The internet has opened up many opportunities for entrepreneurship over the past couple of years. Online businesses have taken advantage of social media and blogging to become very successful. Do you want to start your own business but don’t know how? Business expert Rishi Behari shares some tips on how to get started in the world of entrepreneurship.
BE AWARE OF YOUR STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES
If you want to be an entrepreneur but you don’t know where to start, try becoming more aware of your strengths and weaknesses. Play to your strengths and bring people around you that will support your weaknesses. You want to find the sweet spot between what you’re really good at, and really passionate about. Also be aware of what resources you have available, even if they aren’t monetary (i.e. knowledge or time).
DON’T OBSESS OVER A BUSINESS PLAN
The best place to start is to learn from doing instead of obsessing over finishing a business plan. Even though a business plan can be important, timing changes things quickly as markets and other factors come into play. Many people never get past this stage because they are too focused on what is written down instead of what they are experiencing.
First you need to consider whether you want to incorporate, become a sole proprietor or start a partnership. You should also talk to a lawyer and accountant about taxes and liability. Next, you should register your business and/or business name which shouldn’t be too expensive: a quick online search will let you know the process and cost in your area of the country. You should even be able to complete the process online!
FIGURE OUT IF YOUR IDEA WILL EVEN WORK
The two things you need to consider are your value proposition and your revenue model. Your value proposition is thinking about what problem you’re solving and why your solution is better than what’s already out there. If you’re starting a blog, you want to think about your distinctive voice and how your point of view is different from the others. Your revenue model is figuring out how much your idea will cost both in dollars, time and other resources. Also, determining what your customer is willing to pay you. Based on that, you will have an idea of whether it’s viable to move forward. These are really the core questions a “business plan” should be addressing.
CHECK OUT THESE RESOURCES
A good resource is the local BDC branch or Business Development Bank of Canada. The BDC is the only bank devoted to entrepreneurs offering financing, venture capital, growth and transition capital and consulting services. In addition to information that is available online, in books, and also movies, try speaking to small to medium sized business owners. It is likely that you already know or are connected to someone in your personal network that started their own business. These people are likely to take the time to answer your questions if you ask nicely, show curiosity, and buy them a coffee or drink!
DON’T BE SCARED OF FAILURE
Experiencing failure is a reality most entrepreneurs experience at some point. Embracing failure and learning as you go can bring growth and rewards.
MEASURE THE RISKS AND REWARDS
Many entrepreneurs actually define risk the opposite way that other people do. While other people may think working for yourself is risky, an entrepreneur thinks the idea of another day at a job they don’t love as the true risk. But not everyone can just quit their day job, so you can make small progress towards your goal over time and potentially build a viable side hustle. Ask yourself what is the smallest thing you can do to move closer to realizing what your goal is. Maybe it’s as small as making a phone call, setting up a meeting, or doing some research online. Set aside some time and establish a timeline towards a possible transition period.
APPLY ENTREPRENURIAL THINKING INTO YOUR DAILY LIFE
Entrepreneurship is more of a mindset than just starting your own business. The mindset of thinking about how you can improve the way things are done, whether in your personal life, at your job, or even in your community boards and organizations/ charities. The heart of entrepreneurial thinking is summed up in the quote from Ghandi “Be the change you want to see in the world”!