Start a Business
I can’t tell how many people I’ve met who told me they wanted to start their own business, but didn’t know where to start from like there is some kind of secret to it.
To me start a business only has one secret: you need to put in the hard work. So I decided to write an article about it on my blog which I’m pasting below without the images.
Please, let me know what you think about it! Take care!
What does it take to start a business?
I’ve met lots of people who would like to start a business and most of them approach it in two ways: they either think all it takes is to have an idea and then customers will queue to pay you or they think starting a business is this incredibly complex task which only those gifted with some kind of magic power can do.
Let me tell you, both approaches are wrong.
It certainly takes more than just an idea, but at the same time, no magic is involved.
The first thing you need is commitment . The first thing you need to start a business is commitment). You need to be committed to starting a business. You need to be ready to put in the effort and time it requires. You need to be ready to give it your all.
Most of us would like to start a business. You know the idea of being your own boss, making lots of money and being able to go on extended trips. Yep, nice!
However, what few people who haven’t started a business realize, is the amount of commitment it takes to keep on going when things get tough, when you’re just starting out and it feels like nobody cares about you.
Entrepreneurship is a beautiful life to choose and is the life I chose for myself. However, it’s not all champagne and 300-feet yachts!
There will be a time when you won’t only doubt your business, you’ll be doubting every last cell of your own body!
And it takes commitment to keep at it until you finally hit a success.
You need to know why you want to start a business and you need to be prepared both for the rewards and for the countless punches in the face which you’ll get.
There’s only one sure way to become a successful entrepreneur and it’s through learning and practicing .
You need to have an innate curiosity which always leads you to question things. You need an insatiable will to study. You need to be the best listeners that you can be. And you need to take any opportunity you can to learn something new .
Don’t get me wrong on this, because it would be fairly easy to be stuck in the learning phase for your whole life without ever trying to put what you learn into practice. This is not what I advise.
Instead, keep in mind that the best way to learn is to do , so you should spend every day of your life learning new things and putting them into practice.
And here is where your curiosity will help: when I’m learning something new, I’m always dying to know if what I’m learning is really true, if it really works. So I can’t wait to put it into practice!
You’ve got to be a life-long student but you also have to be a life-long doer. And curiosity will help you connect the two.
To be a successful entrepreneur you need a clear goal .
And no, starting a business is not a clear goal!
Why do you want to start a business?
Start with this simple question and take your time to answer it. I want you to go into the details of why you want it.
Don’t limit yourself to basic answers like: “I want to make money!”, “I don’t like having a boss!”, etc.
Look deep inside yourself and try to get to the ultimate why. Why do you want to start a business, why do you want to make money, why don’t you like having a boss?
Once you’ll be able to get to your real why then you’ll have a clear goal. Something to really look forward to, something which will give you the power to complete the journey towards becoming an entrepreneur.
I’ve touched on this a few times already and that’s for a good reason: without focus, you won’t be able to achieve anything .
To start a successful business you have to be in it 100%. You have to produce your best work ever. And there’s only one way I know of to produce your best work ever and it’s through focus and deep work.
Starting a business will take a lot of time and especially if you’re doing it on the side while working a regular job, you need to make sure the time you spend working on your product is of the utmost quality.
If you try to squeeze half an hour here, fifteen minutes there and so on, I can guarantee you, you won’t achieve much .
As I said, you need to commit to starting a business. You need to sacrifice some things in your life so you can make time for your business. And you can’t do it randomly, you need to do it with purpose.
Make sure you dedicate at least, at least, minimum, two hours of continuous and UNINTERRUPTED work towards your business each day. And don’t just put them at the end of the day when you’ll be exhausted and burned out.
Instead, make those two hours you first two hours of the day.
I know, it sounds tough, but I told you: you have to give it your all. You need to create time!
Does it mean you have to wake up two hours earlier? Most probably! Are you already tired only thinking about it? No problem, give up Netflix and go to bed two hours earlier than usual!
Being an entrepreneur is the best work you could ever have, but it’s not easy peasy. And before you can reap the rewards, you need to get the work done.
And to get the work done, you need to have focus. Simple as that.
You need to pick a niche for the simple reason that you need to know who your target is .
It doesn’t have to be complicated, you already have skills and hobbies that you could put to use in starting a business. Pick one and go with it, you can always change it later.
You could spend days if not weeks or even months picking the right niche. But really, it would just be an excuse for procrastination.
Think about what your skills are, what your hobbies are and then find a niche which is an intersection of the two.
One thing you have to keep in mind, though, is that your nice should have some connection with money.
What I mean is that while there are millions of niches you could pick, not all of them will make for good customers.
A good niche is one with people who are used to pay for things and even better if they make money in their nice.
Stupid example: gamers are used to pay for things (e.g. powerful computers, accessories, games, subscriptions, etc) but they don’t make money playing games. On the other hand, Web developers are used to paying for things (e.g. software, computers, books, courses, etc) AND they make money doing it.
That’s not to say gamers wouldn’t be a good niche, probably they’d be the best niche ever, I don’t know since I’m not one of them, but it might be a bit more difficult to sell things to them, especially if the product is expensive, because for them it’s just a hobby, so they might have other priorities.
Once you pick a niche, you need to come up with an idea for a product to sell to that niche.
“Come up” is not really the right term, though. “You need to find an idea” would be better suited.
The best way to decide the product you’ll be working on is to immerse yourself into the niche.
Go hang out with its members, either physically through local meetups and conferences, or virtually by joining forums, Facebook groups, etc.
You could scratch your own itch, which means you pick a niche of which you are a member and you’ve got a pain that’s been nagging you for a while and decide to tackle it. Sounds fair and lots of people are doing it, however that’s not how I like to roll.
What I like to do is to listen to people in my niche and ask them questions. I want to know what they are doing, what they are struggling with, what they want to achieve.
I want to have a good bunch of people telling me they all have a similar pain in their daily life or a goal they’d like to achieve but don’t know how.
By doing this kind of research beforehand, you’ll do a form of initial validation for your product.
That’s not to say it’s going to be a success for sure, but at least, you’ll know you’re working on something other people are looking for, which means it’ll be much easier to sell it to them.
Of course, the success or lack of it of your product will mostly depend on the execution, but having a good idea is the start of it.
You can’t have a business without a product to sell.
It could be anything: a web or mobile app, a physical product, an ebook, a course or even a service you provide. The sky’s the limit!
What I mean by product here is not only the final piece of work which you will sell. But more broadly, the way in which you’re going to solve a problem.
I consider the solution to be the product just as much as the thing my customers will buy is.
So the product should come after you picked a niche and obviously found an idea to work on.
As with scratching your own itch, which I touched upon above, you could do it backwards by picking a product and then defining the niche. It could definitely work, but it’s not what I do and certainly not what I recommend.
Once you have a niche and an idea — or really a pain –, start thinking of how you could translate it into a product. It’s going to take some time as you need to brainstorm several options here.
But once you know how you’re going to tackle your idea, you’ll be ready to define a plan.
I suggest working on your product in incremental steps, starting with the MVP: minimum VALUABLE product.
I say valuable instead of viable — as it’s often referred to — because I think the latter is a bit misleading: you don’t want to deliver a product in a given state just because it’s more convenient for you to deliver certain features before than others.
If you’ve done your brainstorming right, you’ll know what’s valuable about your product and you have to strive to make that value always be present in any iteration that your customers will see and use.
It doesn’t mean you have to deliver all the value right from the start because that would defeat the benefits of an iterative approach. But break down the value of your product into incremental steps of goodness.
This way, your customers will always be able to perceive the value in your product and with each update, you’ll be able to woo them!
So once your MVP is ready, launch it. And then keep working on the following steps. And deliver after each step has been completed.
Of course, this might be more difficult with physical goods because depending on the product it’s likely that a customer won’t buy it twice just because of an upgrade — that’s of course unless you’re Apple.
But joking apart, there are some physical products which aren’t a good fit for incremental releases, but unless you’re setting yourself up to build the next Boeing, I think there are ways to work around it.
You’ll have to be smart because it’s not easy to fit a physical product into an iterative process, but there are ways to do it. However since my focus is mostly on digital products, I won’t divert, but I’d be happy to discuss it with you, so if you’re interested, just send me an email!
We’re living in an age where no business is complete without a lengthy email list .
You may have heard this before, but you might be wondering why everybody is fussing about it.
It’s quite easy: if you have a blog and publish great content regularly, you may have lots of viewers and maybe thousands of shares. But usually, those viewers won’t be following you all the time even though they would like to, but unless you have an email list, you won’t be able to keep in contact with them and update them when you have a product to launch.
And the same thing if you put up a landing page for your soon-to-be-released product: they go there, read the page, like what they see and then what? You can’t expect them to come and check your page regularly to see when you launch.
So having an email list is a no-brainer, I’d say it’s mandatory!
By growing a loyal following, you’ll be able to leverage the value you provide by having a medium to get in contact with all of the people who get the value you provide them.
Just make sure you don’t spam them! Update them regularly when you publish new content, but only if the content has real value. And maybe keep them in check with your product’s developments.
Then once you’ll be ready to launch, create some momentum by writing them every day or every other day the week before you launch.
You might also want to offer them an early bird price, exclusive for the list subscribers, to reward their loyalty.
Setting up such a list is quite easy and there are plenty of resources out there.
Personally, I use ConvertKit and think it’s a great product providing the best value for money. But if you want to start free, you can always use the trusty MailChimp, nothing wrong with them, and it’s what I started with.
Finally, you need to have a mentor .
It’s something many people overlook, but in my experience it’s one of the most valuable assets for becoming a successful entrepreneur. And even once you’re satisfied with your success, you’ll still need a mentor: I still do have mentors even after more than 10 years of being an entrepreneur!
A mentor should be someone you look up to, someone you aspire to be, someone who has done what you want to do. It has to be someone you respect, someone who is willing to help you during the bad times and someone who’s up for some celebration during the good times.
It’s quite easy to understand the power mentors can give you.
They can help you analyze your situation, they can tell you what you’re doing wrong and should stop doing, and what you’re doing right and should keep on doing. They will help you to get back up when you fall down and they will congratulate you when you achieve an important goal. And they will keep you accountable, which is the most important thing: they’ll check in with you and make sure you keep on pushing!
Finding a mentor is not easy though and it really depends on your inner-circle, the niche you’re in, your ability to network, etc.
I was lucky enough to have quite a few successful entrepreneurs in my inner-circle, so it was easy for me to find my first one. But don’t worry, there are three things you can do to find one.
The first thing is to read books. Yes! Reading books is like having thousands of mentors at your disposal.
Books are beautiful things and reading is a key task for becoming successful. Because when you read a book written by someone you admire, someone who dedicated his/her life to doing one thing and doing it as best as possible, it’s like you’re living an extra life. And if you read 100 books, you’ll live an extra 100 lives!
Get in contact with other entrepreneurs you’re following online. Maybe not Bill Gates, as I guess he’s quite busy already, but there are thousands of great entrepreneurs out there who may not be as famous as Bill Gates, but who had big successes nonetheless and plenty of experience to share.
Send them an email saying how much you admire them and how they are an inspiration to you.
Then see how they reply and start a conversation from there. Tell them your story, what you’re trying to achieve and what you’re struggling with. You might discover they’ll be more than happy to help you out!
Your third option, if you’ve got some money to invest in yourself, is to hire a coach.
Depending on your situation, this might be the ideal solution, because you’ll not only have a person to help you and who can share his experience, but considering the professional relationship between the two of you, you’re sure he’ll always be there to help you and you won’t feel guilty for asking them questions, sending emails, etc, as you might feel when having a mentor who is not your coach.
Are you ready?
I know it sounds like a lot of requirements, but if you stop to think about them for a while, you’ll realize that they all mostly depend only on you, on your willingness to do what it takes.
Don’t be discouraged and take your time to set yourself up for success. Don’t take too much time, though! Because I think the best thing you can do is to start, even if you haven’t got everything in place : you can work things out as they come up.
Do you think you’ve got what it takes to become an entrepreneur? What do you think you’re missing? What do you feel less comfortable about?
Give us a call now or email to [email protected] in a couple of minutes we can take care of all the hard work.
- We register your business idea with the state and IRS.
- Get your business website online.
- Set the social media and digital marketing.
- Create your logo,corporate image and all branding materials.
- We take care of all these and more for you!