[This article was written by Keith Coppersmith.]
So you’ve decided to pursue the life and calling of an entrepreneur. Good, you have made what is bound to be the best decision of your life. Now all you need is to develop a sound strategy and a viable battle plan to step into the competitive market without getting eaten by the bigger fish in the pond, and build the long-term success your company deserves.
Without a doubt, this is going to be a long and tiring process, but if you’re determined to take your future into your own hands and establish true financial independence, then it will all be well-worth the investment. To that end, let’s delve deep into the most important tips on how you can succeed as an entrepreneur the first time round.
Combine passion with expertise
When you’re “just” an employee, it doesn’t really matter if you’re passionate about your job or on – although your boss would certainly like you to be as passionate as possible. But when you’re considering to make that big leap of faith into entrepreneurship, passion is one of the most important assets you need to have in order to succeed. After all, if you’re not passionate about your business, nobody else will be either.
However, it’s not like having a passionate love for an industry alone is enough to take your company to the top. You also need to be experienced, and you need to know what you’re doing. This doesn’t mean that you need to be experienced as a business owner, but it does mean that you need to possess the knowledge and expertise associated with your industry. Be sure to combine practical knowledge with something you’re truly passionate about, and you have yourself the first pillar of success.
Choose a winning business model
Probably the biggest mistake inexperienced entrepreneurs make, one that tends to cost them dearly, is choosing to go down the traditional startup route. The problem with startups is that they require a substantial financial investment with no guarantee of success. In fact, the majority of them fail within the first three years.
This unfavorable trend has given rise to safer and more realistic business models, such as franchising. Franchising is the answer to the question: how to start a business without assuming all of the risk and uncertainty that comes with the job. By becoming an entrepreneur within a successful franchise and opening your store under an established brand architecture, you can mitigate the risks of building a brand from the ground up, and grow your company safely no matter how competitive the industry might be. So keep in mind that although you can launch a startup, it’s no longer the only business model you have at your disposal.
Do your best to research the market
Knowledge equals power in the business world, and the more knowledge you possess about your demographic as well as your competitors, the better the chances that you will avoid the common pitfalls of your rapid rise to prominence. You can begin your discovery phase by assessing the current state of the market you’re interested in, and most importantly, the projections for its near and far future. Search reputable business websites for these insights.
Next, you can start collecting data on your target demographic to better optimize your future business based on the likes and dislikes of the consumer market. And finally, be sure to research your competitors. This will allow you to better gauge your own strengths and weaknesses, as well as threats and opportunities for your business. More importantly, it will help you decide on the ideal business model for you.
Develop viable business and financial plans
The business plan is the most important document you have, a document that can and will define the future of your business. In essence, this is a comprehensive collection of all of your business strategies, for every department in your company. It’s vital that every sector has its separate strategy as well as the tactics that support it in order to grow over time and help your business reach its long-term goals.
Arguably the most important section of your business plan is the financial section. This is your company’s entire financial structure that includes everything from your investment capital, through your operating capital, to your growth capital as well as projections and financial goals. Building this section will not be easy, but it is nonetheless essential for the future of the brand. If you opt to buy a franchise, you will receive guidance and support from the franchisor, but if you’re taking the traditional route, be sure to employ the services of an experienced financial planner.
Becoming your own boss is the single best way to assume control of your professional life and establish lifelong affluence that will allow you to build the lifestyle you and your family deserve. That said, the entrepreneurial road is long and full of hurdles, so use these tips avoid them altogether and pave the road to a successful future as a business leader.