- Business and Employment
Become an Entrepreneur: Start Your Own Business
Why most people don't try
Most people at one stage in their life consider working for themselves, but a large majority decide that they can't. This is very understandable as it is a very daunting task. You have to dedicate lots of time into your business, which most likely means that you have to quit your job, and without a job you have no income, and without income you struggle to set up a business and support yourself.
Ok you get the point...
Where Good Ideas Come From
Coming up with the idea
Every business will start with an idea. A lot of people people who want to start a business are not sure exactly what they want their business to be focussed on. You need to think about what you can offer people. Do you have an idea for a new product that you think people would be interested in? Or perhaps a service that you could provide to people that doesn't already exist? Or maybe a service that already exists but which you think could improve?
Here are a few tips to help you come up with a good idea:
-Think about the industry that you currently work in: Do you think that you could provide a better service that already exists? Or create a product that could help people in that industry?
-Consider your hobby: Do you have a hobby that you would like to expand into a business so other people can learn about it as well?
-What do you wish existed? Do you always have a thought in the back of your head wishing that there was a service that provided you a chore you couldn't be bothered to do? Or a product that performed a task that you had to do manually?
-Get inspiration from other people: start reading everything that you can get your hands on. You might read about an idea that already exists but you think you might be able to do differently.
-Talk to people about services and products they wished existed. You might not know exactly what you want but other people might be able to give you an indication.
Only choose a business idea that you are passionate about! There is no point launching a company that you believe could work but doesn't interest you. Always start with why.
Believe in the idea: market research
If you have ever watched a program like Dragon's Den you will know that people can come up with some really weird, crazy and sometimes brilliant ideas. However, you want to make sure that your's is edging towards the brilliant side.
Before you dedicate your time to your idea make sure that other people think its a good idea as well. You might have overlooked a vital aspect that completely destroys the business concept.
Some ideas to get feedback on your idea:
-Talk with your family and friends and see what they say
-Walk up to members of the public and ask them what they think
-Talk to business guru's who are already out there
-Talk to a focus group
Before you do the research protect yourself:
Before you start telling the whole world about your idea you might want to consider protecting yourself by preventing other people from stealing it! If its a product get a patent, and if you have a good idea for its name, buy the domain name before someone else does and try's to sell you it at a ridiculous price. The same applies for a service business.
Which market research method do you think is most effective?
Financing your business start up
So you have an idea, you have done a lot of market research and you feel that its time to set it up.
There is just one small problem, you don't have enough money.
If you know that you need a certain amount of capital in order to get your business off the ground then you have a number of options which many other entrepreneurs have taken and succeeded in.
1- Use platforms to raise the capital you need: (Take a look around all of them as your idea/concept might suite a particular site better)
(Read my Crowdfunding article for more information)
2- Look for government grants and inititives for start up businesses in your country of residence.
3- Try and join investor events and pitch your idea
4- If your in a university look for support from within your business department
5- Look for bank loans with low interest pay back rates
However, before you go all out trying to raise this money you should assess whether you really need it.
For example lets say that you want to create a online store selling bracelets that you make yourself. You might think that you need to hire a web designer in order to create a professional website. This potentially costing thousands of dollars, when it reality it can actually cost closer to $50 using Wordpress and custom themes. Check out my article on how to set up a website without coding experience here for more information.
Building your business
In the early stages of your launch you shouldn't be disappointed if it looks as though you are not growing rapidly. It will take time to build your business up.
Be creative in the way you attract customers and try to think about building your business through the use of social media.
Also when you have a running business, make sure that you focus on your reputation. This means making sure that you have excellent customer service.
Congratulations, you have become an entrepreneur.