There are some great advantages to starting your own business. Being able to work for yourself, set your own hours, and create your own benefits are all great pluses, but the primary one is that instead of enriching someone else’s life with your efforts, you are enriching your own.
Why is this important? Because the satisfaction you get from your work spills over to the rest of your life. Men often feel defined by what they do, and the ability to say that you work for yourself has a unique power to it. It inspires confidence in yourself and a feeling of security it is hard to find anywhere else.
Starting your own business is not easy, however, and there are some essentials you will need to make yourself successful. Here are five essential keys for starting your own business.
Find Your Passion
Here’s the deal. You don’t want to start a business doing something you are not passionate about. First of all, your customers will notice. The motivation of making more money will not last, and once it fades you will just be slogging through a miserable career existence.
People buy from you not because of what you sell, or better prices, but because of why you do what you do. The stronger your why, the stronger your passion, the more likely prospects are to see that and to choose to buy from you.
Secondly, your passion will sustain you through the hard time, and there will be hard times. Make no mistake, business never goes 100% smoothly for anyone, and when hard times come, it will be your drive for success that will see you through. Without it, it will be much easier to simply give up.
The other important thing to remember with business is that seldom are things just handed to you. Most often you have to work for them, and you will have to do without some things for at least a short period of time. This means you will have to be resourceful and improvise. Your office desk might be made of a desktop and cinder blocks, and your chair might not be the most comfortable.
You might have to bring that old laptop out of retirement in your closet or use another computer in the meantime until you can afford something new. Your office might be in your garage or a friend’s basement until you can afford a place of your own. Your conference room might be at the local coffee shop. Don’t stress. Hundreds of companies have started this way. Embrace resourcefulness, as it will continue to benefit you even as you become more successful.
Share the Risks and Rewards
Yes, your business is your passion, but if you can share the risks and the rewards with others, things will go much better. If you have a team, especially financially, you will be able to do more and to grow faster. Venture capital is always a good thing, and it helps you validate the idea that your business is viable and has a shot at being profitable.
This also, of course, means that you will need to share the rewards of success as well. Venture capitalists will want a share of your profits, and if you take on partners so will they. This is not a bad thing. The more people that share in your success, the wider network of people who will know about what you are doing and want to be a part of it whether as customers or even merely cheerleaders.
Sharing risks though also means that those who share that risk will be more likely to help you if you run into obstacles. After all, since they have something at stake as well, it is in their best interest that you succeed. There is little downside to sharing both risks and rewards, and some significant upsides.
Set Yourself Up for Success
Just like starting any other job, you will need tools to be successful. For staring your own business, some of those tools are virtual and digital as well as physical. For instance, you will need a good social media presence. In fact, one judge of how successful you will be is called your Social Selling Index.
What this means is your likelihood to make a sale using social media. This is based on how many followers and connections you have, how much you interact on any given social platform, and how many messages or in the case of LinkedIn, InMails that you send. The closer this number is to 100, the better. This is an important statistic for venture capitalists and others who will invest in your business.
With all of that social going on, you will need a place to send customers. You will need to purchase a relevant domain name, get hosting, and have a good web design. In addition, you will need to have good SEO, a content marketing strategy, and more. Your digital footprint will in a large part determine how easy or difficult it is for people to find you using search engines and other tools.
Listen to Your Customer
Once you have built connections, a sure way to continue that success is to listen to your customers. Yes, your passion and your business is yours, but without customers, you will not be able to stay in business for long. You must listen to what they need or want and fulfill those needs or wants with what you do. If they want something different from you, it is in your best interest to modify your approach and give it to them if possible. It is important as well to use social listening and analytics to know who your customers are and how to best reach them.
Starting your own business is a fantastic endeavor, and you will be satisfied and do well if you follow your passion and are prepared. Just be sure you have these essentials covered before you even get started.