Entrepreneurship is not the easiest way to jump into the market; it’s rather one of the most difficult paths you may choose. Among other things, you will need to be eager to work without counting hours, acquire many new skills, pay a lot until you see your idea becoming reality and probably wait a lot until it starts paying off. However, it is for sure a fascinating venture which may make you stronger, wiser and more skilled.
If you decide to take the leap of faith to start your own business have these 5 tips in mind:
#1 Do your Research
The moment you get this brilliant idea do a research to see if it already exists. If it doesn’t exist, it doesn’t mean that there is a reason why people haven’t tried it already. In contrast, it might be one of those billion dollar ideas, so if you strongly believe that it will work and you think that it’s feasible, have the guts to make it happen! However, if you find out that your brilliant idea already exists but you think that it could be implemented in a different or better way, or be launched in a country where it’s not yet launched then there might be a good opportunity which you should consider. A perfect example is Rocket Internet, which by using a ‘copycat’ model became a billion dollar company. Rocket Internet basically copied successful American websites such as Ebay, Airbnb and Groupon and launched them into the European market.
#2 Team up with skilled and trustworthy partners
Try to find reliable, skilled and hardworking partners to pair up. It’s better to have companions in your venture instead of going all alone. Trust me on this, it took me more than a year to realise that it’s 10 times better to share the partnership of your startup with 1 or 2 skilled partners who you respect, trust and value than doing everything alone. Remember to try to find partners with different skillsets so that everyone brings a unique value to the company. You will be able to share workload, responsibilities, costs, ideas and emotions with others which is very important. If you can’t find the partners that you desire through your circle you can attend a meetup for co-founders. This type of meetups give you a great opportunity to screen skilled individuals who may end up becoming your future partners. There are also online matching platforms. Below I mention some of the best:
#3 Learn how to listen
Listening is such a simple act and you can learn a great deal if you learn how to listen carefully. It’s good to ask your friends, family and people you trust and value for their opinion about your idea and business; however don’t take every single opinion for granted. The most important thing is to learn how to listen and evaluate every opinion or comment. I know that your idea is your ‘baby’ and you may feel hurt whenever someone criticizes it, but don’t be too sensitive. Instead, listen carefully and try to be objective by analysing the comment to see if it has a dose of truth and if it has, how this comment can help your idea to become even better. So, the conclusion is always to listen to others opinions by keeping your emotions away and not being offended.
#4 Learn how to ask for help
Starting your own business can be a challenging venture, especially if your initial budget is limited and you haven’t secured any type of funding. You will need to work on tasks you’ve never worked on before and there will be many moments that you will need consultation and help in web development and design, online marketing, accountancy, sales, PR, legal and so on. I strongly believe that it’s good to try to deal with the various tasks yourself in order to get a glimpse of your business at a whole, but if you think that you can’t do it, I would advice you to hire a professional to do the job. If you don’t have the budget to hire a full-time professional you can hire a freelancer or a consultant that will set your strategy and tell you what you have to do. However, if you don’t have any money to spend on this, just ask for help from friends and family. You will be surprised to see how many friends or friends of friends, who may love your idea, are eager to help you. Keep in mind that you shouldn’t take advantage of every single person you know and be grateful for their help by showing your appreciation and repaying them in the way you find appropriate. This can be a nice gift, a nice dinner or an exchange of services as they will help you on something that you need help and you can do the same. Finally, if you have the budget to hire a professional then just do it.
#5 Learn how to work hard
Learn how to work hard and don’t give up easily. If you’re a person that gets bored easily or gives up at the first difficulty, maybe entrepreneurship is not the best career path for you. It’s true that nothing comes easy. You will need to work A LOT and many times (or most of the times) sacrifice your free time for the sake of your business. Moreover, according to statistics 8 out of 10 new businesses fail within the first three years; this makes you better understand that the startup world is not the paradise as it looks like at first sight. It may sound paradoxical but as you need to learn how not to give up at the first or second difficulty, you will need also to learn how to give up after a reasonable time has passed.