Starting your own business for the first time can be an intimidating task. It’s not easy to build your first business when you have no previous experience. I remember when I started my first business venture, I had absolutely no experience with sales, product development, customer service or marketing. I was absolutely clueless. But I was willing to learn and experiment, and had the drive to put in the work required to make things happen. I decided to give it a try, and learned along the way. The result was a business that within a year or so, generated 100 times the amount I invested to set it up.
Here are 3 of my top tips to any first time entrepreneurs out there looking to start their own business.
1. Research the market
Your idea is not worth a dollar if there is no market for it. It doesn’t matter what you like, the buyers are the one who decides what sells and not. Take your time and do some research before you put in the hours of making your idea happen. Get to know your market, competition, your target audience, and their problems – and find a way you can truly solve one or more of these problems. I started my first business, a music production website after getting a ton of emails and questions regarding how to begin with music production and composition for films, games and other media. People came to me with questions on a daily basis, and I found myself repeating the same things over and over again. I then decided to make a website, which quickly became successful. Next, I took the most common questions and problems I saw people encounter, and wrote a more in depth course – which ended up doing very well.
I knew there was a market already before beginning to build the website, which I believe is one of the biggest reasons for its success.
2. Just do it
Most people are making excuses, procrastinating and postponing things for some future perfect moment. That perfect moment won’t come. Don’t wait for a perfect moment, just get started. Just start doing something, whatever it is. Eventually momentum will get things going and the habit of acting will get incorporated into your daily life. It might be sketching out some designs, starting to build your website, putting together a business plan, finding a name, registering your business or other things. No matter what it is, just get started somewhere without overthinking it too much. No matter if you’re not entirely sure where you’re heading, as long as you get going, the path is going to unfold itself as you go.
The problem is that most people have an idea, but they always find an excuse not to get started making it into something real and tangible. It’s not enough to just think about it, or the ideas you have – it’s about what you actually do. An idea without actions is just a dream. It’s always going to be a bit tough in the beginning, but as soon as you get the ball rolling, it gets easier and easier. Just get started, do something, start making it happen step by step. Don’t worry too much about things being perfect, just make sure to take the first step as soon as possible, and everything else will eventually fall into place.
3. Start small
Start small, focused and with a low entry barrier. It doesn’t mean that you should think small about your long term business plans, but make it easy for you to take the first steps. If you have a great idea for a restaurant or food chain, don’t necessarily try to get a 40 million business location the first day, even if this is the long term goal. Start with a smaller place, gain some momentum, then scale up. This is why I love online businesses, as it allows you to start extremely cheap and can still bring with it huge rewards and possibilities that are scalable.
Don’t necessarily expect to become a millionaire from your first business. Get the experience of running smaller projects, and expand. Start small and focused, and grow it from there. Before you make a million, try to make 100k. Before you make 100k, try to make 10k. Before you make 10k, maybe try to even just make 1k. Go step by step. Build up some experience, get a bit more comfortable in the business world. You will learn incredible amounts of things when you launch your first business, and you will make a lot of mistakes. But as long as you don’t put all of your eggs in one basket the first time, you will learn from eventual mistakes, and not making those same mistakes on the bigger ventures when it really matters. Think big, but start small, then scale up.
Get out there, research your market, find a way to begin as quickly as possible! Most of your fears are just inside of your head, as long as you start small and scale up as you gain more momentum and experience – everything will start falling into place.