Do you want to be your own boss? Have you been wanting to start your own business but have no money and no idea how to start? If your answer to either of these questions was yes then you definitely want to become an entrepreneur. It’s not an easy task but with hard work, dedication and a little help it can definitely be done. Here are seven steps to become an entrepreneur and get your business off the ground.
1. Come up with a business idea.
The first thing you need to do is come up with an idea you can develop and profit from. This concept needs to solve a problem or fulfill a need that consumers have. You also want to love what you do, so think of business ideas you would actually enjoy creating.
2. Do your research.
After you come up with your business idea it’s time to sit down and do research. Study the market for the industry you’re trying to become a part of. Know everything that’s being done, identify what’s missing and find ways to make it better. You also need to know your competition. Examine what they’re doing and listen to feedback from their customers. If there’s something missing from the customer experience with your biggest competition, find a way to fulfill that need with your company. Knowing the market and your biggest competitors in the industry can help you make projections about how quickly you can grow by simply meeting customer needs.
3. Make a business plan.
Now it’s time to make a business plan. This is a framework for how you intend to make money and grow as a company and what the processes within your business will look like. Make sure you organize your thoughts and write them all down on paper. Don’t over-complicate it but be very detailed. You also need to set goals and projections. Where do you want to be in a year? How many locations do you want to open within a timeframe? What revenue are you bringing in? You need to be able to explain all this in detail to anyone you might ask to invest in your company. It’s also important to help you hold yourself accountable and reach the goals you set.
4. Save money.
Let’s talk about money. Becoming an entrepreneur with no money is possible. There are many ways to get started with no money down, like a blog or a podcast; with time and traffic flow you can start making a profit. If the business arena you’re looking to venture into is one where you know you’ll need to spend some cash, don’t quit your 9 to 5 just yet; instead, start saving money. Using your savings isn’t an ideal situation but it is a common practice for many entrepreneurs. Once you have your business plan, be honest with yourself about how much you’ll need to spend and how much revenue you’re projecting to make and when. It might take some time before you see a profit, so make sure you have enough money in your savings to take care of your living expenses in the meantime.
5. Apply for a small business loan.
It might be considered a necessary evil, but applying for a small-business loan can get you off the ground faster than relying on your limited funds. Applying through a bank might get you a better deal on interest rates, but online private lenders might be more lenient when it comes to being approved for the loan. You need to stay on top of the payments and make sure to watch the interest rate — you don’t want to dig yourself into a hole before your business starts making a profit.
6. Find investors.
Investors can be a great way to get your business started. If you do your research and create a business plan with realistic projections and goals as well as market research, you should be able to pitch your idea and get people interested in investing in you. At the end of the day, investors are worried about whether or not your idea is profitable to them. If you can prove to them that you are prepared, they’ll want to invest. Find people who believe in your vision and can jump in on this journey with you.
7. Be innovative.
Being innovative means coming up with new and exciting ideas to introduce to the industry. Yes, you want to know what the competition is doing, and sure, you might want to adapt certain strategies of theirs that make sense, but what you don’t want to do is become a carbon copy of a company that already exists and has their own standing. You want to be a trend starter, not a follower. Find ways to make the industry better and simplify processes for your team members. You want to become the company that your competitors are looking at for reference.
Becoming an entrepreneur is not an easy task, especially when you don’t have money to get your business off the ground, but it’s not impossible. If you think through your business idea, research everything about the industry and come up with a solid business plan, there are options out there to get your entrepreneurial ventures from idea to reality. Becoming an entrepreneur is about the grind and the hustle. You have to be hungry for success and work hard and smart to achieve your goals.