Have you always dreamed of opening your own business? You may be out of work and want to start making your own money now. It may be that you are no longer happy with your current job and want to change your mood to something you enjoy doing. Regardless of the reason why you decide to start your journey into the entrepreneur world, looking for an individual venture can be the right way for those who want to start their own business.
The opening and management of a new business requires a set of skills and knowledge, such as understanding the market, the public and planning well each stage. Some characteristics are attributed to successful entrepreneurs. Among these characteristics, the entrepreneur’s ability to set goals and persistence are key. The entrepreneur must be passionate about the industry you want to start the business. Strategic management skills, a good understanding of the mainstream marketing strategies, basic knowledge of cash flow are essential skills, especially in the first stage when the entrepreneur tends to wear many hats. Finally, a lot of creativity and innovation is also required.
Although the satisfaction of being an entrepreneur, you must be prepared for obstacles along the way. The ‘no’: this will be the most heard word. The entrepreneur needs to prospect for a high volume of customers, take several ‘no’ and, with that, maintain his argument to increase the number of ‘yes’. But, that will only happen over time, after a lot of persistence. Many studies show that even the challenges along the way, what make entrepreneurs different from other people is the fear of missing an opportunity. That is more painful than the risk of failure. If you are aligned with that mindset, you are on the right track.
Planning, dedication, research, and attention at each stage cannot be left out. Be mindful that being your boss does not mean you can relax on the job! In the individual business, the responsibilities are significant, entirely yours, and success depends mainly on you. To become a successful entrepreneur, you must have confidence in your business and be ready to seek success in a not always easy way. To assist you in this journey, we outlined 5 killer tips so you can start the journey into entrepreneurship:
1. Know the industry you want to operate in
Knowing the market where you intend to operate is essential. So, the entrepreneur needs to seek information about the segment and use it to think about the business model. By that we mean, how the business will be structured to make products and services available to customers, what the sales channel is, what the unique selling point is, how it will communicate with the market, cost structure, sales price, among others.
In this research and planning stage, your competitors are your main rule. What is your competitors’ position in the industry and how they are performing are some of the initial topics to be considered for the research. Also, how to make your brand stand out among other companies? What’s the difference between them?
Don’t be discouraged if the industry seems too competitive. You can use this to your advantage. A saturated market means that many people are doing well in this area. That is, you can also be successful.
2. Build a business plan
Any business, regardless of size or area of activity, needs planning to achieve good results. The business plan should be one of the first steps in building an enterprise. Take time to put everything on paper: detailing the business’s operation, products, and services, costs, cash flow projection, economic and financial feasibility analysis. There are different formats and models of business plans, and you can adopt the one that best fits the reality of your enterprise.
In research and business plan development, it is where many people lose motivation because it can be a quite bureaucratic process. However, a well-developed plan will save you time and resources along the way. If down the track, you decide to attract investors or apply for grants, for example, the main part of the information for the application will be at the business plan.
3. Don’t expect immediate results
As with any project, the initial phase will have a little result and requires a lot of work to find new customers and make the business known. The profit does not happen immediately – it is necessary to prepare and maintain a financial reserve while the company does not generate the resources needed to run alone.
Resilience and the ability to adapt make a big difference in any organization, not only in times of crisis. It is important to have a strong support network around you, which you can call each other to grow with you.
4. Build an online presence
As more than half of the world population are active internet users, it doesn’t matter what your industry is: the internet is a powerful dissemination platform. It is also one of the most accessible means since there is no need to spend on paper or with the purchase of advertisements – although there are paid means on the web, all advertising can be worked for free.
Even that your business needs to be online, you need to wisely choose the channels you will invest in. Come back to your business plan and check where your ideal customer spends time. What are the pages, brands, idols that they follow on social media? When are they online, at night, during work? What are the questions that they have that you can answer?
Seeking inspiration in large companies can always be something interesting to feed your ideas. But don’t forget to produce something unique for your brand – especially if we are talking about our website. People like websites and social media profiles with differentiated content, which they can always access and share. Create something that is a reference for the audience.
5. Monitor the performance of your actions
While the business plan is a guiding document for the enterprise’s activities, it needs to be updated continuously. After all, scenarios change, the market can be fickle, and strategies may not work as well as imagined. If you set your goal, you need to make sure you’re on the right track. Monitoring is to follow up and correct the course when necessary.
EXTRA: Organize it thinking about the future
Start small, but think big: organize your business opportunities, your finances, your marketing. Leave everything registered and updated. So, in a short time, you can measure your results and start building with a solid base. You will soon have information and tools to define your growth and investment strategy better.
Gabriela Damaceno is a journalist and digital content specialist at Evolve Skateboards. When out of the office, she spends time outdoors, riding an off-road electric skateboard, always looking for the new funky cafes in town.