market? Is there a service or product you’d like to bring to the market? What work have you done for others in the past? How can you package those skills and offer them as your own services or products? Once you’ve established a business you like, imitate it.
4. Plan it to Perfection.
Don’t think it’s important to plan? Think again. A business plan will help you gain clarity, focus and confidence. Check out this wikihow guide for more help on creating your plan - it needn’t be more than one page. When you write down your objectives, strategies and action steps, your business becomes real. Consider the following: what you’re building, who you’re serving, what your promise to customers/clients and yourself is, what your objectives, strategies and action plans are to achieving your own goals.
5. Who will Buy Your Product or Services?
Before you fork out, it’s vital you know your target audience. Ask yourself who, exactly, will actually buy your products or services other than family and friends? How big is your target audience? Who are your customers? How relevant is your product or service to their everyday life? Why do they need it?
6. Develop a Support Network.
The hard work doesn’t stop there. Sure, you’ve made the internal commitment to your business, now you need to nurture a network of supporters, ad-visors, partners, allies and vendors. No one will believe in your business unless you do.
Network locally, nationally and via social networks. When you’re at networking events, ask others what they do and think about how you can help them. And remember: regardless of what group you join, be generous, gracious, help others and make introductions without charging them. Do this, and you’ll no doubt be the first person that comes to mind when someone you’ve helped needs your service or hears of someone else who needs your service.
7. Serve, Don’t Sell.
Let’s get one thing straight. People don’t want to be “sold” to. Your best bet is to serve others – the more people you serve, the more money you’ll make. Sell by creating value. What can you give your clients/customers? By taking this approach, you’re more likely to find new ways to hone your product or service and deliver more appeal, which ultimately, your customers will be thankful for.
8. Spread the Word.
Be confident about what you are and what you do. Take full advantage of social networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, all of which are useful, powerful tools for getting your news and messages across to your fans and followers. Aside from social networking, it’s essential to get out there and talk to people. That means word-of-mouth marketing. Other important methods to get the word out are blog posts, public relations, articles, speeches, e-mail, newsletters and telephone calls.
So there you have it. Your guide on how to become your own winning boss. You’re never alone. There are always other entrepreneurs out there to stay connected with – they’re right at your fingertips.
Taken from: Guest Post (article, By Jane Gibbons), Google (images).