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.
Wow great tips for startup entrepreneurs. Being an entrepreneur can be both difficult and rewarding at times and any pointers along the way and especially for beginners are always appreciated. You spelled it out all very clearly from building a website to finding a niche. And you’ve referenced a great product for beginners in Wealthy Affiliate, well done!
Thankyou for your comments, I am pleased that the article was interesting and helpful.
nice article about affiliate marketing! I am starting my own website as well now and now is actually the perfect time to do it. Everything is digital now and online marketing is the way to go! I’m a member of wealthy affiliate and I can say that it helped me start off my online journey. I love the community, the trainings and all the activities during events. Anyway, whoever is looking to join wealthy affiliate, click the links above and check it out good job!
With no internet to speak of when I started my first business at age 14, I really didn’t have time to think about what made me an entrepreneur. I had a summer job with a friend who detailed over the road trucks for a living and learned skills that allowed me to start my own business when he moved his to Fontana California. Somehow my love of that business lasted me a lifetime even though I was only able to do that business for 5 years. The skills come with time, the guts come from within but one thing is for sure anything worth doing is worth the risk. Thanks for a great post.
Thanks Andy, you are right, the guts have to come from within and whether you work for Walmart or Delloitte, you can be your own boss.
Hallo there Quinn,
I must say that you have given me the kind of strength and encouragement that I needed to step foot into entrepreneurship. Many of my friends have been telling me that it is better to work under an employer than to start your own business because when both fail, you can get another job as an employee but you will have to start from scratch if you fail in business.
But as you say, you have to be ready to take risks and this is something I want to do. I have ready bookmarked your website so that I can read it closely when I have good free time and work on the skills you have mentioned here.
Just wanted to say, you have a really useful post here. Have a good day!
Thanks Dave, the thing to remember is that you can do both to start with, keep up with your day job and start your entrepreneur journey. With that you have security of finances until you have your business up and running making money, then you can leave.
I wanted to become an entrepreneur for as long as I can remember but I only recently started. I believe that one of the most important characteristics of an entrepreneur is empathy…
Empathy allows you to deeply understand your audience’s needs and how to serve them in the best possible way. After all, every single kind of business exists for the sole purpose of solving a problem that certain people are facing.
Perfectly said, it is exactly that. Understanding your audience is the only way to succeed.
It is really easy to learn certain skills once you start something. WordPress at Wealthy Affiliate is really easy to use if you follow the training given to you.
We all can be an Entrepreneur. So never be afraid to try something new I always say, you never know what skills useful skills you can pick up along the way.
Thank you for this article and all the best.
Totally right ! Never be afraid to try something new, its the limit of our ambitions that keeps us from having a freedom to be entrepreneurs.
Very nicely written article.
I read a lot of articles about starting an online business. This one that focuses on what an entrepreneur is is another angle. This is important infomation for all who are considering beginning an online business. Passion is one thing. Focusing that into a goal. Then organizing your resources to achieve your goals is yet another.
People have to be aware of whether they are self-organizing, self-directed people, who can make clarity out of choas on a daily basis. Ambiguity, complexity, uncertainty. Can you keep a cool head?
It is my opinion that entrepreneurs do think differently. I too grew up in a family where everyone went to school and got jobs. And they complained. I’ve always wanted to be free, so I kinda just stayed an entrepreneur, buisness consultant, sales person, and even an instructor.
This is a good article for letting people know what they’re getting into when they start any buisness.
It’s difficult, but some of the best fun in life. Exhilariting, wouldn’t you agree?
Enjoy your day.
I totally agree with you , it is fun, it is something that can be started by anyone, only limited by their own ambition and the time they have in the outset to devote to it.
I like your website. It’s simple but straight forward and delivering the message you are sending. Your contents are on point. I like that you exhibit much creativity in giving life to it . I also like your enthusiasm.
I wish you all the best in your endeavor and that your son will be successful in his exploits.
Thanks Mazie !
This is a really good topic. I grew up the same as you. It didn’t matter what my passion was, I was just pushed into a job niche that seemed to fit me the best and was expected to pursue it by finding the best job possible – working for somebody else, of course.
I appreciate that you take the time to discuss what it takes to become an entrepreneur. Not everybody is cut out for it. There are too many sheep that are too scared to quite their “Walmart jobs” to pursue their dreams, nor do the have the dedication or vision to do it.
Your article debunks most people’s excuses as to why not to become an entrepreneur and moves them to the best platform out there to become a success. I don’t actually have any questions because your article is so well written it answered every one of them.
Keep up the great work!
Thankyou for your comments, I think perhaps the word entrepreneur scares slightly. If we start an affiliate business or an affiliate business selling fishing tackle, you are still an entrepreneur…. you have started your own business – you are an entrepreneur… how far you take it after that is up to you!
Hi Helen, thanks a lot for your guide! Yes, I’d very much like to be self-employed, however I’m very scared when I consider the list of skills that are required. Here’s your list: curiosity, efficiency, time management, strategic thinking, finance, resilience, branding, communication, sales, ethics, and networking. Each one is a full-time job! And I know I’m great at curiosity, OK at finance, and quite dismally awful at all the rest!
So how can I get started, when I’m too scared to get started?? Sure, Wealthy Affiliate sounds wonderful, but … and it’s a big but!
Those are the perfect skill sets, we all are able to do it, but of course you start at the beginning and build up the skills as you experience situations in your business. No one would start thinking they cant do something, but a step at a time, building confidence as you progress with the support of Wealthy Affiliate if you choose to join.