5 Essentials To Know Before Becoming an Entrepreneur

Full of ideas on starting a new business? What to know before jumping in!

Thinking about becoming an entrepreneur?  Almost 50% of American’s have strongly considered starting their own business at some point in their life and it usually comes with some common expectations about the perks of being your own boss.

Is being an entrepreneur right for you?

If you’ve felt stifled and frustrated in a traditional corporate or service profession, you may long for the day when you can set your own schedule, determine your own rules, create your own service or product and reap the benefits of your own blood, sweat and tears instead of continually facilitating someone else’s dream.    

But, how well are you prepared for the reality of taking on ALL of the aspects of owning a business?  On the other side of that happy, freedom rainbow, there’s also risk, liability and the hard work and commitment that owning your own business requires. 

Yes, owning a business can absolutely be one of the most inspiring, amazing, life-changing experiences a person can have. It’s the birthplace of creativity and opportunity, as well as an outlet to share your passion for service.   

But, being an entrepreneur isn’t an easy ride.  Far from it.

It takes commitment, tenacity, focus and an unwavering drive to bring your unique gifts and purpose into one beautiful package and introduce it to the world in a lastly and uncompromising way.

So, do you have what it takes?   Here are 5 things you need to know before you take the entrepreneurial plunge.

Why are you want to be an entrepreneur?

1)   Get clear on WHY you want to own your own business.

Identifying your expectations on the “why” behind starting a business is critical.

It’s important that you have clarity on this because there will be plenty of days ahead when you aren’t having a good day, your tired and your frustrated and you ask yourself why you got into this business in the first place? 

It happens to all of us.  But, in those moments, it helps to be able to quickly remember the passion and purpose that drew you to owning a business in the first place, so you can re-focus, get right back in the saddle and keep moving forward.  

But, if you want to be an entrepreneur simply because you think it’s “easier” than toiling in the corporate world, I would re-consider business ownership.

Yes, you can create your own schedule and enjoy freedom’s in making your own set of rules that you wouldn’t have in a traditional job, but the truth is, most business owners work harder and way more hours than they ever did in a former traditional job.   The difference is, their happier doing it in their own business because it’s what they truly love!

Are there enough clients in your area to sustain your business?

2)  Is there enough of a client base to support your product or service in your community?

An entrepreneur is passionate about the business they want to introduce to the world.  When I started my senior downsizing business in 2009, the first thing I did was to get clear about whether there was enough clientele in my community to sustain a business.

So, do your research.  It’s an aspect I include in my training and business start-up program here at The Downsizing Institute (https://www.thedownsizinginstitute.com/whats-included/) because it can often be daunting to new business owners to know where to start. But, nothing can be worse than to take that leap of faith in yourself, invest time, energy and resources to a project, only to find you lack people who want to hire you.

A written business plan an entrepreneurs guide for growth

3) Create a written business plan

Once you know you have a good client base to grow from, it’s time to write a business plan.

This one usually gets put on the backburner for new entrepreneurs because thinking through the amount of detail and scope a business setup entails can be overwhelming.

But, it’s essential to create a plan to work from because it actually creates LESS overwhelm when you know exactly what you need in tools and resources to move forward.   

It’s also helpful to find a mentor that can provide experienced input to help you identify your key challenges and provide solutions to issues that you are unsure of. Taking the time to think through the process before you start your business journey will help you avoid making critical mistakes and playing catch-up time.

Being prepared financially means knowing all the factors that can affect your business

4)  Be Financially Prepared

Lack of financial preparedness is the one factor that causes failure in more small businesses than any other. You need to a plan in place to know what you’ll need financially to create and maintain a business for the first year and beyond.

Business Daily News reports that the U.S. Small Business Administration estimates most microbusinesses cost around $3,000 to start. When planning your costs, don’t underestimate the expenses, and remember that they can rise as the business grows.

Therefore, always have at least 6 months, but preferably up to a year or more of financial savings to carry both you (personal living costs) and your business (operation costs, labor, and setup) through the first-year start-up process. 

It’s just a plain fact that it takes time to generate consistent clients, no matter how great your business concept is. But, don’t get discouraged!  Just be as financially prepared as possible going into your business journey so you can focus solely on getting out there and creating a reputation for extraordinary service!

A business is a team effort!

5)  Don’t try to go it alone.

A common trait of an entrepreneur is that they often try to manage every aspect of their business start-up themselves, at least at the beginning. 

Understandably they want to save costs, but part of it comes from the old adage “if you want it done right, you have to do it yourself”. 

I get it!  Your business is your baby, your creative birthright!  But, it’s a fast track to burn out and disillusionment if you try to do it all yourself. I made this mistake in my early business journey.

Instead, try to step back early in the process and see where you can delegate responsibilities so you can focus your attention and unique skill set to doing what you do best.  Lead.

You can do this in a wide variety of ways. Hire part-time help, outsource things like social media/marketing creation and human resource management, getting office support through independent contractors like virtual assistants and so on.

There are only so many hours in the day, so make the best of the time you have doing what only you can provide like getting clear on what your business vision is, how to expedite it, then build a supportive team to make it happen.

If, after you have given serious thought to all of these factors, you still have a burning passion to bring your business into this world, then go for it!  There has never been a better time than now to manifest your dream business into reality, especially if it’s a business serving seniors and their families!