By Tina Martin
The world needs entrepreneurs. People who think outside of the box, bring goods and services to the marketplace and add creativity to the world. Entrepreneurs are go-getters, risk-takers and need-fillers. They design their own destiny. And given the state of the world during the current pandemic, now might be the perfect time to take control of yours. Although unemployment rates are skyrocketing, people still have needs. And in the coming months and years, it’s likely that our society as a whole is going to better appreciate American-made goods and US-based companies.
If you’ve found your passion and want to see if you can make a thriving business out of it, then start now, but don’t be afraid to start small. Learn all you need to know before taking the big leap. Snowball slowly by adding in skills and knowledge, as well as making sure you are building good habits from the beginning. Here is some advice on how to navigate the early stages of entrepreneurship.
Learning the Ropes
Before you dive into a full-time business, where you rely on your hours to be productive so that you can generate an income, take the time to invest in your knowledge. Read books about business management, leadership, finances and how to improve on your skills. Take the opportunity to research and take classes on working with clients, marketing and sales. Build a resume, website and informational pamphlets that are impressive and eye-catching.
Your goal should not be to know everything about business before you become an entrepreneur. After all, a big portion of your knowledge will come from experience, from your failures and successes. Nonetheless, committing time to learn the ropes beforehand can help you get off to a smoother start.
You don’t have to abandon a full-time job. There’s no need to invest all of your savings. You don’t need to completely turn your life upside down to examine whether you’d want to start your own business and be your own boss. You can take some time, start slowly and determine whether you can make a profitable living off of your business idea.
One of the hardest parts of being an entrepreneur is finding the clientele to build a successful business. If you have marketable skills that other people need, then you can start by slowly developing your client base. By setting up an online profile on staffing websites, you can market your skills to potential clients. This is a wonderful way to determine how much time you will need to meet demands, assess what you may need to know to build your business and decide whether you could make your skills into a full-time gig.
You can use your small group of clients as a focus group, which helps you discover their needs and how you can better serve them. Use your interactions with them to establish positive customer service interactions and discover how your clients want to receive communication (online portals, emails, phone conversations or in-person meetings). Your initial clients will help you to build a solid foundation and work out any kinks.
Establishing Good Habits
One perk of starting slow is that you can establish good record-keeping habits early on. Especially as a small business owner, the responsibility of the record-keeping is on you. Whether that means you hire a CPA to help manage your income, expenses and deductions, or you do it yourself, every detail should be documented and stored for years.
Good record-keeping will not only save you in the event of a tax audit, but it is also essential to determine the profitability of your business. Good financial management means that you will keep your business and personal expenses separate, you can track where your business income comes from and you can understand a balance sheet.