Entrepreneurs are primary contributors to the overall GDP of a nation. Their creative exploits are what make them different from the rest of the people. While most of the population gets stuck in the rat race of the job market, entrepreneurs plan to build their own companies and change the world.
But what exactly defines a true entrepreneur?
People with an entrepreneurial spirit are born risk-takers and filled with creative ideas, helping them kickstart their solo journey.
You can find examples of entrepreneurship in every corner of the world. Facebook, McDonald’s, Walmart, Tesla, and all such multinational giants were built by entrepreneurs who saw a gap in the market and tried to innovate products to fill that gap.
But behind every successful entrepreneur, there are a series of failures.
A recent survey by Gallup revealed that 50% of start-up businesses failed to survive beyond five years. Forbes Magazine also states that nine out of every ten start-ups will eventually fail and not make it to the market. Those numbers might be deterring, but it does not give you the reason to burn your entrepreneurship spirit and stick with a nine-to-five job.
With passion, hard work, dedication, and commitment to your idea, you can score the market and achieve it well.
Entrepreneurs vs. Freelancers
In a globalized and increasingly digital world, people no longer want to limit their skills to just their regular jobs. They are going one step forward, catering to people in need and charging a price for it. They take the jobs that suit their skill and make money on their terms.
While freelancers carry some traits of an entrepreneur, both terms shouldn’t be confused.
Freelancers are not trying to build something new but provide service in exchange for money. So, unlike entrepreneurs, freelancers don’t own anything that will make them money while they don’t work or go on a vacation.
How to Become an Entrepreneur?
What are the right steps to take before starting the scary but exciting entrepreneurship journey? Because of diversity in the market, there is no one perfect strategy to take. For instance, the restaurant owner would not take the steps taken by the owner of a furniture company.
Typically, there are four common steps that every budding entrepreneur builds their path and be the blazer of their trail.
- Research and identify profitable ventures.
- Focus on niches that are growing.
- Find a gap in the market and fill it.
- Create a better version of something that already exists.
Research and identify profitable ventures.
A creative idea sparks up a successful startup. There will be no business without creativity or a unique idea.
There are several ways to get unique ideas that might work for you. You can start by asking your friends or family what they need the most or feel is missing from a product or service and how to start your business. If you can find a solution to that problem, you are already one step ahead in your entrepreneurship journey.
Checking out what other people are building can also be inspiring and motivating to take action. As the world keeps changing, people would need a different product to cater to their needs. A good example would be the increasing demand and growth of transportation services like Lyft, Uber, and other similar services.
Focus on niches that are growing.
Experienced professionals recommend choosing a fascinating field that is not overly competitive. Avoid fiercely competitive sectors, such as the clothing or toy industry. You will be better off with something that responds to innovation and can be quickly licensed. After picking a niche or category, there are other steps to follow. These are:
- Can you identify the benefits of the chosen products?
- What will their marketing and branding plan be?
- How are the consumers responding to the product?
- Are there any gaps to be filled?
Once you have decided on your product, assess the following factors:
- Can you add new features to the existing one?
- Can it be customized?
- How can it be improved?
Find a gap in the market and fill it.
You don’t have to manufacture products that are already in abundance in the market. The formula for many successful businesses lies in their ability to find a gap and create a solution.
An excellent example of this would be Tesla. Owing to the increasing pollution level, driven by diesel and gasoline cars, there was a need for an alternate and environmentally conscious way of transportation. Elon Musk identified this gap and produced the world’s first electric car that runs on electricity, leaving zero carbon footprint.
Create a better version of something that already exists.
You don’t always have to build something brand new to be successful. If you can modify an existing product or service and offer it at a better price and higher quality, you can quickly attract a loyal customer base. And the chances of success for such ideas are more potent, as there is already existing demand for such products.
Some Beyond-the-Norm Suggestions to Become an Entrepreneur
Connect with Like-Minded People
Connect with young entrepreneurs through events and meetups in the local startup community. It offers you a place to learn from the people, sailing on the same boat and avoiding their mistakes in the initial days. Building a strong network helps you build a robust relationship with others and ensure you have people to fall back on when things go south.
Dig Up Information on Patent Applications
Patent applications are made public after eighteen months of filing. Although patenting a new invention right away is not what you need to do, browsing through different patent types and how they can protect your intellectual property would give a better idea of where a specific space is headed.
Conduct Research on Buyer Personas
You now have a brilliant idea for your business. That is great! But that does not give you the privilege to leave your day job yet.
Before you go full-on, you must find out whether there is an actual market for your idea or will it be another sad failure story. To understand the intent and perspective of the market, sketch out your buyer persona, i.e., are there real people willing to pay for the product?
People will not be interested in something that does not offer a solution, no matter how innovative or cool it looks or sounds. That is why market research and understanding buyer persona are important.
Once you have identified a market or a client, the next step would be to interview such clients. Show them the prototype, let them know the benefits, price and how often they’d use it, and so on.
Start with a Minimum Viable Product (MVP)
Developing MVP is kind of the most basic and simplest version of a product or tool. However, it covers enough functionality to satisfy early buyers and understand what needs to be improved.
Let’s say you want to build an investment app that allows the consumer to track growth and protect themselves from making enormous losses. So, you will start with a bare minimum, launch it on the Google Play Store as a beta version, and encourage people to download and use it.
If the response is decent, you should move forward. And if it does not get the consumer excited, you either rethink or initiate a new idea.
Bear in mind; several start-ups reached great success while some disappeared in the blink of an eye. How you will start and continue the journey will depend on how creative you can get and the level of financial risk you are willing to take to reach your goal.