Many people dream of quitting their day jobs and making it on their own by transitioning from employee to entrepreneur. Whether you’re an accountant, an engineer, or a programmer, going into business for yourself can be both rewarding and challenging.
If you don’t start on the right path, you could be in for years of struggle, and perhaps even failure. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try, though. If you have the right skills, attitude, and mindset, you can have your dream business.
Before you go storming into your boss’ office to give him/her your notice, you may want to consider just what kind of skills and attributes you need to make it out on your own.
Are you a cake decorator? Then you’ll need to pump up your baking skills and know everything there is to know about baking and decorating. Make sure you have the tools and resources you need to make everything from a wedding cake to a kindergarten graduation cake.
Are you an accountant? Invest in all of the latest software for both individuals and business so you can build your reputation with potential clients.
Are you in the trucking or transportation industry? Not only will you need to invest in a fleet, but you’ll need the technology and tools to streamline your business. Companies like TBS Factoring are going to be crucial to your startup.
Bottom line? Whatever industry you’re in, make sure you are the best you can be, and invest in the right tools and resources. Get the support you need from others; find a coach or an entrepreneur mentor; hire the right people and don’t be afraid to learn new things continuously.
A business plan is an integral part of your enterprise, regardless of whether you’re going to require outside financing.
General Skills & Attributes
There are several reasons that the failure rate for small businesses is high – competition is certainly one of them. Here are a few things you’ll need in order to keep your venture from becoming a sad statistic:
Perseverance: Try, try, try and then try some more. Not everything you attempt will work the first time. You may have to tweak your marketing plan, or develop different products to meet demand. Finding what works for your customers and your business can take months of trial/error. Don’t give up!
Patience: You are not going to become an overnight success. Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and Richard Branson may have their billions now, but they worked for many years to get where they are today. If you believe in your product, others will too. Take it one day at a time.
Passion: You need to be passionate about what you have to offer your customers. How is it going to help them? What problem will it help them solve? Make sure they know all there is to know about how you’re going to make their lives better. Be passionate and sincere about your message!
Open-Minded: You may have a high IQ and know your industry – but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t listen to what others have to say, especially your customers. Don’t be afraid to try new things or you may find your clients take their business elsewhere.
Re-Invest: This is one of the most important ‘skills’ you will acquire. Learn to re-invest a percentage of your revenue back into your business. Whether it’s to buy new equipment, develop new products or buy the latest software, your business will thrive if you take care of it.
Self-Development: Always be willing to work on yourself, not just your business. That means learning new things (not just related to your industry, but other things of interest too.) Take a cooking class, learn a new language, or learn the latest software may help to streamline your business.
Goal-Oriented: Know what you want and when you want it. Then, outline your action steps to make it happen. Want to increase your sales by 10% next year? What sorts of things are you going to need in order to achieve that goal? Increase your marketing efforts? Develop a new product? Focus on what works and keep doing it!
Owning your own business is one of the most rewarding ventures you can take on. The key is to make sure you have everything you need before jumping into unknown territory.
Remember that success won’t happen overnight, and you will hit obstacles and challenges that completely frustrate you. When that happens, and you feel like quitting, take a break (go away for the weekend, take a hike, or go to the beach). Come back refreshed and energized, and you may just find solutions that hadn’t occurred to you before.
Even the most successful entrepreneurs have bad days, bad weeks, even bad months. But one thing they all have in common is that they don’t quit – they persevere and carry on. Eventually, they find their way again – and you will too.