If you’re looking for more financial freedom and opportunities, starting your own side business could be your ticket. We live in a time where more and more people are taking the leap into entrepreneurship. From business consultants, to app developers, video producers, freelance writers, and startup founders, there are millions of people who are willing to take on the risks of a new business in order to sculpt their own future. However, there are many people who would love to do it, but are either overwhelmed or afraid they’ll fail. It’s true that starting your own business isn’t easy, especially while working a full time job, but I’ve put together 7 steps that will help you get you started!
- Commit to Seeing it Through
For most people, getting started is the hardest part. If you can pinpoint your “why” you’ll have all the motivation you need. What is the reason behind your desire to start your own business? A better life for your family? College education for your children? Or maybe you simply want to be your own boss and create a lifestyle on your own terms. Whatever reason is driving you, that is where your strength and courage will come from. When things get tough, remember why you started and you will see it through.
- Take Stock of Your Interests and Strengths
You have areas in which you know you’re strong. Are you good at interacting with people? If so, then you likely have great soft skills. Are you detailed oriented, excel with hands-on tasks, and learn fast? Then you probably have great hard skills. Make a list of your skills and talents, and with those in mind, make another list of things that you’re passionate about, or in which you have an interest. Are you passionate about finding ways for businesses to succeed? Do you love to teach and coach people so they can better themselves? Write all of these down. Find where these two lists overlap. This will help you pinpoint an idea for your business. This is an important step because if you don’t have some degree of passion for your business it’s going to be tough to keep going when things get hard.
- Confirm the Need for Your Business
One of the most common reasons that new businesses fail is lack of market need. CBInsights, a company that aggregates and analyzes massive amounts of data, compiled the top 20 reasons why startups fail. At the top of the list, a whopping 42% of all new startups, was a lack of market need.
Do some research before you sink a lot of time and money into your business idea. If you find that there is a need for what you offer, start small and test things out for yourself. When you see for yourself that people are willing to pay for what you do, then you’ll have your answer.
- Outsource Tasks
This step is all about where you apply your focus. Step #2 will help you with deciding what you should be doing yourself, and what you should outsource to another professional. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to waste time and money trying to do something that you’re not good at. Yes, you can learn how to do it yourself. After all, there’s an almost limitless amount of free information available to you these days, right? The key here is time and momentum. You can learn to do everything yourself, but it will take an enormous amount of time and energy. Time and energy you could be putting into building your business and finding clients. Outsourcing frees you up, builds momentum, and enables you to focus on more important things.
The point is to do what you do best, and outsource the rest.
- Create a Plan
Common traits of individuals with an entrepreneurial spirit are fast thinking, ability to make quick decisions, and flying by the seat of their pants. These are good traits to have, but when it comes to charting a course for your business your chances of success dramatically increase if you have a solid plan.
This is a deeper activity than goal setting. You’ll want to know how you will navigate your business from points A, B, C and so on. Create a detailed plan on when you will launch, what your online presence will look like, identify potential clients and how you will pitch to them, and how you will deliver your product or service. Put all of this down in writing and use it as your guide. You will have to make adjustments to your plan as you learn and grow, but having a plan will keep you on track and prevent you from becoming distracted and losing momentum.
- Set Yourself Apart
If you’ve nailed down an idea for a business, but got discouraged when you discovered that there’s already someone else doing it, fear not. It would be quite the challenge to start a business that no one has ever thought of before. Besides, it’s a good sign that indicates there is a market for your business! The key to your success is to make yourself stand out in the market. You are a unique individual and no one can deliver what you offer quite like you. Make your business stand out from the rest. You can do this through your pricing, customer support and follow up, the way you deliver your product or service, or any number of other ways.
The important thing is to make your business your business, and not a copy of someone else’s. This is what will give you a competitive advantage in the market. Pinpoint a need, fill that need, and do so in a way that is different from how others are doing it.
- Don’t Quit Your Day Job Just Yet
That may be your endgame, and that’s great, but do it at the right time. You’ll need the income to fuel your new venture, and the time for vetting your new business idea. I know how challenging it is to work a side business while being employed full time. It takes a lot of energy, and even more time, but having a sustainable income in the early days of a new business is worth it. It’s a new business, mistakes will be made, and it will take time to build your client base. Your day job will allow you the freedom and stability to clear those hurdles.
There are millions of entrepreneurs in the world, and they all took different paths to get where they are today. Keep that in mind as you carve out your own path. Visualize yourself succeeding in your new business. Imagine what you will feel like the day your new business becomes your sole source of income. It’s doable, and these steps will help you get there.
Candice lives and breathes entrepreneurship, reach out to learn more. Call her at 204-392-6406 or email Candice@cbfteam.ca.