Career satisfaction is rightfully a major concern for many people. Working for another person or business has its perks. But sometimes, depending on your personality or skill set, working for yourself may be ideal. Becoming an entrepreneur, however, is a serious and overwhelming undertaking. Check out this general outline of how to get started as an entrepreneur to see if it’s a feasible and good fit for you.
Million Dollar Idea
Before diving into business, you want to be sure that you have some kind of value to offer. Whether you’re looking to serve your local community or grow to a global presence, you have to be able to help people.
Coming up with an idea may not be as hard as you might think. People take problems from their own lives every day and say: “I can’t be the only one experiencing this.” Coming up with a solution to your own problem may help others, as well. Maybe you’re familiar with a friend or family member’s personal situation that’s been causing some turmoil in their day to day. If you can find a way to improve their life, you can replicate it for others as well.
Take the cofounder of Gopuff, Rafael Ilishayev, for example. While still in college, he and many of his friends were immobile, preventing them from having the ability to go out and get the things they needed. To eliminate this issue, Rafael developed this same day delivery service app to help other college students facing a similar situation. While convenient stores do have a wide variety of supplies people really need in a pinch, they aren’t always easily accessible given a number of predicaments people may find themselves in.
This kind of ingenuity came right from a pain point in his own life. As you go through your day to day, start to pay attention to areas where there is room for improvement. Then, ask yourself if you have anything to offer in that space.
Once you’ve determined the central offering of your business, you’ll need to figure out what kind of start-up costs may be associated with getting it off the ground and keeping it running. This will help you know how much money you might need to raise. And you need to find investors or apply for loans, and even determine the prices of your product and/or services.
Before you get into loans and credit as a business, you may want to familiarize yourself with the basics of business credit. There’ll be advantages and disadvantages of the different options available for funding your business. So, take your time deciding on which route is best for your needs. Raising money to be completely independent from investors or strings might be ideal to you. However, this might delay getting your business off the ground. Saving money can be difficult or take quite some time. You’ll have to assess that payoff for yourself.
Structuring the Business
One of the costs involved in getting started is establishing your business structure. This is an important step in the process because you should determine the level of personal risk you’re willing to take. It’s also an opportunity to distinguish yourself from your business. And, you can remove some of the personal liability if necessary.
Not every business model can support each type of business structure. So you’ll need to spend some time reviewing the options available. Once you’ve weighed the options, pros and cons, and are comfortable with the risks involved with each, you can choose the right business structure for you.
Marketing Your Value
Now that you have your idea, your funding, and the logistics settled, it’s time to find your customers. You should constantly be assessing what your target audience looks like. This will help you figure out where they are, what types of things they do, and how you can get your business’s name in front of them.
Ideally, you can get your brand out there in places where the problem is likely to occur. If you’re a budding restaurant, perhaps you bring a menu around to the local businesses to put in their eating areas, or employee lounges. If you’re a delivery service like the one mentioned above, connecting with schools where a lot of students can’t or won’t have vehicles, is a smart move. The closer you can get to the time of your customer being in need of your service, the more likely they are to convert.
If you think you can strike out on your own and go through this process, then entrepreneurship may be an option for you. Put your knowledge, skills and innovation to the test and take up some space in the marketplace. With some hard work and perseverance, you might just get to be your own boss one day.
This article originally appeared on Credit.com and has been republished with permission.
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