How to Become an Entrepreneur: Step by Step Guide

Absolutely anyone can become an entrepreneur. You don’t even need to have a fancy college degree or a whole bunch of money to start. You only need a great vision, a foolproof plan, a strong work ethic, and raw grit to turn your dream into reality.

But we’ll be the first to tell you that it’s not going to be a walk in the park. Most first-time entrepreneurs often underestimate how demanding the startup journey can be. There will be many, many times you’ll want to throw in the towel and look for a “real” job instead. That’s why passion means everything.

Making a truckload of money is great and all, but that shouldn’t be the only reason why you want to pursue entrepreneurship. It’s going to take a whole lot more than that to keep you on the path to success, particularly when the road becomes rocky.

With that being said, here’s the ultimate 9-step guide on how to become an entrepreneur.

Step 1: Get Real With Yourself

Before you try to figure out how to become an entrepreneur, the first question you need to ask yourself is – Why do I want to start a business? The “why” is very important since it will advise what kind of enterprise you should start. If your goal is to make a little extra money, for instance, then consider starting a side hustle instead.

You also have to get real with yourself. Critically examine the skills and expertise you bring to the table. Find out where your passion for your new venture comes from. Figure out how much capital you need. And, more importantly, introspect to establish whether you’re ready to embark on this new adventure at this point in your life.

Step 2: How to Become an Entrepreneur – Come up With a Business Idea

Once you’re 100 per cent certain that this something you want to pursue, you now need to come up with a business idea. Maybe you already have one. If you do, great! If you don’t, you’ll need to brainstorm for potential ideas. Here are a couple of ways you can do this:

  • Apply your existing skills and expertise to offer a solution to a problem in an entirely new field
  • If your business idea isn’t completely new, think of a faster, cheaper, and better way to improve the current offerings
  • Find a solution to a problem that bugs you
  • Think of the existing technologies and try and figure out what’s next, and get ahead of the curve

Step 3: Market Research

Survey the existing market landscape and identify who your competition would be. Is someone already doing what you want to do? What’s the reason for their success? What are the shortcomings? If there isn’t anyone else doing what you want to do, is there a particular reason why?

It is also a good idea to survey your potential customer base. Conduct interviews and send out questionnaires to determine the potential uptake of your product into the market. Make sure your sample size is big enough. Ask questions like:

  • Do you use product X? If so, what are your suggestions for improvement?
  • What do you look for when purchasing product X?
  • Which brand of product X do you prefer, and why?

Additionally, make use of the existing online resources to get even more information.

Step 4: Get the Legal Stuff Out of the Way

Here’s a checklist of the legal requirements your business needs. Get it out of the way early on.

  • Business structure (Sole Trader, Company, Partnership, Trust)
  • Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • Register your business name and domain name
  • Register for Good and Services Tax (GST)
  • Required permits and/or licenses
  • Business Bank Account
  • Copyrights, Patents, and/or Trademarks

Consult with a lawyer to ensure that you’ve covered all your bases.

Step 5: Create a Business Plan

A business plan details how your business will flow from beginning to end. It outlines how it will make money and, more importantly, how much and over what duration.

This is an important document to have, to not only keep you on the right track but seek startup funding investment as well. There are several online resources with great business plan templates you can use.

Step 6: Get Startup Funding

Getting funding for your business will no doubt be one of the hardest parts of setting up your enterprise. There are several methods you can use to get startup funding, some of which include using your savings, angel investment, venture capital, crowdfunding, business loans, and several other options.

Step 7: Product Development

This is where the rubber meets the road. It’s now time to bring your idea to life. This involves getting a manufacturer, developer, or someone with the necessary expertise to create your product.

Ensure that you retain full control of every aspect of the development process. Come up with a great pricing strategy and focus on quality and simplicity. Keep the costs of development low, but not so much that you end up with a tacky end-product.

Step 8: Build Your Dream Team

To scale your business, you’re going to need all the help you can get. State your goals and vision clearly, follow the proper hiring protocols, and create a strong company culture.

Then, find individuals who would be a great fit for what you’re trying to achieve. It could be a freelancer, an employee, or a partner. It all depends on the type of responsibilities you want to hand-off.

Step 9: Find a Location for Your Business and Start Selling

Depending on the type of business you’re running, its reliance on foot traffic, the demographics of your customer base, and your style of operation, you may need an office or store. Ensure that the location and overhead costs of the premises you’re leasing make sense for your business model.

Once you have that down, open shop, and start selling. Your sales strategies and techniques should make revenue-generation a priority. You need to see a tangible ROI on your sales and marketing efforts.

Put out sponsored social media posts, search engine ads, digital content, and any other method that fits into your marketing strategy. Finally, come up with an appropriate sales funnel to convert leads into revenue.

If at First, You Don’t Succeed…

The bottom line is this: If you want to learn how to become a top entrepreneur, the 9 steps outlined in this guide are the way to do it. There’s no shortcut to success.

Once you have a great idea, are willing to do the work, and have come up with the best strategy to bring your dream to fruition, you’ll be one step closer to building the empire you’ve always envisioned. You may encounter some failure along the way, but the key thing is not to give up. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and try again.

If you’re looking for startup funding, use our unsecured business loan tool to connect you with 70+ non-bank lenders to get an instant unsecured loan.

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