Is entrepreneurship a reality for me? Many people dream of working for themselves, but they don’t know where to start. Perhaps the current tough economic conditions caused your employer to furlough you.
Maybe you just graduated or were trying to re-enter the workforce, only to find too much competition and not enough job openings. It’s also possible that you’re just tired of working for other people.
“Be Your Own Boss!”
If nobody will hire you, why not hire yourself? You may have an innovative idea that could solve a problem brought about by current challenges in the world, or possibly you excel at a service that you see a demand for in your community.
Read on for six tips to entering the world of entrepreneurship.
1. Address Your Fear of Becoming an Entrepreneur
Fear of the unknown is one of the biggest inhibitors of great ideas. You might be afraid that what you think is a great idea will turn out to be a flop. However, you’ll never know unless you give it a try.
If you never test the waters, you’ll always have the thought lingering in the back of your mind about what could have been if only you’d taken the risk. Surely, becoming an entrepreneur is not for the faint of heart.
Take a few minutes, and think about what your fears are. According to Entrepreneur Magazine, some common fears of entrepreneurs are:
• Lack of acceptance
• Financial problems
• Being mediocre
• Loss of creativity
• Trouble confronting challenges
2. Always Have a Plan to Generate Extra Income
In “Don Quixote”, Miguel de Cervantes made a reference to not putting all of your eggs in one basket. Most people who become self-employed don’t start earning a livable wage within a short amount of time.
If you have a day job, don’t quit it yet. You’ll need to have cash flow for your regular expenses and to invest in your business. If you do have a little savings, don’t use it all right away.
Make sure you have another way to generate extra income besides your idea for a new business. Don’t walk away from your regular source of income until your new business is bringing in enough to replace it.
3. Do Your Research About What Business is Right for You
Before you jump right in to entrepreneurship, spend some time researching what type of business is right for you. Focus on your educational background, experience and passions.
Youth Inc. recommends inventorying your practical skills, too. In addition to the skills necessary for the business you want to open, you’ll also need business management skills.
If you like negotiating and dealing with people, providing a service might be a great choice for self-employment. If you’re more of a process-oriented person, designing a product and marketing it may be the road you take to becoming an entrepreneur.
4. Consider How You Will Finance Your Business
No matter what type of business you decide to start, you’ll need a plan for financing it. What you don’t want to do is go into personal debt or run up your credit cards buying stuff in order to start your business.
Some options to consider for financing your entrepreneurial business include:
• Inheritance or windfall
• Angel investor
• Small Business Association loan
• Apply for a grant
• Micro loan
• Family or friends
Avoid cashing in your 401(k) or IRA in order to start a business. Doing this incurs huge tax penalties, and you’ll lose the potential for growth of those funds.
5. Start Small and Scale Up
“Go big or go home” is a cliché that entrepreneurs should not follow when starting a business. It’s better to start small and scale up as interest builds in your business.
For example, if your passion is lawn care, and your plan is to start a landscaping and lawn care business, don’t start by purchasing 10 lawnmowers and a fleet of trucks and trailers.
Start small, with one riding mower, a trimmer, leaf blower and hand tools. Scale up as the opportunity for growth arises. Make sure you scale up slowly and with purpose.
You can always buy one more piece of equipment when you need it, but buying too much and not needing it or not being able to afford the payments is a big problem that could lead to a spectacular failure.
6. Fail Fast and Don’t Give Up
Every entrepreneur faces failure. When you read the stories of successful people who become self-employed, what you’re not seeing is all the failures they had to experience in order to get there.
“It’s okay to fail.”
It’s okay to fail. In fact, you should expect to fail. Some of today’s most successful entrepreneurs, including Oprah Winfrey and J. K. Rowling, had early failures. They didn’t give up, and neither should you.
Analyze your failure, and use it to glean insights as to how you can improve what went wrong. These early, small failures help you build a tough skin that will help with future challenges in entrepreneurship.
Watch this Great Entrepreneurship Video
“Woman, Thy Name is Entrepreneur” presented to… by shairb
About the Author:
Through the use of her newspaper, websites, newsletters and workshops, Helena has been devoted to informing, inspiring and encouraging women.
Because of her experiences as a wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, business woman, and volunteer, Helena is happy and excited to share practical and heartfelt information with you.
Helena has recently published “Don’t Forget Your Sunglasses”, a six-step guide to using Vision Boards to set goals and achieve your dreams.