Entrepreneurship is a journey that requires a lot of time, effort and hard work, and perhaps unsurprisingly, many people end up failing. But if your company survives, the rewards of entrepreneurship are well worth the obstacles you'll face on the road to success.
If you think you're ready to start your first business, here's a step-by-step overview of what you need to do to make it happen.
Every new business starts with an idea. Maybe there's something you're really knowledgeable and passionate about, or perhaps you think you've found a way to fill a gap in the marketplace. Wherever your interests lie, it's almost guaranteed that there's a way to turn it into a business.
Once you've narrowed your list of ideas down to one or two, do a quick search for existing companies in your chosen industry. Learn what current brand leaders are doing, and figure out how you can do it better. If you think your business can deliver something other companies don't , you've got a solid idea and are ready to create a business plan.
Another option is to open a franchise of an established company. The concept, brand following and business model are already in place; all you need is a good location and the means to fund your operation.
Now that you have your idea in place, you need to ask yourself a few important questions: What is the purpose of your business? Who are you selling to? What are your end goals? How will you finance your startup costs? All of these questions can be answered in a well-written business plan.
A business plan helps you figure out where your company is going, how it will overcome any potential difficulties and what you need to sustain it.
Some say not to mix passion and entrepreneurship, but it is not correct. Money can take you only so far, but integrating your passion with your business provides sustainable motivation and the grit to weather the inevitable ups and downs of entrepreneurial endeavors.
In fact, following your passion has been scientifically proven to make you happier. One study found that “harmonious” passion, an internalization of an interest into a personal identity, leads to psychological well-being and prevents negative, internal conflict. All well and good. But simply enjoying something isn’t always going to pay the rent, and that problem may make the notion of turning passion into profit seem implausible.
There are so many people who have successfully turned their passions into profitable startups. So, even if you think you lack the necessary tools, consider taking the following steps to do what they did.
Observe what other businesses are missing and use your business to fill a void in the marketplace. Discover how you can change your industry and why it is necessary. Ask: How can I do it better? How can I make it better?
Doing something you’ve never done before can be scary and uncomfortable. The unknown often becomes an excuse for not moving forward. But let your fear empower, not hinder you. The most interesting place to play at is your limits, right? So make a habit of staying at ease in uncomfortable situations.
3. Practice for 24 hours.
The only way to build your skills is gradually over time. Practice to become a master, and request feedback from mentors to ensure you’re doing it right.
A startup today has more options for financing than just big investors, bank loans or venture capital. First, develop a strategic marketing plan that details exactly how much you need to get started. Then, use social media to gather community support and market your brand before it comes to fruition.
As the old adage says, life is a journey, not a destination: Realize that success will not come instantly. You must start focusing on your passion project now. By defining what’s working, you'll turn your dream project into a business model you can expand on for profitable results.
With patience and ingenuity, you too can find your passion project and turn it into a profit -- and you will be happier for it.