A lot of people hate the fact that they have someone bossing them around. They see someone above them with all the authority, a better paycheck, and greater career prospects, and they feel like the entire system is rigged against them. However, the road to entrepreneurship is open to anyone. So, if you believe having a boss is a problem, why not take the necessary steps to become your boss?
Here are the ten steps to make this happen (or realize that this is more than you’ve bargained for).
1. Identify your passions and strengths
The first thing you want to do as early as possible is identify some of your strengths and weaknesses. While you can improve in various areas, specialists (and not someone who’s the jack of all trades) get paid the most.
The same is true in retail. When people want a phone, they go to Apple. When they want boxing gear, they go for Venum or Everlast. It’s well-known who the best performers are in each field, and, as a specialist, you also get a personal brand to leverage.
Lastly, passion is so important. By the end of it, you’ll be sick of it. So, you need something you love to minimize this risk.
2. Get an outline of an idea
The next step is determining what you actually want to do.
There are many optional questions, but one paramount for you to answer is your USP (unique selling proposition). To simplify it further, why would anyone buy from you and not someone else?
This is far harder than you expect it to be. You should also do a brief survey of the market. See what’s going on and how segmented the market is. Just keep in mind that not all absence of a provider is necessarily an opportunity. Sometimes, there’s just no market need for the product/service you’re offering. This is something you need to know before you enter this field.
3. Make a business plan
Next, you need to put it all in writing. This is incredibly important since, no matter how good your ideas are (or you think they are), they’ll seem different once they’re on paper.
To make the long story short, here, you write everything we’ve discussed in the previous section.
You must start with an executive summary. State your business idea, list a problem you intend to solve, describe your target audience, and state your USP.
Then, you do an actual market analysis. Get some data and some examples. Talk about the competition and what they’re doing wrong or could do better.
4. Build an online presence
The most important issue you need to address is your online presence. You must start by building a website. This landing page will be the focal point of all your marketing efforts and the driving force behind your sales. There are so many different ecommerce site builders that you can use to make the website, even on your own, so you don’t need to hire a costly developer at this point.
You might also want to build a blog. Here, hosting a blog is a much smaller challenge than generating content. Proper human-written content will take 4-6 hours per post. So, ensure you have a good writer or a few regular contributors.
Lastly, make sure to register on all the major social media. Also, research your target demographic and figure out where they are. Then, double down on their favorite platforms.
5. Have a plan B
One of the most important things in business is to have a plan B. What if things go wrong? How do you downscale a business?
You also want to diversify your products or even take up trading to secure several revenue streams. Generally speaking, diversification will secure your footing in the ever-changing market.
The next thing you need to have is a pivot plan. For instance, Wilkinson Sword started manufacturing razors when swords went out of mass military use. This was a massive industry-wide shift, but the company went through it successfully. They even kept the name and the logo unchanged.
Lastly, having an exit strategy is always a sensible plan. No, it’s not being a pessimist; it’s being a realist.
6. Build a network of contacts
Your contacts are everything. These are your future customers, clients, vendors, partners, employees, etc. In other words, you can’t build a business in a vacuum or do it without other people.
Moreover, by boosting your network of contracts, you’re also improving your people skills. You’ll need them to become a better leader and negotiator. The sooner you start honing these skills, the better the payoff.
This is why you need to know that you aim to become an entrepreneur early on. We’re not saying to connect with people with this intention, but keeping a potential future gain in mind can be a great incentive.
7. Think about the fundraising
Where will the money come from? For 78% of entrepreneurs, most money comes from personal means. This means getting a personal loan, using your fund, or selling an asset you own to turn it into capital.
Another major source of initial capital is money borrowed from family and friends. While there’s usually no interest here, this doesn’t mean that there are no strings attached.
If you’re going to do crowdfunding, you need to understand that your presentation skills are just as important as your idea. You need to sell it to people and speak the language they’ll understand.
Lastly, venture capitalists and angel investors can be used as a last resort. This is mainly because they’re unreliable, and you won’t always be able to attract them.
8. Be patient, committed, and adaptable
You can’t succeed overnight. As a business owner, it will take a lot of time until your big breakthrough. It will take patience, effort, and concentrated will to make it.
You can’t be afraid to commit. A lot of people will give up on the first obstacle. For them, it doesn’t matter how good the business idea is or how lucrative the niche is. These people were never destined for success, to start with.
Also, you can’t afford to be too rigid. You must be ready to adapt, which you’ll have to do regularly.
9. Get accustomed to taking responsibility
One thing that they don’t tell you about being an entrepreneur is that there’s no safety net. Every good thing you do is thanks to you, and every bad thing you do is your fault. There’s no one in front of you in the chain of command.
While people always look at the best aspects of being your boss, there’s also a lot of negative stuff. The pressure is sometimes unbearable. When you make mistakes, people can lose their jobs. You need to live with that; otherwise, you won’t ever be able to make any decisions.
10. Find some assistance
Finally, you can’t do it all on your own. You need some help, so you must learn to hire the right employees immediately. Delegating tasks (even if you’re good at it) will only work if you have someone to delegate to. You need the right people for the job.
Finding a partner is a way to split expenses with someone; however, it’s much more than that. Where will you find someone with as much skin in the game as you have? Even the best administrator or the most loyal team leader is not as deep as you are. The same can’t be said for a business partner.
Getting an assistant (or a virtual assistant) will free you up to focus on more important tasks.
Becoming your own boss is a state of mind
Even a boss has a boss. Sure, as an entrepreneur, you don’t have an employer or a supervisor, but you always have inspectors, suppliers, and other people you’ll have an obligation toward. You still have responsibilities (more than ever) and still have to play nice. In other words, being your own boss is a state of mind more than anything else.