Becoming an entrepreneur is a lifetime goal for many. For one, you get to be your own boss. You’d get to call the shots and answer to practically no one. Second, you’d be hustling in this capitalist world with the hopes of making it big. So, why don’t we have more entrepreneurs in this world? The truth is, the majority of startups fail, and people are afraid. Here’s the good news: you can become an entrepreneur without any money or credentials. For those who are successful, it can be one of the most rewarding and liberating experiences. If you can overcome limiting beliefs, we’ll show you how to become an entrepreneur, no matter your age or experience level.
What Is An Entrepreneur?
An entrepreneur is someone who creates new business. They get to reap the rewards, but they also have to bear the risks. Entrepreneurs are the disruptors and innovators of the economy. They introduce new ideas, services, products, and business models. They push the boundaries of our economy, making it shift and evolve. They do this by identifying needs and bringing forth their skills and ideas on how to meet those needs.
Some entrepreneurs create new goods by using labor and natural resources. Others provide new services. Either way, entrepreneurs are needed for their leadership, management skills, and ingenuity.
Advantages Of Becoming An Entrepreneur
If the majority of new ventures fail, why would anyone risk becoming an entrepreneur? That’s because entrepreneurial life comes with a myriad of advantages that can be worth the risk. Here are some examples:
Sense of fulfillment: Some people gravitate towards entrepreneurship because they have an innate desire. It could be the desire to build something, be independent, or leave a legacy for their children. There are many reasons out there, but entrepreneurship can increase your sense of personal fulfillment and satisfaction.
Newfound freedom: Imagine you’re your own boss. How would you structure your work schedule? What kind of company culture would you foster? Where would you set up your office? These are all choices you can freely make.
Gain incredible experience: Starting your own business will provide you with incredibly valuable experience. Even if your first venture doesn’t work out, you’ll have a myriad of new skills and strategies to help you try again.
Expanded network: Entrepreneurs simply can’t survive without business contacts. As you build relationships and gain visibility, your Rolodex will expand. Maintaining these contacts throughout the years will pay off as you build your business, or businesses. If you decide that being an entrepreneur isn’t for you, your business contacts will likely help you land a fulfilling new profession.
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How To Become An Entrepreneur In 10 Steps
Now that we’ve gone over what an entrepreneur does and why someone would want to become one, it’s time to dive into how to become an entrepreneur.
Find The Right Business Idea
Identify Your Focus
Build Your Network
Organize Your Business
Test Your Business Idea
Create A Business Plan
Adjust According To Feedback
Consider A Co-Founder
Scale Your Business
1. Find The Right Business Idea
Every entrepreneur needs just one great idea. There are two types of entrepreneurs out there: the kind that sets out hunting for the idea, and the kind that has an incredible idea fall right into their lap. If you’re in the latter category, consider yourself lucky. Perhaps you’ve been living life, minding your own business. Suddenly, something profound happens, and you come up with a business idea that you can’t ignore.
For most people, however, they have to find the right business idea first. To get started, look around for life’s daily frustrations. Ask your friends what they get frustrated or annoyed by all the time. So many business ideas start as solutions to pain points. If you’re experiencing a daily frustration, then likely, many others out there are too. You could make millions by providing an affordable, practical solution.
Make note of industry and economic trends. There’s no use starting a new venture in an industry that’s going to be obsolete. The real estate industry has and will continue to grow. That’s why so many people have been successful in starting their own real estate businesses. If it sounds like a good fit, check out our guide to starting a real estate business.
2. Identify Your Focus
Next, identify your focus. Experts recommend picking industries that are growing but aren’t overly competitive. In other words, look for areas that could benefit from innovative new products or services.
Once you’ve picked your category, spend time studying existing products and categories. Then, think of how you could offer something new, improved, or more affordable. The point here is that you don’t always have to reinvent the wheel. You can generate significant demand by meeting a gap in the market.
3. Build Your Network
One of the many benefits of entrepreneurship is the opportunity to grow your professional network. You can get started by looking for local groups to join. Most communities have groups or clubs dedicated to local startups, business ventures, and entrepreneurship. You can find these groups through websites such as Meetup or Eventbrite. Attending as many events as you can will help you get exposed to new connections and resources.
4. Organize Your Business
Before you can even start writing an elevator pitch about your business, you need to build a foundation. Secure a location, and get your financials in order. This means opening up a business bank account, setting up an accounting system, and obtaining your business tax ID number.
5. Test Your Business Idea
Once you’ve got some systems into place, it’s time to test your business idea. Before you go all in, it’s important to mind your due diligence and do some market research. As great as you might think your idea is, you need to make sure others think so too.
First, spend time identifying your buyer persona — the traits and characteristics of the people you think would buy your product. Once you’ve identified your ideal customer, start interviewing people that fit the description. Demonstrate your product or service, and ask them what they do or don’t like about it. Also ask them how much they would pay for it and how frequently they would use it. Your research results will help you fine-tune your product before taking it to market.
6. Create A Business Plan
Every entrepreneur needs a business plan, which lays out your business goals and strategy. A business plan can include your company mission and vision, budget, marketing strategy, target market, and important milestones.
7. Adjust According To Feedback
“Set it and forget it” is a strategy that never works out in entrepreneurship. Once you go to market with your produce or service, you’ll be in a constant cycle of improvement. After generating some demand, be open to customer satisfaction and feedback.
It might be tough to hear negative comments, but it’s the only way you can improve your product or service. Show your customers that you’re listening by taking their feedback and making improvements and adjustments to your product. A satisfied customer will bring you referrals, and an improved product will bring you new customers.
8. Consider A Co-Founder
Starting a business is a huge endeavor, so why not have a trusty co-pilot by your side? Not only can a co-founder make it easier to raise capital, but they will also support you through the emotional ups and downs of entrepreneurship. They could also bring a complementary set of traits and skills to the table. Together, you could double your chances of success.
9. Raise Capital
There’s an adage that goes, “it takes money to make money.” Even if you used your life savings to get your business idea off the ground, your startup won’t be sustainable without outside funding. Capital will help you maintain some cash flow, and also help you get to the next level. Here are some ideas on where you can get some funding:
Ask your friends and family to invest in your business.
Apply for a small business grant through your city and state.
Start a fundraising campaign on a crowdfunding website.
Pitch your idea to angel investors.
Present your case to venture capital firms.
Apply for a Small Business Administration microloan.
Tough it out until your revenue covers your expenses.
10. Scale Your Business
Last but not least, expand your business. This last part will take time, but with ample traction and funding, you can start scaling. This could mean increasing your production, entering new markets, or even coming up with spin-off products that complement your original product. Don’t stop dreaming big – one day, you could expand your workforce or even buy out other companies.
Do Entrepreneurs Make Good Money?
Most entrepreneurs pay themselves a full-time salary, which falls around an average of $70,000. Today, the median household income in the U.S. is $52,000. Successful entrepreneurs are earning significantly above average. Keep in mind, however, that this is just an average. Entrepreneur salaries have a wide range. There are some who’ve made far less and some who’ve made much, much more. Take Elon Musk, one of the world’s most famous entrepreneurs. The SpaceX and Tesla innovator is worth about $184 billion. On the opposite end of the spectrum are the owners behind failed startups.
Now that you know how to become an entrepreneur, do you think you have what it takes? As you get started, it’s best not to set up expectations that are too high. Keep in mind that there’s no magic formula to finding success and getting rich. It’s best to align yourself with an idea that you feel passionate about, so much so that you’ll never stop chasing your dream.
Have you ever had a business idea that you didn’t pursue? Would you consider pursuing it now? Share in the comments below!
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