No Money Or Experience? You Can Still Become An Entrepreneur
“All your dreams can come true if you dare to pursue them. Quit talking and start doing; that’s how you get started.” Walt Disney
Imagine that thrill of chasing your dreams and owning your own business. No more hustling for others’ growth. More power to you for calling the shots, hustling to hit your goals, and being your own boss.
Sure, it’s tough being an entrepreneur. After all, 90% of startups do fail. But, with information so readily available in today’s day and age, all you need is an innate drive and a dash of creativity to reach your goals. After all, you get to write your own story. Let’s help you kickstart your dreams with these nine tips:
Hone in on beneficial startup ideas.
There are three ways you can get a headstart on new ideas:
Ask your close pals what frustrates them.
With a simple conversation with your near and dear ones, you will understand what common problems people face. Historically speaking, many founders started their business trying to address the frustrations they were facing:
- Uber, by Travis Kalanick and Garret Camp, was born after they faced trouble finding themselves a cab.
- Venmo, which PayPal later acquired, was created by Andrew Kortina and Iqram Magdon-Ismail when they faced difficulties paying each other through cheques.
- UNTUCKit by Chris Riccobono was started after he had frustrations with the wrinkles and the baggy fit his regular button-down shirt caused him when he decided to leave his shirt untucked.
Make a list of all the problems you, your friends, or your family face and go through that list. You’ll be sure to find some solid ideas for a start-up.
Look at startups that are materializing now.
Product Hunt and Kickstarter are excellent sources to spark your creative engine. If you want, keep track of product review sites like Uncrate, Werd, and Wirecutter to get inspired by the customer reviews. You never know where you would find your next million-dollar idea. Always good to keep looking.
Keet track of current trends
Keep track of Trend Hunter and Spring Wise to always stay on top of the latest trends. The world is progressing at lightning-fast speeds, and you need to be ahead of the curve. When you find a trend on the websites mentioned above, ask yourself, “if these predictions manifested, what tools would people need?” This can help you create something the world needs, and hey, it’s futuristic too.
Narrow your focus to find your niche.
With a world filled with competitive folks, you need to be razor-sharp in your approach, lest you get lost in the crowd. Niche marketing is here to stay, and for a good reason: you target those who matter the most to you! Condense your idea and try to find the perfect niche for yourself. The following are the benefits of finding your niche market:
- Better customer relationships
- Narrowed competition
- Greater visibility
- Growth by Word of Mouth
- Quickly become a thought leader in your niche.
- Lower resources needed with focused targeting
- So much more fun and rewarding
Fill in deficiency in demand.
An under-served market is a perfect place to get started as you bridge the gap with your expertise, and word of mouth would then drive your sales up. It’s an absolute win-win strategy.Make a better version of something out there.
If you want to go for a safer route than starting an entire product/ market category from scratch, then creating a better version of products already existing in the market is a great start.
If you have found a way to make an existing product cheaper or more readily available to your prospects, then you would certainly hit the lottery. Remember, people are actively looking for things that benefit them. A few other suggestions like the following would be highly beneficial:
- Use Eventbrite or Meetup for finding events in your community where you can network with other entrepreneurs.
- Eighteen months after a patent application’s filed, they become public. Research these patents (don’t copy them!) to spark new ideas.
- Don’t forget the power of a great brainstorming session! A mind mapping tool like MindMeister can help you organize your ideas.
Use buyer persona reach to validate your startup.
During MBA, marketing faculty can’t stress how important it is to create a buyer persona. You end up asking as many questions as possible while creating the right target audience you intend to cater to. These questions will help you prepare for any or all challenges that may arise while birthing your startup. A buyer persona marketing done right will ensure you are not wasting your time and energy behind the customers that are not a fit for your company.
Find metrics that matter most.
Start with an MVP (minimum viable product). Don’t let perfectionism cause you to procrastinate in fear. Get things going. What is the basic version of your product or tool that you need to release, so even early adopters are satisfied with its functionality? That’s your MVP.
There’s always room to grow and improve. Don’t waste your time trying to perfect your product because time is a key factor in today’s times. Let no one beat you to the finish line.
Build your business plan.
This is your blueprint for getting your business going. It’s a formal document that lays down your business targets’ details and how you plan to achieve them. Your marketing plan, budgets, projections of revenue, and major milestones would all be detailed here.
Get your mission statement, vision, and goals (long-term and short-term) listed. This step is enough to kickstart your dream into a reality. You’ll soon begin to see patterns emerge of what you want your business to look like. Move step by step.
Feedback will help you evolve.
So you have released an MVP, and now you’re progressing onward. Here is where you focus on the cycles:
- Generating demand and interest through marketing
- Securing customers with sales
- Gauging satisfaction levels with constant feedback collections
- Improving your product with said feedback
Find a co-founder.
Sure, picking a co-founder who complements your goals can be a challenge. But there are three great reasons why a co-founder would be helpful to you:
- Getting funding becomes so much easier. Venture capitalists are generally hesitant to fund solopreneurs.
- You need emotional support from someone who walks your path, especially when times get stressful! You also need someone who is genuinely as excited as you about your wins.
- You get a varied connection, expanded knowledge, and broadened skillset with the extra pair of eyes into your venture.
As you can see, becoming an entrepreneur requires more hard work to complement your smart work. But stick with the process; your seed of an idea is just waiting to be fertilized into fruition. All the best with your new venture!
See Related Article: Why I should invest early