The Benefits Of Entrepreneurship In A COVID-19 World
Entrepreneurship comes with quite a few benefits. You can set your own schedule, have a better work-life balance, be your own boss, and perhaps even have better health. As Cheril Clarke of PhenomenalWriting.com says, “It’s vital to me to be an entrepreneur because it allows me to control my future. Though much more challenging than working for someone else, the rewards are greater.” But how does one become an entrepreneur? It’s not a matter of simply opening a shop one day. A lot of planning and preparation must go into starting a business.
Every entrepreneur has a different approach to business but there are six common steps all aspiring or new business owners should do.
Step One: Research
You have a great idea for your business. Now, it’s time to research the competition. Who is already selling what you want to sell? How much are they selling it for? Who is their target audience? Asking questions like these will help you determine your market for your business. A piece of advice – don’t just go to family, because they are less likely to be honest with you. Share your idea with professionals you trust. Heed their suggestions and reevaluate. This is likely one of the most vital steps towards becoming a full-time entrepreneur.
Step Two: Plan
A business plan is a roadmap to achieve the success you want. It will help you gain clarity, focus and confidence. As you write down your goals, strategies, and action steps, your business becomes real. A business plan is important for getting funding, as well as measuring how successful your business is. During this step you should also be planning on how you will finance your business venture. There are many ways but some of the most popular are loans, self-funding, and venture capitalist (VC) investment.
Step Three: Legalities
There are many legalities to take care of before opening any business. You must decide what your business structure will be: sole-proprietorship, partnership, limited liability corporation (LLC), etcetera. Then you have to register your business’s structure, its name, and any trademarks you want. Next, apply for a “doing business as” (DBA), or “fictious name” record, and open a business bank account. Finally, get any licenses or permits required for your type of business. All these legalities have different requirements in different states, so be sure to check with your local and state governments for exact details.
Step Four: Network
Networking is how you meet other people that might have skills you can use in your business. You need to cultivate a network of supporters, advisors, partners, allies, vendors and potential investors. A network can also support your business once you open, helping send new customers your way. Network locally, nationally and via social media. Join networks such as your local chamber of commerce or other relevant business groups. While networking is important in all fields, it may be most important for entrepreneurs.
Step Five: Market
Marketing is something you will have to do for the life of your business, but it is especially important at the beginning. People need to know your business exists before they can buy from you. Your marketing strategy will largely be determined by your target audience. There are many avenues to advertise your business such as events, partnerships, social media, search engine optimization (SEO), advertisements, or using public relations firms, among others. Almost any way you spread the word about your business can be considered marketing.
Step Six: Fail and Learn
Some stats out there on entrepreneurship can be horrible like this one – 20% of startups fail in their first year. But don’t lose heart – because despite these horrible figures, the rate of entrepreneurial failure in the US has fallen by over 30% since 1977. No wonder, the world is packed with 582 million successful entrepreneurs as of 2019. To make your name among these entrepreneurs, have a will to learn. And, don’t let a scratch or two stop you from pedaling your way to the top. If anything, don’t pause — note down the lessons you’ve learned and move fast. In the startup world, patience doesn’t help, bouncing back quickly does.
Starting your own business can reap deep personal and professional rewards, but if you take the leap, your days of punching the clock on a regular schedule will end. If it’s work you love and you crave the freedom of operating under your own steam, starting your own small business will energize your career and make the long hours that await you melt away.