With the total amount of business registrations and self-employed at an all-time high, this trend doesn’t seem to be likely to change anytime soon. And, being your own boss certainly has its perk, as well as challenges. While the path to entrepreneurship is not for everyone and many will find it easier than others, it’s not unachievable for anybody either.
Do work you are passionate about
This should go without saying, and it’s true for both entrepreneurs and employees alike. If you don’t enjoy what you do, you’re never going to be passionate about it.
As a prospective business owner and entrepreneur, that means you are just stacking the odds against yourself to succeed. The more you enjoy what you do, the less it will feel like work and the more enjoyable it will be to set and achieve new goals.
Networking and building relationships are key
People are pivotal in any business, and a lot of your time will be spent managing relationships with employees, vendors and customers.
“Networking is critical as a professional, but much more so as a business owner. A lot of the time, getting things done and acquiring new business all comes down to who you know.” says Gareth Rhodes, CEO of digital agency Pixel Management. “Attend as many networking opportunities as you have time for, and remember that it’s about relationship building — not sales pitches. People will be more likely to do business with you in future if they enjoy your company, and don’t feel like you’re trying to sell them something.”
As you build out your network, it’s essential you don’t forget about it. Follow up with your existing and new contacts: send them a message or cards for birthdays and major holidays. Staying personable will make a follow up conversation or call surrounding business a more natural next step.
Build a team of like-minded experts
A business isn’t built overnight, and it usually isn’t built by one person either. The people in your team are going to help structure your business and determine its direction, so it’s important that your vision is aligned with that of your team.
“There’s only so much time in a day, and you can’t do everything yourself. As a founder, you need to build a team that you trust and can delegate to.” says Giovanti Humphries, former banking and tech exec turned entrepreneur. “If you and your team aren’t aligned, you’ll become too distracted by the day-to-day business that you shouldn’t be worrying about, and lose focus on the top-level strategic planning and execution.”
Don’t hire impulsively, and ensure you structure your founding team carefully. Use your personal network to find candidates through people you know and trust. Give yourself ample time to determine if your founding team members are a good fit and align with your vision and style of working.
Get started today
One thing most business owners can all agree on is to just get started. Don’t wait on that perfect branding or website, get out there and start meeting people, doing market research and promote your products or services.