Has it ever occurred in your mind to leave your corporate jobs and start anew by yourself? Or are you one of those government employees who are sick and tired of bureaucratic assignments wanting to embark on your new-found passion? If you have, then probably your entrepreneurial spirit is kicking-in wanting to hatch from the eggshells of your dreams.
Working in the corporate world entails a lot of stress, deadlines, presentations and a whole plethora of tasks that you need to accomplish within a timeframe. You got to be the best that you need to be as the competition is very fierce. And sometimes keeping up the speedy pace could get nasty as office politics or unfair business practices gets in the way.
You believe you deserve better than that. So you are now entertaining the idea of putting up your own business and becoming your own boss. There are a lot of perks from managing your own venture; you get to choose your own time, your own vacation, your projects and so much more.
But becoming an entrepreneur does not mean you automatically handle your business on an auto-pilot. As a matter of fact, the first six months of your venture is most critical in figuring out whether your business will thrive or not.
As an entrepreneur myself, let me share with you some basic steps you need to consider before handing out your resignation to your boss to put up your own business.
Know Your Passion
A lot of entrepreneurs (although not all) make terrible mistakes by getting into a business they don’t have any single interest about. The drive to put up a business is there but the knowledge as to what product or services to sell is unidentified. Because it is not part of their passion, they quickly lose interest to know more about their product, innovate production processes, and develop the product so it will ultimately meet the satisfaction of their customers. Example, you put up a meat shop because you see your cousin successful in that kind of business. But the problem is . . . meat processing is not your interest and now you wonder after several months of operation you are not getting anywhere.
Passion is the key. What is it that you like most? Maybe you can monetize your interest by getting others to like it too or cater to people who have the same interest as you do.
For instance, you can’t live a week without visiting a beauty salon. Because you want to keep up with the latest trend of hairstyle, updated on the coolest hair color and best pampering services; you certainly have the know-how about the industry. Sometimes, you don’t need to look too far. Often, best business ideas are already within you.
Know your passion.
Prepare Your Own Capital
I would discourage you to loan so you could put up your own business. If you are really serious of becoming an entrepreneur, you need to prepare for it. Part of the preparation is to save and set-aside a generous amount of funds depending on the required initial investment of your desired business.
You see, getting into a business for the first time of your life is like wading into the murky water. You can only expect two things; either a.) you find a piece of gold or b.) a piece of shit in it. And because you cannot guarantee a success, it is best to safeguard yourself from unforeseen obligation you may incur by getting a loan.
Get Your Hands Busy
One of the fatal mistakes you will do in the early stage of your business is to become a manager from afar.
Never. Never. Never do that!
I don’t care if you have a hundred minions under you. You have to get your hands busy. If you give others the charge to manage the early stages of your business, you do not only pose a risk to yourself to be cheated on but most importantly, you will miss the chance of growth by going through the learning curve of the business.
If you really want to stay in the business for a long time, you have to go through the experience and learn from the experience.
Stay with your people. Guide them, direct them before you eventually delegate them.
“Be Different” is easy to say but it is particularly challenging to execute because you need to burn eyebrows at night and do your own research.
Answer this: What is in your store/establishment that is most appealing than your competitor’s shop? What sets your products/services best from others?
Going back to the salon business example, you have to be one step ahead of the competition. Update your hairstyle designs or hair color selections. Remember, your customers are intelligent consumers. They know if you are advance or you are behind.
The key is; research, research, research.
Market, Market, Market
Network. Reach out to your target customers. Market your products or services on ways readily available. You can use the social media as a tool or even your friends to do the positive word of mouth advertising for you.
Using Pareto Law; most business owners spends 80% of their time developing their products and 20% of their time marketing. I say this is a wrong use of Pareto Law as formula. Market using 80% of your time and devote only 20% of your time developing your product.
Why is this? Because you need to SELL but you have to allow your product to take a GRADUAL GROWTH. The market is quick to forget a product that changes so quickly. Let your products/services grow with your customer’s demands and taste.
You can position your product in the market with the most unique branding but see to it that you follow the sacrosanct rule of marketing. BE HONEST. That means you don’t do surprise charges and obscurely complicated fine lines on your brochures. If you are honest with your customers, you make them feel secure. You can never go wrong with honestly. In fact, this is the quickest way to develop loyalty and assure repeat customers.
If you have been contemplating to put up a business, and you think you can follow the steps laid-out above, NOW is the best time to do it. Take baby steps, observe and learn from it. With passion on top of your daily experience, you will soon figure out how to make it work efficiently and profitably.
Follow your dreams. You can be your own Boss.