I could have done with an Entrepreneur Start Up Guide when I started out. I knew I wanted my own business that I could take with me to wherever was, but I didn’t think of myself as an entrepreneur. I think it probably stems from the upbringing I had.

As you may know I trained as a nurse, but it wasn’t what I wanted to do, don’t get me wrong, I love being a nurse but I wanted to be an ice skating star in Holiday On Ice, that was my passion but I was a generation too early… my dad said that ice skating wasn’t a proper job and nursing was. That was the end of it. Way back then there was no internet to look stuff up on and familiarise yourself with stepping off the expected path, but not so today.

Which is why I’m writing this whilst at a tennis tournament in Windhoek, Namibia with my international junior tennis ranked son. I have stepped off the expected path with him. This took nerve on my part, he’s my fourth child, my older three, triplets, were all educated in regular school. He showed talent early on and wants to be a professional tennis player. He has the guts to try. At the start you don’t know if you will make it, but you have to take that leap of faith. This is one of the characteristics of an entrepreneur…. Determination and Guts !

What Is An Entrepreneur?

An entrepreneur is essentially a person who sets up a business, taking financial risk, in the pursuit of profit… .Well that’s what Wikipedia says one is. I don’t quite feel that I put myself in that bracket at the start, well the financial risk part anyway, you can control that so its within your budget.

What Skills Do You Need? And Do You Have Them?

When I read this list of skills, I wasn’t so sure I possessed them. But I think that we are all a little modest when it comes to our own skills. It very easy to gloss over skills and downgrade them in your head. But we all have the ability to be entrepreneurs and learn the skills we don’t possess.

How To Become An Entrepreneur on A Shoestring.

The problem is that when most of us start out we don’t have a backer, a sponsor, someone with bottomless wallet. This is the first stumbling block. This isn’t going to be an overnight millionaire scenario but it does involve some forward thinking on how you are going to manage to build your business on a shoestring until you start getting customers and start earning.

For most businesses now, the storefront is your website. Attracting customers through an online presence is paramount. In the past business cards, adverts in newspapers, magazines, posters, leafleting, Yellow Pages etc were all valid whereas things have shifted. Some of these are still good strategies, but more so into social media – facebook, instagram, twitter. So a website is the first place to start.

I started with Wealthy Affiliate – an online platform that offers all the bells and whistles a new entrepreneur needs when first starting out. I knew nothing, so needed the support… if you want to go check them out, click on the banner below.

Start Up Guide

Once you have researched your product/service, found the niche you are going to promote, you start with the practical side of your business. The internet presence that will attract your customers and build your brand. If you need more advice on how to find a niche or whether your niche is profitable, try a couple of my articles – Top 10 Niche Markets and What Is A Niche Website About?

  • Website – This is a broad term for various steps that need to be achieved to have a website. You need to choose a domain name, something that will be your brand name going forward. Do not rush into this, but consider and choose carefully, changing it at a later date is time-consuming and annoying. Hosting of your website is the next job to tackle. Where are you going to have you website located. – Both these jobs can be achieved at Wealthy Affiliate, if you feel this its the best step for you.
  • WordPress – WordPress is the platform used to build your website. It requires no computer code, offers tons of themes to make your website look awesome along with plugins to offer different feature on your website to enhance, or attract customers. This is something at Wealthy Affiliate that is done automatically for you.

Once you have your website and with wordpress installed, you are now up and running. It is now that you build the pages, posts, blogs, images, social media, woo commerce for selling and build your brand.

Food For Thought

  • You are your own brand, don’t be tempted to copy others. It is much more effective to discover your own style. This might be something that will evolve as your business takes off. The fundamentals of your brand are – domain name, logo, fonts, colours, style. Take a look at pinterest for ideas on style and colour… get a feel for how you see your brand. You have a choice here whether you go over to something like Fiverr and get a custom logo drawn for you or learn Illustrator, using my article to help.
  • You are told to listen to your audience, but frequently you will hear this that shout the loudest, and they’re not necessarily the representation of your niche audience. Consider comments made, in relation to your business. Don’t immediately make decisions on the feedback you get, request comments from peers or community members if you are part of Wealthy Affiliate.
  • It takes guts to start a business, but understanding your fears and where to get support is a huge stride forward for an entrepreneur. Find likeminded people, either at WA or one of the other entrepreneurial communities.
  • Take opportunities, they may frequently be uncomfortable, but get used to it. Seize them and appreciate the ability to grow your business. Growth may be slow to start with, but once more finance is coming into the business, use this for growth.
  • Learn to communicate and interact with your audience. It might not come easily to you but it is a fundamental part of growing a business. Im not great at the interaction and have had to force myself to improve. Knowing your business beit products or services, gives you the confidence.
  • If you have done your research, know your niche well and know that it is viable, go for it regardless of what others say.
  • Be yourself, its part of your brand, its okay to be you, you do not need to put on pretences, no need to fit.
  • Accept it is going to be tough and risky, but remain focused. There is no risk involved at the start up. Do not spend more than required at the startup.
  • Get your product out, then learn from it, fix anything that is not working, and learn from it. Too much prevarication trying to get the perfect product wastes time when it could be working well for your customer. – As you know my son is a junior international tennis player, recently in Rwanda. He moved onto Kenya, week 3… It was a week too much.. He said usually you learn then test, he felt he had been tested first then learned the lesson. This is the same, you learn from
  • Read your instincts, you might be wrong sometimes, but its all experience. Learn from mistakes and as your company grows, you have experience and data to validate your decisions.

If you want to take a look at Wealthy Affiliate to see if it will help you on your way to becoming an entrepreneur, click the banner below.

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