If becoming an entrepreneur is one of your New Year’s resolutions for 2012, you may not know where to start. It never hurts to go back to the basics so let’s take a look at the steps you should take as you go from a dream to having a business you can call your own. These steps are based on the book, Shake the World: It’s Not About Finding a Job, It’s About Creating a Life, by James Marshall Reilly.
The world has a series of written and unwritten rules. Most people solve problems in the same way using the same resources. Entrepreneurs think differently. They find new ways to solve everyday problems. They know that an idea doesn’t have to be overly technical. It just has to be useful to a large market.
You don’t need a business degree to start a business. That used to be the case but with the Internet putting all of the information a mouse-click away, you now have access to all of the resources you need. Once you have an idea, use the internet to exhaustively research the market. You might find that your idea wasn’t that great after all. If that’s the case go back to step #1 and repeat the process.
Think about how much capital you’re investing in to your idea. There are often ways to mitigate the expenditure and still get the services you need. Low cost legal advice through LawPivot, the numerous sites that offer web templates rather than paying for a custom design, and crowdfunding through sites like Kickstarter are just a few examples.
There’s a difference between leveraging your money and being cheap. Cheap business fail but businesses that squeeze every ounce of worth from each dollar they spend succeed. If your business requires a lot of capital, don’t try to cut corners. If you can’t afford that model, go in a different direction. Some businesses only require a few hundred dollars to start while others take a few million. Start a business that fits your budget in a way that allows you to give it all the funding it needs.
If you start a business you need to form an LLC or other business entity. Some online business registration services will help you through the process for less than $100 depending on your needs. It makes your business look official while also protecting your personal assets from lawsuits or bankruptcy.
Every entrepreneurial outlet is writing about social media and how to use it and they have it all wrong. Business owners all over the world are investing a lot of financial and time capital only to get disappointing results. Social media is best used as a way to personally reach out to others. Find people that may be interested in exchanging services by partnering with somebody who is starting or growing a business. Everybody uses social media as a means to advertise to the masses and that’s why it doesn’t work. Use social media to build a professional network of people who can help you succeed. Concentrate your advertising on more targeted audiences.
Are you ready to start your business? Don’t open your doors before you’re ready but 2012 is not the year to sit on the sidelines wondering if you’ll ever get there. The best way to reach a goal is to take the first step and then take another after that. Now, get started.