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Support for Your Dream

How to Become an Entrepreneur

Do you dream of being a trailblazer? Wonder what it’s like to be your own boss? Do you think you have the unique skills needed to do something completely outside the box? If so, you might consider becoming an entrepreneur! While the idea of starting your own business can feel a little intimidating, you can become a successful entrepreneur with the right support and resources.

But where do you start? Every entrepreneur’s dream journey is different, but there’s a general path that can lead you to success. Here are seven steps to becoming an entrepreneur.

1. Know What It Means to Be an Entrepreneur

First things first: Make sure becoming an entrepreneur is right for you. While you get to call the shots and choose when and how you work, there’s a lot of time and effort that goes with it. Entrepreneurs work long, hard hours for something that is not guaranteed to be successful. Starting up your own business means understanding that risk and wanting to do it anyway.

If you’re just looking for a job that gives you independence, make sure you know your options before becoming an entrepreneur. For example, a freelancer or contractor can independently choose their clients and what specific task(s) they do for them. In contrast, as an entrepreneur, you are given very little guidance, and you certainly don’t do a small set of things. Being an entrepreneur means you wear many hats — you’re the head of fundraising and financing, human resources, negotiating, planning and everything else in between.

As an entrepreneur you’ll work long, hard hours at your desk like the woman depicted in this image surrounded by coffee and paperwork

Are you still on board? Good — that means you’re someone who’s willing and ready to take the steps to becoming an entrepreneur. Let’s keep going!

2. Find Something You’re Passionate About

Now that we’ve established that you have that entrepreneurial spirit, it’s time to figure out what you want your startup to be! There are four major things to consider when creating your startup:

  • Make sure you're passionate about it. Do some soul searching — what are your values and how can your new business align with what matters to you?
  • Fulfill customers’ needs. How does your business make consumers’ lives easier or better? While this is your business, your focus should be on others. Look at the market and decide what’s in demand and how your business can supply consumers with what they need.
  • Make a profit. You want to keep doing what you’re doing so ensuring you can keep the lights on for your business is important! Be sure to think about everything that goes into your business — time, supplies, labor, etc. — and what it’ll take to earn all that back, plus extra to pay yourself too.
  • Find your unique selling point. Whether it’s your brand story, a never-before-seen product or a product or service that’s exceptionally better than what’s out there, you need to stand out from the rest.

Take some time to think it through. Once you find your winning idea, it’s time to do your research.

3. Do Your Research

Research may not be the most exciting part of the job, but it’s crucial for an entrepreneur! Dig into current markets, your competitors, target audience and more. Treat your research like a class project — collect, analyze and put your findings together in a formal document or presentation. It’s more work, but it’ll pay off in the long run.

Once you do your research on everything that impacts your business, it’s time to take an analytical look at your own startup. Create a SWOT analysis to determine your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and potential threats. Then, you can formally write down your goals based on your research. Remember to think of SMART goals to ensure they are detailed and accomplishable.

A SWOT analysis are designed to help businesses establish their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats

4. Build Your Network

Making connections is an essential step to becoming an entrepreneur. Leveraging your network can open opportunities to investors and resources. And there are plenty of ways to build bridges to those resources!

3 Tips for Building Your Professional Network:

  • Attend online or in-person webinars
  • Get involved with professional organizations
  • Reach out to people through social media platforms like LinkedIn

5. Test Your Idea

Before you put your new business out into the world, it’s a good idea to get a taste of how it’ll do. Test your product or service with a small group of people and ask for feedback. Both positive and negative feedback can help you adjust to get your business ready for the real deal.

6. Start Your Business

Next step to becoming an entrepreneur is to make it official! It’s time to launch your marketing campaigns and get the word out about your new business.

Sometimes this new business is your new full-time job, or you might ease into your new business by starting it as a passion project or side-gig to your current employment. Not a shabby idea! You can always slowly transition into make your business a full-time endeavor or keep it as something you do on the side. No two paths of entrepreneurism are alike — and that’s a good thing!

Remember, success doesn’t happen overnights — your business will need time and persistence to see results. Try to stay positive and give it your all from the start.

An entrepreneur putting an open sign in front of her store to representing the launch of her small business

7. Continue to Scale Your Business

Lastly, make sure to monitor your business and scale up to keep the momentum going! Consider speaking to soliciting investors, crowdfunding, venture capitalists or other avenues for support to grow your business. The more you can increase funding, the more resources and support you have to take your business to the next level.

Ready to become an entrepreneur? We’re here to support AND protect your small business dreams. When your business is ready to take off, get in touch with your local American Family Insurance agent today to learn about our small business insurance.

Looking for more tips and motivation for your career? We’ve got just the resources to help you carve your own path.

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Related Topics: Career