Do you have a passion or a hobby you’d love to turn into a flourishing business? For many of us, being your own boss and ultimately an entrepreneur is the dream outcome for many passionate business people. But for some, the prospect of becoming your own boss is daunting and can cause uncertainty on where to begin.
There are a number of steps that every prospective entrepreneur should take in the run-up to actually launching your own business. Prior research is essential in order to understand how other entrepreneurs have ultimately translated their passion into a healthy bank balance, resulting in a great work-life satisfaction. Looking into case studies that profile successful business owners who have excelled in their field will help you to understand the possible obstacles you might come up against, and help you to more effectively prepare utilising a contingency plan.
Find your calling
You may already have a hobby or interest that you believe you could make into a business. Consider if there is a tangible output for your passion or skills, this will allow you to decide if your hobby can be translated into a viable business. Throw the idea around with family, friends and even colleagues, to gauge a reaction to the idea. If people consistently comment on a skill set or talent you have, then you may want to try to pursue this further.
Do your research
It is essential that you perform the appropriate research before starting up your own business. For example, you need to look into your local, national and even global competitors, to understand what they are doing and what you can do differently to ensure you can offer a USP.
Define your demographic and ensure that you have a solid understanding of where they are located both online and offline. This will help to determine how you market your product or service, the platforms you promote it across and the types of content you use to increase brand awareness.
Finally, your research should ensure that you can identify a real demand for your product. If your product or service falls into the luxury category, with a minimized customer base, you’ll need to ensure you cover your costs and ensure its market placement is spot-on in order to turn a profit.
Understand your budget
To effectively launch your brand, you need to ensure you have the financial backing to produce products ahead of the demand. Savings, sponsorship, crowdfunding, investors or loans, can all be an option when it comes to launching your business. Each of these options will vary depending on your personal circumstances and should be carefully researched ahead of distributing any news attributed to your business.
Preordering can help you determine how much of a product you need to create and, in turn, create a demand for it, due to exclusivity. This way will also ensure you don’t over produce, resulting in surplus stock and ultimately losing money.
Organisation is key
The key to starting a business from scratch is organisation. You may be driven and passionate, however, you still must ensure that you have a clear path of how to achieve your goal.
Organisation should be at the core of whatever you do, whether you hire someone or manage to rope in a family member to help you. Arranging tasks, production, appointments, payments and more, can require an extra pair of hands to ensure your business works like a finely oiled machine.
Networking is a great way to gain advice, secure support from other businesses owners and suppliers and build up a customer base. You could also consider talking with entrepreneurs and other successful business owners to better understand the sort of obstacles you might come up against and how to effectively tackle these.
A recent article in The Guardian, focusing on turning passion projects to profits offered valuable advice, recommending that; “The first thing to do when contemplating starting a business is to understand the commitment required. You will need to talk with many entrepreneurs, ideally those who have succeeded as well as those who have failed…”
Find a mentor
If you’re lucky enough to know someone who could mentor or coach you through launching a new business it’s strongly advised that you take advantage of their knowledge and skills. Adopting a mentor can allow you to gain information from someone who has a wealth of experience and can apply their learnings to your current situation, advising on next steps and contingency plans.
My passion lies in helping other business owners building their business venture, from the ground-up. Whether you’re in the early stages of planning or have already established a company that needs help to flourish further, get in touch with me today.