You are probably thinking of starting a business. Either because you want to leave a 9 to 5 job or because you want to gain freedom in your life.
In any case, starting your own business is the right move as it brings a lot of benefits such as being your own boss, owning your own time, earning more money, working on the things you love and so on.
But it is easier said than done! By now, I have started many businesses, online and offline and I can tell you from experience that it is not easy and it is not for everyone.
This is not to discourage you at all, but I just want to give you the real picture and what I believe is right so that you have the right plan from day one.
So if you are really serious about starting your own business, read on! I’m going to share a few steps here for you so that you make sure to get them right in place before you start and avoid the costly mistakes I made
Make sure you read till the end to see the bonus tip which I have put there for you.
Step 1: Find An Idea
Here people usually fall into two categories:
One is those who do not have an idea and are trying to find one and the other is those who have more than just one idea and want to understand which one they should pursue.
So I’ll address the first category as it is the subject of our article and let’s say you want to find an idea for your business. So how do you find an idea?
Here are two main strategies to find great startup business ideas:
A: Find a real problem
This is where many of the best business ideas are born.
You find people facing a problem and complaining about a topic and there you go, you have a business idea already, all you need to do is just to solve it for them by a product or service and they will pay you for it to solve their problem!
Take Uber, for example, the problem for people was waiting outside under the sun or rain and wasting time and missing appointments as you did not know when the cab would arrive. They now allow everyone to order a cab with the click of a button and know exactly what time it will come and when they will arrive at their destination, that’s why Uber has become so successful.
B: Look for something you need for yourself
This is yet another big source of business ideas where you should pay attention to.
The thing is people don’t think, don’t observe, if they do, they will find great opportunities around!
Everything around you that you see and use today was one day just an idea which was the result of someone’s problem or need. So if you observe carefully as you go through your daily life, you may face a need that the solution to it does not exist yet, and there you go, an idea for a potential business.
This was the case with me for one of my startups Duminex, I was looking to hire a high quality vetted freelance accountant and I could not find a place to find such talent easily and quickly which led me to the idea of building a platform to hire top freelance accountants and finance professionals.
There are more tactics on how to find great business startup ideas including strategies on how to know which ideas are best if you have more than one idea which I go through in-depth in my 90-Day Infinite Growth Startup Coaching.
Step 2: Find A Market
It’s easy to fall in love with your idea and then ignore the facts.
If I have one piece of advice here is that you should always be logical with your ideas! let me explain that.
When you have an idea and you talk to the people in your close network, chances are that they will most likely agree with you and like your idea, that is not because your idea will succeed, it is just that they are biased and since they like you, they will like your idea too and that is a danger zone you want to avoid.
You have to make sure that you do research the market on your ideas thoroughly and ensure that there is a market and there are people out there ready to buy your product or service.
It’s super important to always keep in mind the market size, you don’t want to build something that only a certain group of people in a certain area will use, which will be too small for you to scale and succeed.
Instead, you should always pursue ideas that will have the most impact on the world, something that you can envision lots of people using.
Step 3: Start Part-Time
This is something I get asked all the time.
With the help of the internet and technology, now more people are able to start their own businesses and especially do it from home.
Many of these aspiring entrepreneurs are either students or employees working for other companies and here is my one major piece of advice for all of you out there who happened to be reading my blog now, in fact, I learned this from the great philosopher Jim Rohn:
Start part-time working on your fortune while you are still working full time on your income.
This is such a profound word of wisdom. There is so much time in a day and you really do not need to start full time. Just imagine after work from 6 pm to 12 am is 6 hours, even if you remove the rest times and gaps in between, you will still be left with 4 hours which is a great amount to get started.
Starting a business comes with a risk and you want to manage and minimize that risk as much as possible and one way is by starting part-time.
Because you are just using 5-6 hours of your time and you also have an income that sustains you, so you do not need to worry about the necessities of life and get distracted and just focus on developing your idea to the best you can.
Step 4: Surround Yourself With Likeminded People
They say you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with! This is so true.
Going from being a student or working in a job to starting your own business means you are moving into a new zone or level in your life.
Surely the people around you now are not the right people to guide you and help you towards your next level, otherwise, they would have done it themselves.
Warren Buffet who is one of the greatest investors of our time says: it’s very hard for me to be friends with someone whom I can not learn anything from.
If you pay attention to his quote, he is just talking about the same thing, the type of people around us which is also known as the circle of influence.
So if you really want to expedite your success, upgrade your circle of influence, because whatever they are, they affect you and your life.
Step 5: Find Your Why
You read it right, yea, find your why!
Let me say this quote I love: The road to success is always under construction 🙂
With that being said, you should always be prepared for any challenge or obstacle that may come your way.
Before you begin, I want you to really take your journal or somewhere you can always say and write that why you are starting your business, why do you want to do it.
Is it because you want to make more money? Is it because you want to feed your family? Or you want the freedom that it brings?
Whatever is it, write it down and always remember this:
The stronger the why, the stronger you are!
Step 6: Align With Your Passion
This is almost like the why, in fact, your passion could also be your why. Sometimes you do things just because you are passionate about it.
For example in my case, the reason I do business is that I’m passionate about spotting business ideas and opportunities and bringing them to life with the cooperation of the smart people in my teams.
I have been an entrepreneur for as far as I can remember, I have been selling things in school since age nine up to the level that I built a successful newspaper business in high school.
So why should you find your passion? Here is why:
Your work fills a major part of your life and your goal should be to ensure that work does not seem like work for you!
For me, it’s a blessing to wake up every single day and work on great ideas with amazing people and find ways to serve millions and billions of people on the planet.
So find your passion as that is the key ingredient of your joyful life and successful business.
Step 7: Have A Dream & Vision
Jack Ma, the visionary founder of Alibaba says:
It’s not the idea that makes it work and successful, it’s the dream behind the idea.
I always say life is a one time gift, better do something great with it to avoid the regret at the end.
Having a compelling dream and vision to back your ideas is a sure way of propelling you towards the required progress on your journey and your support and motivation when things aren’t going the way you want.
Your vision should be so clear and vivid that you can literally close your eyes and see it and be able to live it at that moment as it has already been manifested.
This is so powerful and is almost like a hidden secret to success not only in business but in the area of your life.
Your vision will also enable you to attract great talent to join you later as you continue to grow and start hiring and building your dream team.
Step 8: Focus On Your Customers
It’s very easy to find yourself at some point and suddenly knowing that you are paying so much attention to your competitors.
This is probably one of the many mistakes I made early on as I was looking at competitors more than I should have and I could have spent that time focusing on our customers.
Jeff Bezos, founder, and CEO of Amazon says: we do not focus on competitors, we are only focused on our customers.
Because if you are only focused on competitors and you get ahead of them, then what else is there for you to strive for?
Where if you focus on your customers, they will never be satisfied and always ask for more which puts you in the position to always remain hungry for innovation and growth.
You have only so much energy during the day.
Your energy flows where your focus goes, so place your focus on the right place from day one and this will add so much to your speed in achieving the success you desire.
It’s also important to note that when you are just starting out and your product and business are not fully shaped, you have to iterate and improve on things so quickly to ensure that you develop your product fast and in the right direction and as you may guess, you can achieve that better by focusing on your customers.
Your customers could be your major source of information and learning and if you develop the right mindset in your team and ensure that everyone is fully focused on what can we do today to improve the experience of our customers and then see how things will unfold magically!
I hope you enjoyed reading this post.
If so, put a like, share it with someone you know will benefit, and leave a comment below to let me know your thoughts and questions.
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