Entrepreneurship is trendy right now. You may be feeling the need to “create multiple streams of income” and “become your own boss.” To many, that sounds like a dream come true. Entrepreneurship will show you who you are and challenge you in ways you’ve never imagined. However, many entrepreneurs become frustrated with a lack of quick success, and many customers become frustrated with a lack of quality products or service. The following five tips will help your transition into entrepreneurship, whether part-time or full-time, be as smooth as possible.
Do: Focus on the right product or service
This is particularly important if your business will rely solely on you, at least starting out. To make sure you are providing a quality product or service, you must focus on something for which you possess sufficient talent and that you enjoy. Think about it: if you absolutely love playing the piano, but the extent of your skills is Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, then you should not become a piano teacher. Conversely, if you hate playing the piano but are an exceptional player, could you really be an effective teacher? Find something that you can do every day and do well.
Don’t: Reinvent the wheel
Once you figure out your product or service, focus on making sure the core of your business is exceptional. It may be tempting to want to make your business that takes a standard product and shares it in a way that the world has never seen before. Don’t. Yes, there may be twenty other cake designers in town, but you already have one thing that none of the others have–you! You will be different from everyone else. You have your own network. You have your own style. You have your own experiences. Lean on those, and your business will naturally stand out.
Do: Be consistent
Consistency is the key to achieving anything you want in life, including being a successful entrepreneur. If you want to grow, develop business, and make money, it is going to take more than a couple of hours per week in your spare time. You are going to have to commit to making the time to work on your business, and some things may have to take a backseat to your business. A few options for encouraging and tracking consistency are setting a schedule, writing a list of weekly goals, and having some progress benchmarks. Whatever you want to accomplish with your business, you will not get there without consistency.
Don’t: Get discouraged
You spend months doing market research, writing a business plan, developing your product, building a website, and finally launch your business. Then nothing. Or worse, someone buys your cake or hires you to decorate their home and are dissatisfied. You get a bad review. Maybe one of your clients can’t pay you. Maybe you miscalculated your expenses, and can’t pay your expenses for the month. Do not be discouraged! Every business, including yours, is going to face challenges. Instead of looking at challenges as setbacks, focus on how you can use those experiences to create systems to solve problems in the future. What can you learn? How can you move forward? The more challenges you face, the better you will get at bouncing back, and in the end, you’ll be a better entrepreneur because of it.
Do: Rely on your network for support
Your friends, family, neighbors, coworkers, and social media acquaintances will be essential to the success of your business. From the research stage to selling your product or service, make sure you keep them involved and aware. They will be your first customers. They will provide your first referrals. They will encourage you when you face challenges, and cheer you on when you succeed. Do not passively include your network in your business, be strategic and intentional. Know when and how to reach out to each person. Your parents may not receive information or have the same needs as your coworkers. Throughout your entrepreneurship journey, your network will grow as your business does.
Making the decision to become an entrepreneur is a major commitment. Whatever your product or service, whatever your goals, these five do’s and don’ts will start your business off right.