Being an entrepreneur has been a hot topic for the last few years and it seems everyone wants to dabble in the space. Certainly, there are some great reasons for this interest and there are a variety of factors driving people to wanting to start their own business.
For some it is as simple as creating an extra stream of income, monetising a hobby or simply that they don’t enjoy working in a corporate or inflexible environment. Governments even see the benefits of creating incubators and startup hubs like we have seen with the opening of The Sydney Startup Hub in York Street.
They are capitalising on the upside of entrepreneurial ventures as the statistics show that new and small the medium enterprises are one of the key driving forces behind job creation.
Each reason is valid, and each will come with its own set of challenges and hurdles. For example, if you are seeking flexibility, many find owning their own business actually further deteriorates their available time. If you don’t enjoy working for others, you may realise that having to drum up your own business and being at the mercy of others opening their wallets creates a similar feeling. If you want to generate extra income or create a new stream you may find that starting a company is actually more of a time and money sink than perhaps finding some extra casual work.
Of course, these challenges can be overcome or may even be irrelevant if your objectives are clear and you measure and manage often.
So how can we maximise our chances of success? Well we have compiled five tips to help you get off to the best possible start!
Tip 1) Don’t start a small business
Being an entrepreneur is not for everyone. It requires, time, money and clarity of thought to create a business. Not everyone has to be an entrepreneur, like anything it just doesn’t suit everyone. Just because it is the flavour of the month doesn’t mean you have to jump on board.
However, if you think you have what it takes, then there are few things as rewarding as creating something valuable for others.
Tip 2) Create a category rather than being a copy cat
There are a couple of different ways we can approach starting a small business. We can either copy something that already exists and make an incremental improvement with the hope of grabbing some of the market share or we can create a new category. Creating a new category for most would be more fun and exciting and valuable.
Tip 3) Focus on great work and output
Often people look to create businesses which are scalable or are perceived as being able to generate huge amounts of revenue. There is space for small businesses with laser focus and highly targeted markets. In fact, these businesses are often run lean and with greater efficiency as their customer base are true fans and followers rather than being ad hoc and eclectic. Many small businesses generate great revenue from few but highly valued customers.
Tip 4) Scratch your own itch
If you create a product or service with a hypothethical or imagined audience in mind you will have a difficult time capturing anyone’s attention. Scratching your own itch means there is at least one person who finds what you are creating awesome and it would be much easier to convince likeminded others.
Tip 5) Everything with measurement and objective
Based on a German proverb, this is all about doing things which are important. Being effective is not about constant movement, action and hustle, it is about doing the high value and often most uncomfortable things. Don’t become an expert at doing the trivial. Let this flow through to your product or service: be precise in your thinking and objectives and create an offering that is easily differentiated, that can be explained to someone else simply and which has clear, measurable KPIs attached to it and regular check-ins.
Specific tools and techniques are always changing and can be easily acquired and learned. Let your focus for starting your business be on getting things right from the outset so that you don’t have to untangle yourself from some absorbing monstrosity later down the line!