Part I: So You Want to Be An Entrepreneur…
Ever since the Great Recession of 2008, our economy isn’t what it used to be. The financial crisis cut a lot of jobs as well as many people’s expectations of job security. As such, more and more people began embracing entrepreneurship as a way to create more financial stability. These days, people are increasingly turning to entrepreneurship to create satisfying careers and more flexible lives.
Whatever your reason for wanting to take the plunge into entrepreneurship, here are some things to consider:
What brings you to entrepreneurship? Why do you want to do this? Do you want a side gig to supplement your income, or do you want to create a business that enables you to quit your existing job and to be your own boss? Examine your reasons for wanting to do your own thing. Do not embark on this path just because you hate your job or your boss. As an entrepreneur, you’ll still have to work (and in many instances you’ll probably have to work harder than you are now), and you’ll still have to answer to people (i.e. your clients or customers). Entrepreneurship can be great and rewarding, just make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons.
What do you want to do?: Are you thinking of providing a service, selling a product, or both? Who do you want to work with? The answers to these questions will help you determine your niche and target customer so you can differentiate yourself from other businesses.
Are you a patient person?: There is no such thing as overnight success. Many businesses don’t start making a profit until two-years out, assuming they last that long. Are you committed enough to wait it out? And do you have enough money saved up to hold you over until your business takes off?
Do you enjoy your own company? Entrepreneurship can be lonely. You don’t have coworkers to chat with, and your non-entrepreneur friends might not understand why you want to take the risk of becoming an entrepreneur.
Can you go with the flow or do you crave routine? There will be a lot of unknowns. You’ll likely be doing a lot of things for the first time without a blueprint for how to do it. You’ll have to wear many different hats as your company’s leader, marketer, accountant, and more. You might work an 8-hour day today and 14 hours tomorrow. As an entrepreneur, you’ll have to get comfortable with the uncomfortable.
While everyone can experiment with entrepreneurship, only those that are committed survive. Take the time to think about why you want to do this, what will make your business stand out; and plan the steps you’ll take to start pursuing your entrepreneurial goals.
Originally published for the Boston Young Professionals Association