How to Become an Entrepreneur
An entrepreneur is defined as “a person who organizes and operates a business or businesses, taking on greater than normal financial risks in order to do so.”
As a small business owner, you are passionate about something. You’ve probably noticed a problem, and you feel like you could build a solution or product around that problem.
If you are considering starting your own small business as an entrepreneur, here are 5 tips to help you get started (before you spend a penny!).
1. Validate your idea with market research
You can have the best idea in the world, but if there isn’t already an audience searching for it, you won’t sell a thing.
To validate your idea, reach out to people you know, email contacts in the industry, or run polls online. Ask around and make sure you aren’t the only one looking for this product, or the solution to the problem you are trying to solve.
2. Make a business plan and calculate your overhead
This is where you can look at the cost of running your new business. How many expenses will you need to run your business? Will you need an office or can you work from home? Will you need to invest in supplies or costs upfront?
3. Consider a startup or accelerator program
Many states have startup and accelerator programs that will help you get funding, coach you through launching your business, and provide valuable resources. If you live in Southwest Colorado, check out the local accelerator program called SCAPE.
There are also business centers that offer free marketing advice for people who want to become an entrepreneur. The Small Business Center at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado offers free consultations for those looking for first steps.
4. Build a marketing strategy
Your idea might be a good one, but if you don’t have any channels to sell it through, you won’t sell anything.
Once you have validated an audience for your product or solution, validate some channels you will be able to sell through. Marketing efforts such as launching a website, building SEO (search engine optimization) on Google, or social media take a lot of time to build. These are great strategies, but they can take a year or more to gain traction.
Some strategies will yield quicker results. For example, networking with people already in the industry will give you quick access to an audience that already exists.
5. Don’t quit your day job
You may have heard this advice before. However, building a new business generally takes about 3 years to get off the ground. Start by building it on your off hours. Every great business owner starts in the same place. It just takes a while!
Bonus Tip! Reach out for help
When you are ready, reach out to a marketing and website professional to help you take your branding, messaging, and website to the next level. Experts spend decades learning the ins and outs of building and scaling a business, and they are here to help!