If you want to work under your own rules, keep the fruits of your labor, and be the master of your own destiny (to some degree) then working for others might not cut it. Instead, you can have others working for you. But how does the average career-driven person become the owner of their own business?
The journey isn’t always the same, but these stops are always going to be essential.
Know what it takes to run a business.
Regardless of what the business is going to be, there are certain skills and knowledge bases that are going to become applicable. Skills like fundraising, leadership, goal setting, project management and the like can help ensure that you’re not just someone with an idea, but the practical thinking that can make them a reality. There are startup guides that can help you learn the essential skills of the entrepreneur so that your business idea doesn’t stay a pipe dream.
Develop your idea.
Of course, you’re going to need an idea to start a business in the first place. It doesn’t have to be entirely unique, but it is much more likely to succeed if it has a niche. For instance, if you want to set up a health & safety consulting business, then it’s better to set up in an area with plenty of clients and without nearby competition. The basis of your business idea should depend on what your skills are and what you have to offer customers or clients, but market analysis can be crucial in finding out whether there’s a sustainable business behind the idea, too.
Become an expert in your field.
Having authority in the industry you work in, or the subject matter that you work with is crucial. You need to understand more than just the work your employees do, you need to understand the industry, too. Back to the idea of a health and safety consultancy, someone with experience in the fire department can work well in that field, but a public safety degree lends them the weight and expertise they need to be able to inform a team and understand the full needs of their clients. Education doesn’t strictly have to be formal, either. If you have the opportunity to learn from a valuable mentor, take it.
The gift of the gab.
You can have the expertise, the business acumen, and the best idea. If you can’t market it, it may hit the market with a plop rather than a bang. From creating a logo to describing your services in the way most attractive to the client, learning about marketing is key. Mostly, your clients or customers need to know that you understand their perspective, their needs, and the barriers between them and their goals.
There’s no ten-step plan for transforming from an employee to an entrepreneur. There are career milestones, however, that can bring you closer to that goal. Focus on those milestones and you can ensure that you keep building the momentum you need to become your own boss.