I started my journey by learning what it means to run a business in the US and applying it to start Flux Ventures. This was then followed by my ventures as a portable charger inventor, a software and design firm owner, a social marketing channel, and a venture capital fund owner.
My goal is to build my company inspired by the efforts of the Virgin Group’s Richard Branson. Simply put, I want to create Flux Ventures, the mother company of all these projects, into a force of itself where each company under this one becomes a leader in their market.
In this article, I’ll show you how you can take your own steps into becoming an entrepreneur like me. We’ll discuss what it means to be one too.
Now, before we can get into that, watch this short video on why you should start your own business.
Who is an Entrepreneur?
According to Investopedia, the word “entrepreneur” is a title given to a person who has created his own business. Other labels include “an innovator of new business ideas, products or procedures.” They can also own startups.
Simply put, this is a person who has braved through various risks to bring a real business idea. After passing through those risks, the business idea flourishes to get back the time, resources, and energy.
The word’s origin can be traced from the French word entreprende. This means “to undertake.” It was late in the 20th century where people sat down and incorporated the idea into their businesses.
Joseph Schumpeter, Frank Knight, and Israel Kirzner were the people Investopedia identified as the founders of the term.
Kirzner defined it as a “process that led to the discovery.” Meanwhile, Schumpeter said that they made new ideas in exchange for profit. Knight defined them as those who caused the risky premiums found in financial markets and carried its uncertainty.
How to be an entrepreneur?
After we have learned what an entrepreneur is, let us explore how to become one ourselves. All-in-all there are eight steps to become one.
1. Get in the right mindset
What does it mean to get into the right mindset? Simply put, a mindset is a set of beliefs that a person follows throughout their lives.
If you want to become an entrepreneur, here are eight tips to help you clear and refocus your mind:
Change your mindset about how you want your life to be
When it comes to starting a business, you would have to think about how you want to live your life. Starting a business that you would not put your heart and soul into can be the cause of failure.
The answer to the question “How do I want my life to be?” should be on your mind while you keep the business running.
Realize the power you can wield
Every person has a level of inner strength that they can draw from life during ups and downs. This can stem from getting rid of beliefs that negate your growth. Remember to choose the limits to avoid and keep your passion burning inside you.
Shift your mind towards producing higher quality instead of greater quantity
Opting to invest your time, resources, and energy to produce quality over quantity is good. It will help you manage these wisely, and help you concentrate fully on the path you want your business can take.
A possible example is how you want to treat your customers. If you prioritize creating a company that builds meaningful connections with them, this will help you naturally attract more customers in the long run.
Value others as much as yourself
I have mentioned as an example that making meaningful connections with customers can help you and your business grow in the future. Getting rid of your self-centeredness will help you avoid losing sight of what your customers want.
Meditate on your worth
Creating your worth is centered towards rejecting your “woe is me” mentality. This cannot be garnered alone due to your credibility, education, and experience.
This mentality can only stem from how you interact with others to project how you want others to view you. Following this mentality will help you stand out with other competitors, and this will also improve how other people see your business.
Create big steps and always “take it to the next level”
“Taking to the next level” is a phrase associated with taking bold actions as part of your growth as a person. This can also be applied when making decisions for your business.
Do take note that these bold actions should be backed up with an open mindset. As Entrepreneur puts it, keeping steadfast towards old-fashioned thoughts, fears, and beliefs will hold you and your business back.
As human beings, we are not perfect, and we can make mistakes from time to time. These mistakes can be in your business. It is fine to express fears and doubts about your company’s growth, but making it all seem negative is what you should avoid.
Moving on after a mistake is one of the biggest challenges in keeping a business afloat. This includes making your customers feel better that the company will come back and steadfast in keeping your original goals as a business in mind.
Learn to answer the question “why”
No matter the situation, you should always remember the previous points and the answer to the question “why.” This includes a question about whether you are fulfilled by how they are doing.
Answering this question is the step that can help a person navigate through their business’ ups and downs. Doing this will also help you and your company save face too, and this should be backed up with the right actions.
2. Find The right business
After shifting to a more positive and productive mindset, the next step when getting a business started is to choose which company you want to create. There are three paths you can go through.
Start a business out of something you already know
This type of business centers on any skill you are knowledgeable in before you created your business. It can be centered on your past job, current hobby, or a picked-up skill.
Start a business out of how other people do it
We encounter businesses in our daily lives. From getting food delivered to our home to asking a professional to fix our broken toilets, these are possible business ideas that you can use.
If you decide to make another business idea into your own, be sure that you are not imitating the entire idea. Remember that you have to stand out against your competitors, and this is important.
Start a business out of solving a common need
Once you have that mindset of thinking about others, one of the things you might encounter is seeing a need around your local community. For example, you see a greater need to sanitize homes if cleaning materials are inaccessible.
If you want to implement a business idea towards solving this need, consider fulfilling this need can garner you the highest risk. Unlike the first two business approaches, putting up this together will require you to have evidence of the need before investing in your business.
3. Plan it carefully
Once you have figured out what kind of business you would want to put up, the next step is to research how you want to run your business and set it up.
Learn more about your business idea
Creating the foundations for your business includes learning how to put up the business. This includes training yourself through face-to-face or online classes. You would also have to learn how to apply for permits before setting up shop.
You can learn more about how to make your idea real based on existing competitors. This includes feedback from the products and services they provide. Applying some of their excellent ideas and learning from their mistakes can help set you up for your success.
Think about future trends
There are two definitions of the word “trend.” It can either mean the direction of where something is going or a popular topic among a certain group of people.
When putting up your business, keeping it open can help you gravitate your intended audience towards you due to a trend you are bringing into the market. Aside from that, you would have to keep up with the trends your fellow competitors are doing.
Keeping ahead of these trends include a continuous research project within your industry and market. Doing this will help you adapt to your current environment and survive various hurdles you may encounter.
✋ Stop worrying about SEO and have me do it for you
PS: Ready to work with the 0.01% of all SEOs worldwide? Click here.
Check what is your product-market fit
The term “product-market fit” is defined as the balance between your company’s value, customers, and distribution. Keeping this together involves the following steps:
- Check who are your possible customers
Let it sink in that your business may not be able to satisfy everyone once you open your doors. When starting a business, you should focus on a particular market you know you would be able to help and earn a sizable profit.
Researching your possible customers involves market segmentation. This includes not only learning their demographics but to learn their values and shopping patterns. It will help you promote your product to a wider audience later on.
- Aim to dominate in only one industry
When starting a company, you should avoid branching out too early. HubSpot advises against this due to the high risk and lower chance of success.
With that in mind, choose which industry you want your business to aim for the top. Only after surpassing this goal should you start touching other sectors. Doing this can help make the transition easy due to the image you have created through your first venture.
- Identify what makes your company stand out
Being unique in your industry is the name of the game. This will make it easier to market your product or service later on, but it can also help everyone working for you. They are the reason why your business exists and why it is different.
Doing this involves learning how to outperform your competitors. Aside from that, this can be paired with how to keep your customers on their toes. Finally, you should keep your company relevant to the general public concerning your growth path.
- Keep track of your product-market fit
For this step, you should make sure to keep your total addressable market (TAM) measurable. This can be made by multiplying the average revenue per user and the number of potential customers.
Once you have figured out the result, check how much of that is based on your current customers. You should aim to keep it close to 100%.
Test your business idea
Now that you have learned the foundations of your business idea, it is time to test it. Simply put, it is getting advice from fellow entrepreneurs to your future customers about your business idea.
This can be done informally through face-to-face interviews, online surveys, or pre-launch events. After testing your idea, make sure to use the feedback to refine your design. You can then check again after refining.
Before diving into interviews or pre-launch events, you should create a user flow first.
Let us take my Flux Chargers, a portable charger, as an example.
Creating a user flow would include the following:
- Order Flux Chargers
- Read about the creators of Flux Chargers
- Contact the creators of Flux Chargers
After that, I would need to give more specifics to perform each action in the customer’s viewpoint while answering the following questions:
- Which actions do I want my customers to accomplish right away?
- What are the other features that I can offer to my customers?
If I were to specify the actions that the customer needs to do if they want to “order a Flux Charger,” I would list the following actions where the first item is the most important and the last item is the least:
- Create an order form for the customer to fill in their payment and shipping information.
- View samples of the product on the product page
- Easy-to-use order form design
- Website design for the product page
Once you have finished your user flow, you should use it when asking other people about your product or service before creating and selling it.
4. Look into funding
Before executing any part of your business plan, make sure you have enough money to first sustain your idea. Remember that your mindset should be in the “quality over quantity,” meaning that you should invest in the foundations that can establish high-quality services.
One of the essential foundations is to seek outside funding for your business. This includes investing in a financial management system. Aside from that, you should count the costs of every business decision you would make.
As an example, let’s think about which type of business you are about to start. If you are aiming for a lifestyle business, you would need a small startup fund. You would need more than that for a franchise. Finally, a high-tech company from the get-go would require a massive startup cost.
5. Meet other business owners
To seek support for you and your business, you would have to create a network within your chosen industry. This is called networking. Here are several tips that you can use:
- Learn and visit various business events: Every year, there are a lot of business events happening locally and around the world. Past events include 99U, Pubcon, and Dreamforce. Check for various events that are organized by local business groups to a large multinational company.
- Set a goal before coming into one: Before booking a ticket to each event, make sure to learn which activity you would like to participate in. Decide whether to attend the event as a sponsor or a guest. Finally, learn who is attending.
- Create a networking schedule while off work: Networking does not include talking to fellow entrepreneurs. Once you head out after work, you can use this time to talk to other people. Business Know-How suggests promoting your business through your local schools.
- Realize your own worth: Aside from getting your own mindset on how you are truly worth as a person, this advice also applies to your own business. Creating your business’ worth includes creating an elevator pitch. Being able to deliver this will help you market it in various networking events.
- Revisit how to socialize properly: Most of these events would involve you to step outside your comfort zone, especially if you are introverted. Meeting other people involves finding a possible group, relaying a few icebreakers, and promoting your business.
- Keep all your connections going: Once you gathered enough rapport through various networking events, the next step is to make use of those connections to empower your business, your needs, and your recipient’s needs.
There are three attitudes to avoid when maintaining these kinds of relationships. First, avoid speaking negatively to the former and current competition. Maintain a constant give-and-take relationship, and finally, do not hesitate to ask for help from your relationships.
6. Sell your product or service
Once you open your business, you should learn how to market your product. Here are four tips that you can use:
- Differentiate between “benefits” and “features”
According to Inc.com, they define a “benefit” that a product or service has is something of value that a customer sees in it.
Meanwhile, if you say something is a “feature” for a product or service, it means that it is what the product or service can do.
- Make use of strong, simple words
Using a vocabulary composed of strong, simple words would help make it easier for customers to understand how to use your product or service in their lives.
Avoiding technical jargon is also included in this rule. To appeal to a wider audience, you should use terms that anyone, regardless of their occupation and education, can understand.
Aside from that, don’t pepper your future customers with too much of your benefits. They should only know one or two at the most.
- Show definite proof of your benefits
Remember that you would have to show your product or service to your customer along with at most one or two benefits. For this tip, you must show real-life evidence that it is beneficial for your customer.
Use this same rule when advertising your company to your customers. This will be especially helpful if you want to promote your products or services as a group.
7. Invest in marketing
Create a great story about your product or service
Avoid talking about your product and how it is made. Focus solely on where your product or services can fit in your customer’s life. This includes highlighting their benefits, features, and facts.
Based on this information, create a story around them to pique your customer’s interest wholly. Doing this will help them remember you while increasing your chances of being able to sell to them.
Avoid working against your brand perception
How your customers see you can be turned to your advantage by making them buy your products and avail your services more. When executed correctly, you can be seen as a staying force in the ever-changing market.
Think outside your competitor’s heads
Thinking and performing outside your competitors’ boxes will ensure your legacy in the market.
You can get unique ideas from how brands outside your industry invest in making their products more popular in the public eye.
Consistently show your product to your customers
Being consistent means that you are a regular presence around the market. This includes ingredient shortages or Thanksgiving trips.
My advice in keeping your product or service relevant year-round is to base your marketing ploy around a specific piece of current news.
Doing this will help your customers feel at ease, depending on your delivery, on how you are still open, and are here to stay.
Put your name on your product
This tip works especially if you have loads of competitors in the market.
The goal in choosing a brand name is to make your product unique and easy to remember. Doing this will help make it easier for your customers to find you too.
Promise something you can deliver
Remember that your product needs a benefit. When I said it needs a benefit, it’s not just words on the paper or spoken through a Facebook ad. This has to appear in your product.
Not being able to prove your point will reduce your supporters. This can also harm your chances of being able to sell and make a profit.
Make sure to word your promise in an easy-to-remember way! Doing this will help you create buzz around your products. The more interested they are, the more you can harness your marketing strategy in your favor.
8. Accept mistakes and move on
Failure may seem like a bad thing if you encounter it while running your business. However, being able to bounce back quickly is a sign that you have learned your lesson. Showing this in your campaign will help your customers feel at ease.
Aside from that, admitting that you made a mistake means that you are sincere in your growth.
9. Rinse and repeat
One of the hardest things you would have to do as a startup owner is to keep your business running. Doing this will involve either venturing into other markets and opportunities, like what I did, or become a market leader in where you are. You can also aim for both!
Whichever route you would take, make sure it is grounded on your progressive, open-minded, and passionate mindset. Create a solid minimum viable product (MVP) and a business plan around it. Test your idea multiple times. Execute your plan.
You should repeat these steps as much as possible and focus on bringing a positive benefit to your customers and the greater world around you.
In this article, I helped you learn how to start your startup. This starts with defining what an “entrepreneur” is. This is then followed by a series of steps on how you can.
The first step involves removing any negative mindset and replacing it with one that promotes positive, passionate growth within you and your business. After that, it involves learning how to create one. Finally, you would create a plan, test it, and execute it.
I sincerely hope that this helped you with your future business plans.
Did this inspire you to start your own business? Read these articles to help you learn more:
Drop a comment below on what you think about this guide. Your suggestions and feedback are always welcome.