The First Step to Becoming an Entrepreneur

Every day, people across the US are following their dreams and becoming entrepreneurs. If your career dreams are to run your own business and be your own boss, you might be wondering where to begin. With so many things you need to do when forming a business, the simple task of getting started can often be daunting. That is why it is best to start right and complete this first step to becoming an entrepreneur before jumping to any other tasks needed to form a company.

The first step to becoming an entrepreneur

Knowing that you want to become an entrepreneur is great. However, to become an entrepreneur, you must start a business, and that business must have something to sell. That is why the first step to becoming an entrepreneur is to decide what type of business you want to open and what you will sell.

I know. You are probably looking at your screen right now and saying, “That’s obvious.” So, why am I writing a post about something you probably already know? It’s because completing that first step is what often prevents people from ever becoming entrepreneurs or delays the process for years.

That is what happened to me. For more than ten years I knew I wanted to run my own business. For ten years, I put off becoming an entrepreneur. Why? Because I was waiting for the perfect business idea to come to me instead of doing the work needed to figure out what type of business I should open.

If you want to become an entrepreneur, you need to complete the first step. Do not wait for someone or something to move you to step two. It is up to you to get to step two, and you might realize that once you figure out what type of business you should open, your dream is closer than it previously seemed.

Why the first step is important

If you do not know what you are going to sell, it is challenging to complete any of the other steps that are associated with starting a business. For example:

  • Great business names usually match industry norms. Some industries include people’s names (Smith Law Group), some include industry/product descriptors (Jones Brothers Lawncare), and others allow for more abstract names (Kayllian). How can you ensure you are matching the standards if you do not know what industry you will be in with your company?
  • The ideal audience is someone who has a problem, and your company gives them a solution. If you do not know what solution you are selling, you cannot define your audience.
  • The best business structure classification for your business will depend on many factors; one being the industry and product offerings.
  • You cannot effectively network until you select your products. A pitch that contains “I want to open my own business” is not as impactful as one that contains “I am in the process of setting up a business that will sell homemade goods both online and at craft events.”

Think of it this way. What’s the first thing you do when you are getting ready to cook dinner? Do you put a pot of water on the stove to boil, preheat the oven, or plug in the crockpot? No. The first thing you do is decide what you are going to cook. Then, you can start the process of preparing to make that dinner. Otherwise, you might preheat an oven that you never use because you are going to cook chicken on the grill.

Starting a business is the same way. The type of business you decide to open will impact everything after.

What type of business should you start?

For some, the type of business they should open is obvious. They might have a hobby that they love, and they want to turn it into a career. Alternatively, they might be ready to branch off on their own in their current line of business.

However, the rest of us are left wondering. We know we want to be the boss and take on the risk of entrepreneurship, but we do not know what business should be ours.

If you are in the second boat, like I was, it’s hard to know what type of business you should open. To help you get started, here are some quick tips:

  1. Stop trying to think of the next billion-dollar idea. Billion-dollar ideas are not always obvious. However, you will never have the opportunity reach that level if you never start a business. Sara Blakely did not begin Spanx because she knew it was going to make her a billionaire. She started selling the products because she solved a personal problem and realized that other women might want her solution.
  2. Find a solution to a problem. The problem does not have to be new or something no one is addressing, it just needs to be a problem. The solution does not have to be unique; it just must be somewhat different than what is currently available.
  3. Evaluate what you enjoy doing. Passion is needed to succeed in the long-term. If you select a business idea that you do not enjoy, it will be easy to give up when things get tough.
  4. Give up on being an expert. For most businesses, all you need to start is more knowledge than your target audience and the drive to gain additional experience – either personally or through hiring.

Need more help?

Still left wondering what type of business you should open and what that company should sell? Brick-and-mortar or online? Services or physical goods? There are so many options available. It is ok to need help sorting through the ideas so you can figure out which one is best for you at this time. You might even need help coming up with the ideas you should consider.

The Confidently Select a Business Idea 5-Day Challenge can be the help that you need. The challenge walks you through a ten-step process where you will create a list of ideas and then rank and evaluate those options to select the best business for you.

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