Are You an Entrepreneur?
Everybody romanticises of starting their own business. No matter what walk of life you originate from, there is no doubt that you have believed being your own boss will be like living the dream, but have you really got what it takes?
There are key points to consider when assessing your overall character for succeeding in business.
1) Are you a Workaholic?
You fantasise of working your own hours, fitting your business around your family life, and having no one telling you what to do? Think again. Starting up and sustaining a business often takes over a life, personal and professional, and the hours worked are usually long into the night. As you will be your own manager, there is no one better qualified to do this job than you, so if you really want to succeed you will have to ditch the 9-5 attitude, for the first year at least.
2) Can You Work on Your Own Initiative?
It’s ideal that there is no one to tell you what to do, and no supervisor to become disgruntled with, but without these reminders, you must be able to motivate yourself to work. This can be difficult when starting up as funds are generally low and your salary could well be below what you were earning when working for a larger company.
3) Do You Have a Good Relationship with the Public?
You won’t have a superior anymore, but you will have clients and customers. In a lot of ways these are more difficult to manage. They won’t pay for your services if they think they are not up to scratch and if you miss deadlines they won’t use you again. Suddenly, being nice to your boss seems like the easy option, as you have to be nice and efficient with every customer or client that you come into contact with.
4) Are You Motivated?
Once your business is starting up, sick days become a thing of the past. No one will pay you if you have a sore head from a late night, or if your child is off school with a tummy bug. Navigating your way around these unfortunate occurrences requires a solid determination and motivation.
5) Can You Live Frugally?
Of course, every entrepreneur dreams of making it big and reaping the rewards, however, even Richard Branson was poor when he started out. You must be prepared for hardship, and believe in yourself enough to know that the rewards will come, it will just take time.
If you’ve answered yes to the above questions, congratulations you have what it takes to be your own boss! Of course, your business may flourish in an instant and the above may not apply, however being prepared for setbacks as well as rewards is a realistic way of approaching any business venture and keeps you one step ahead of the competitors.
Funding is available for those who do have a great business plan and backing, such as through the New Entrepreneurs Foundation who have invested in scores of entrepreneurs over the years, their latest endeavour being BrandStreet, an APP that promised to put your life in the palm of your hand through proximity marketing.
As you’ve decided that self-employment is the only path you are willing to take, you now have a few options on how you are going to travel to find that treasure!
Maybe you have a great product or service that is completely unique and deserves to be in the public domain. The world always needs cutting edge leading products or services; however this route can be costly. Patents take time, and investors need a lot of convincing, however if you can think outside the box and be resolute where others would crumble you have a chance of making it.
This company made a fortune simply by patenting their own invention of electronic cigarettes!
With Etsy and EBay you can also sell your own bespoke furniture and handmade creations easily. An ideal way to test the water before leaping in.
You could be a keen gardener looking to start up a gardening business, a cleaning business, a concierge service, a digital marketer, whatever the sector, this is a fabulous way to start as you can hire out yourself first and as the orders come flooding in, you expand with staff and vehicles.
If you have a passion for beauty, it makes sense to open a luxury beauty products shop, your enthusiasm will shine through to your customers and this is where repeat business will be manufactured. It is tough out there in reality, so you need to keep up-to-date online too, offering mail order services, and online shopping. The internet is a fabulous business tool as small businesses can competently compete with the big guns!
A franchise is an ideal way to start out in business, not only do you have the security of an established brand, you also have some idea of the amount of return you can expect to make. A small investment and some hard work is usually all that’s needed to make a franchise a rolling success.
From decorators in Devon to handymen in London the internet is making it easy for sole traders to sell their skills locally and nationally. Why work for anyone else when you can run your own business?
People always need to eat, and if you have a new product or a talent for cooking this avenue maybe for you. On its own this industry provides a myriad of options, from fresh home-grown produce sold at farmers markets, to burger vans dotted around lay bys on A roads. With a high profit margin of 70% your turnover has the potential to be huge. Look at Willie Harcourt-Cooze, he began with a vision of the 100% cacao bar and now has a factory and sells a wide range of products in Sainsbury’s and Waitrose.
Many who have obtained degrees to work within the government services are now breaking out on their own as freelancers. Consider the nurse who runs the Botox clinic, the PA who offers virtual services and the doctor who’s opened his own private practice. If you’ve obtained professional training but feel it’s useless in an entrepreneurial world. Think again. Accountants are also in high demand online. For example, many want to take advantage of R&D Tax Credits for their business but don’t know where to start. A short book keeping course could see you setting up a business that could become very successful if you put the hours and hard work in. The world is your oyster and it’s never to late to begin.
Maybe you’d like to start your own blog or launch your own luxury women’s magazine online? You could also write for a living or offer Marketing and PR services like mine. The competition is tough but it’s not impossible to beat. All you need is a little bit of talent mixed with that entrepreneurial spirit!
Whichever industry you turn your hand to with a strong resolution and dogged determination you will make it succeed if you believe!
Martina Mercer is a freelance marketing consultant, editor and copywriter. Her clients include big brands such as Tax Rebate Services andSunday Woman Magazine. Martina writes for a variety of publications such as Huff Post, Forbes and Moz. She has over 15 years experience in marketing, SEO and copywriting.