Taking the Leap: The Basics of Becoming an Entrepreneur

Becoming an Entrepreneur

Do you have the entrepreneurial spirit?

If you’ve got the entrepreneurial spirit and you’re ready to dive in, congratulations and welcome to the club! Long nights are ahead, but there’s nothing quite like being your own boss and making your own money. The task of starting your own business can be daunting but taking an informed approach can help put the process into gear. Here are some key guidelines to becoming an entrepreneur and garnering the success that you want for yourself.

Set Realistic Goals

Don’t expect to get many clients right away – it rarely happens, and if it does, it’s not enough to pay the bills. Have some money set aside before quitting a current job to sustain you through the first few months – longer, if possible. You will not be profitable right away, so don’t get discouraged; it takes time to build a client list. Start with people you know and ask for referrals.

Make an excel list of all of your business expenses and expected future expenses so you know what your bottom line should be. How many clients would you need to become profitable? How many clients do you hope to gain each month, and how will you accomplish that? Will your expenses grow as you gain more clients? Is the time frame in your head realistic? Despite catchy headlines, no one becomes a millionaire overnight – they forget to include all the thousands of hours that went into a project before it hit big.

Fake It Till You Make It

If you’re brand new to your business, you don’t have to advertise it. In fact, because you’re starting the business, that means you have an interest in the subject, and have probably had some experience in that wheelhouse – and that counts. Have faith in yourself. Self-confidence is key. The more confident you are in yourself, the more confident a client will be in your ability.

Don’t Get Caught Up in the Hype

Certain entrepreneurs have become mini social media celebrities due to their over-sharing methods and general “look at what I have, don’t you wish you had it?” psychology. Like any social media celeb, they draw followers who want to emulate their lifestyle. These followers are often referred to as “wantrepreneurs” – people who want the goods without putting in the time or the work.

It’s easy to get caught up in what seems like a lavish lifestyle. Remember that social media is not real life. You never see the real behind-the-scenes production that goes into each video or the struggles that they inevitably had to face before gaining notoriety. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is a business.

Never compare your success or struggles to someone else. You and only you will truly know what sacrifices you’ve made, and the same goes for other entrepreneurs.

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Start a Blog

Starting a blog on your business site with relevant topics to your niche can not only bring in web business, but also build credibility. What are some common questions your current clients ask you? Those are some good places to start with to get your blog going. For example: If you’re a mortgage broker and your clients ask you a lot about low down payment options, that’s a topic you’re going to want to write about. If you’re answering a need, your current and prospective clients will be much more likely to read all of your article, and in their minds, put you into a position of authority on the matter. At some point you might need to learn how to refresh your blog in order to generate more traffic online, so these tips should be saved somewhere!

Build an Email List

For most potential clientele, you will need to gain some sort of trust before you earn their business. This is where an email list comes in. By sending them a monthly newsletter that talks not only about your business but about community news or giving a general tip for free that relates to your industry, you’re giving them something of value and building trust. You may not see business from them right away, but when the time is right or they know someone who needs your services, you’ll be in the forefront of their mind because you’re consistently sending them valuable information. As a side not check out these tips on how to handle workplace emails and utilize them more effectively!

Learn When a Client Isn’t Worth It

Some projects will be more work than others, and rarely do you ever come across a dream client. There will be struggles and not every person you work with will be someone you’d take out for a beer. Once in a while, though, you’ll find yourself facing someone who sucks the energy right out of you. Those are not the clients you want to deal with. If you find that you’re working harder and longer and making less money than you should be, it’s time to cut ties. It can be hard to turn away business, especially in the beginning, but that’s valuable time that could be spent working on generating more clients – the kind that you want to be working with.

Persist and Persevere

No matter your industry, these basics to becoming an entrepreneur are important for you to follow. Putting in the hard work is the first step. If you follow these tips, you’ll be on your way to a successful career – one that you can be proud to say is all of your own making.