It’s not how many hours you work nor is it how many hurdles you must overcome, rather business is about getting from point A to point B in the quickest manner possible while maintaining product quality and healthy margins. Often, when starting a business, entrepreneurs think too much about small, unimportant details. Since time is our most valuable asset, this carries a high opportunity cost.
In fact, a business can be up and running in a much more timely manner than most think. Here are 7 steps to get you there:
1. Determine your offering and market demand – Entrepreneurship is not about hitting a home run; trying to create the next “big thing” is a challenge and will often cost more (both time and money) to create than the payoffs are initially.
Instead of long shot, pick a job. Think, what do you want to do for a career? Determine what you want to sell based on what you’re passionate about rather than what you think will make money. If you love what you do, you’ll find ways to monetize it. Conversely, if you chase money, you’ll end up unhappy and worn-out.
2. Determine your pricing – If you’re a newcomer, don’t be afraid to price yourself under market. You could always raise your pricing in the future, but when you’re “green” you’re a risk to a client so give them some motivation to use your services.
The most profitable businesses that exist today (Walmart, Costco, Amazon) all compete on price while maintaining some form of quality. At first, worry about living expenses and getting through the first few months and obtaining those initial clients. Once you get some work under your belt, become more concerned with how much you can charge.
3. Determine how long it is going to take to make your 1st sale – If it is going to take 6 months to initiate a sale, have a year’s worth of income to live off of.
When it comes to budgeting, always play it cautious as shortage of money and chasing after unrealistic goals will lead to significant stress which hurts performance.
4. Determine your differentiators -Besides price, how does your product or service differ from competitors? The nice thing is in a service based business, if you learn how to sell and become an expert at what you do, you can be the differentiator.
I’ve come to realize that in any service based business, self-assurance and trusting one’s intuition is a differentiator in of itself. In time, you’ll learn what aspects of the product or service are important and secondary to the client. Until then, think price and quality.
5. Determine marketing – (figure out how to get leads) Make it simple and put up a website. Read about PPC and SEO.
If you’re selling business to business services, social media will help your search engine efforts, however you’re not going to be directly making money off of it. There are some great blogs to get you started on any topic.
6. Learn how to sell – The best salesmen / saleswomen don’t sell. Instead, selling can be broken down into two different parts, listening and knowing what you’re talking about.
Running a public relations firm, I’ve learned the difference between the average and wealthy sales professional or entrepreneur is that they can create realistic expectations for the client through gaining the client’s trust via your expertise.
The entrepreneurs who “Yes” to death end up letting their clients’ expectations get out of whack and, in turn create a relationship where only arguments, not money exchanges hands.
7. Learn how to execute the steps needed to take project to completion – Finally, put a set, organized process in place to take the service or product from start to finish in a predictable manner that yields the desired results. Think: Step A, Step B, etc. This is ultimately the game changer in the solution.
Jorge is a Chicago-based public relations and brand management guru with 5 years of experience in the realms of marketing, graphic design, cross-cultural communication and branding, and media relations.
A lover of food, small business, and travel, this young entrepreneur has lived in over 19 countries and visited more than 47 for both work and pleasure. Jorge spent a significant amount of time living and working in Southeast Asia where he helped victims of human trafficking establish 1 and 5 year plans to empower themselves and their communities.
In addition to his work in human rights and business development, this young man has also established a fair-trade program in both Thailand and Mexico, working directly with women entrepreneurs to sell their crafts to a global audience and provide for a fair, living wage. His motto, "think locally, act globally" is how he lives.
Connect with him on Instagram and Twitter.