Have you been dreaming of owning your own business or have an idea based on a need you’ve identified in the marketplace, but aren’t sure where to begin?
At Dale Carnegie Training, we are passionate about helping people not only pursue their professional and personal goals, but to persevere. Here are three steps for setting yourself up for entrepreneurial success.
Develop a plan of action. If an idea has been incubating in your mind and you aren’t sure where to start, first prove yourself right. Begin by creating a plan that proves the need for your product or service, or if you have already have one, determine how best to develop and offer it to the market. Dale Carnegie said, “If you want to conquer fear, don’t sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.” Many people have an “AHA!” moment, but are stuck because they don’t know where to begin or simply fear failure. Researching and analyzing the existing market, and engaging successful entrepreneurs and experts for coaching, will set you up for success.
Determine how you’ll fund your startup. The amount of time and money required to launch your new business, product and/or service is based on a variety of factors. For example, if you’ve created a product that must be manufactured, you’ll need to invest in a prototype and eventually, molds and materials for manufacturing. While the majority of startups are self-funded, others are financed by loans or lines of credit; friends and family; crowdfunding or venture capital.
Convincing others to invest, whether it’s your family or venture capitalists, will require a solid business plan with supporting market research, which is why it’s so important to develop a plan of action. Many entrepreneurs turn to crowdfunding campaigns to raise capital. For example, Gofundme, the world’s largest social fundraising platform, has raised over $3 billion so far! You can also apply for government funds, such as a loan from the Small Business Administration (SBA), however this method will take longer than the other aforementioned options. If you are denied a loan from one lender, don’t lose heart. Dale Carnegie said, “The successful man will profit from his mistakes and try again in a different way,” so keep trying.
Remember your reasons. Most people start their own businesses to gain more money, flexibility, and/or decision making. Declare your reasons for doing so and refer to them when you encounter inevitable challenges.
Truth be told, 90% of all startups fail. Forbes recently reported survey results which revealed that 42% of respondents identified the, “lack of a market need for their product” as the single biggest reason for their failure. If you follow step one, this is one hurdle you’ll surely avoid. When the going gets tough, remember what Dale Carnegie said, “Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.”