Many employees would love nothing more than being their own boss, but starting a business can be daunting for prospective entrepreneurs. If you’d like to run a business one day, here are some ways you can prepare and reduce the difficulty of the challenge that lies ahead.
Like most people who get into a new endeavor, you may fear a lack of skill or expertise will doom your startup to failure. However, a 2019 study shows that in fact the top cause of startup failure is lack of market need for the product. Rather than simply pursuing business ideas that interest you, spend more time identifying the needs of the market. Listen not only to consumers, but employees and business owners who experience challenges in their day-to-day operations.
Limit your options
You don’t actually need to brainstorm business ideas; a quick internet search will turn up endless lists of ideas. In fact, the information out there can be overwhelming. Try to limit your options and filter out those ideas that present too much difficulty or complexity.
Play to as many strengths as possible; if you excel at taking over an established operational model rather than building an organization from scratch, a computer repair franchise would be better than starting a personal service, even if you’re an expert technician.
Many aspiring entrepreneurs are held back by concerns over the financial risks of starting a business, including their ability to raise enough capital in the first place. You don’t need to go all-in and bet your life savings on your first business. Keep your day job, and attempt a venture on a scale that lets you fail small.
For example, selling a digital product, such as an e-book or webinar, only requires enough capital for a website and the requisite software; the rest of your investment will be in terms of time and effort needed to create the product and market it online. Even if the business venture fails, you’ll still have a job, and you’ll have learned well from any mistakes you made, leading to a better business plan in the future.
Work on your skills
Becoming a successful entrepreneur requires you to wear many hats. Before you commit to starting a business, you can actually work on improving many of the skills that you’ll need in the future.
Most employees can put in the deliberate effort to practice better time management at work. You can also become more organized and track your household budget. These are just two ways in which you can develop key business skills before you even start running one.
Make an effort to network more, well in advance of the day when you start drawing up business plans. Getting to know new people will become an integral part of your life as an entrepreneur. Networking builds contacts, giving you a ready-made list of potential clients, partners, and even team members. Be a good listener, and you’ll also gain insights into different industries that may prove useful down the line.
Becoming a first-time entrepreneur can be very challenging, but by taking these steps you’ll be able to reduce the level of difficulty and complexity, thus allowing you to focus on the most important aspects that will lead to success.