So many people create barriers to getting started as an entrepreneur; they make excuses about why they can’t get started today, why things have to be put off, barriers around themselves.
There are lots of different excuses people give for not getting started, but the two big ones are time and money.
The purpose of this post is to help you realize that you can get started today and get your creative juices flowing and if you have your idea, how you can get it kicking.
The first thing to realize is that no matter what your financial situation and the commitments on your time, you do have the time and you do have the money to get started.
So I have put together 5 ways in which you can get started today no matter who you are and what your idea is.
Becoming an EntreGeek doesn’t require a huge budget to get going all you need is something that you are good at, something that you are passionate about and the will to get it started.
For some people their problem is that they don’t know what their idea should be and don’t know what they want to do. If this is you, there are some questions that you can ask yourself that will help – what do I love doing that I don’t get paid to do? What are my biggest frustrations?
Finding out your why and your purpose can come in different types of ways, normally it is something you are passionate about or are good at, but it can also be something that frustrates you that you have a solution for and just need to get the idea out there.
Things that frustrate you are some of the most helpful things in the world when it comes to finding something that you can do to improve something or solve a problem.
You may have found yourself thinking that you wish someone would come up with a way to fix the problem – well it may be that it’s you that is suppose to fix it.
The hardest part on fixing any issue is taking the frustration or the problem and making a plan on how to get it out of your head and out there to other people.
If there other people who are out there complaining about the same thing that frustrates you, it’s a great way to validate your idea and can be a great way to help build your idea to take it forward.
Once you have the solution to the idea then there are five ways that you can get started today.
1) SWOT Analysis
This type of analysis is used all the time by businesses and lots of people use them in their business plans. When it comes to getting started, having a business plan is always a great way to set out, but it doesn’t have to be a gigantic business plan of over 20 pages.
Some people invest so much time into getting their business plan perfect that they never get started. Others will swear that you have to have a huge business plan in order to get started and to run a business, but they just aren’t necessary.
A SWOT analysis is made up of four different questions, if you can answer all the questions in the SWOT analysis then you have a business plan that you can move forward with. If you want to take your company into the public domain as a traded company then you will need a business plan that is more sizeable, but to get started all you need to be able to do is put down on paper the answer to the following questions:-
– Strengths, what are they? What are the things that make you product or service something that can help people?
– Weaknesses, what are they? How much will it cost to produce your product or service? What skills are you lacking? Where are the gaps in your knowledge?
– Opportunities, what are they? What are the gaps in the market that you fit into?
– Threats, what are they? Who are your competitors? What problems will you face? Do you need outside investment? What return will they want? What is your failsafe plan?
2) Creating a logo and starting a landing page
Both of these are really important, but are extremely simple steps that you can take to get started today. I would always advise starting with a logo as it is really cheap and something that you can do right now!
Go to fiverr.com and you can get a professional logo designed today for just $5. This is a great opportunity to work with a freelance designer and start building up a rapport with them as there will be other design work you may need in the future. It also gives you the opportunity to get some experience with outsourcing work and bringing talent individuals into your team.
Even if your first experience is a bad one, it will teach you about the nature of working with other people and help develop your leadership and communication skills. You can get a logo done today for just $5 at fiverr.com, no excuses, if you are feeling that you don’t know where to start with what you want for your logo then check out my blog post about getting your logo designed.
Setting up your website is the next thing to do, once you have your logo sorted. All you need to do is buy and domain name and set up a landing page, you don’t even need to have your whole website designed yet, just get a presence out there. You can set up a landing page yourself or use Launch Effects and to learn about buying your own domain you can read about how to set up your website here.
3) Go and find networks
When it comes to networking online you don’t have to say anything today if you don’t want to and you don’t have to go anywhere to make a start. Just go online and you’ll find that there are hundreds of different networking opportunities online as well as contacts for local networking groups that you can be part of.
If you live in a small town then you may find that you have to drive a little to connect with other entrepreneurs but there are always people out there who you can network with, plus it is always great to have someone out there in real life who understands what you are trying to do and to be accountable to.
One of the best sites for finding people in your local area is meetup.com. If you can’t find what you are looking for on meetup.com, then having a friend or family member that is willing to help you along the way can be an alright substitute, but I really recommend that you find another entrepreneur that you meet up with in person.
There are lots of Facebook groups out there that you can join as well as other online groups that you can be part of. You just need to type in a business name, or the name of a business that is based on your ideas, into the Facebook search bar and I can guarantee there will be a group or a page where people are talking about something related to your ideas.
You can also find dedicated entrepreneurial groups and other entrepreneurs to connect with that can help you moving forward.
Tips: When you go into the Facebook graph search, type in “groups of people who like”. If you type in that part and then whatever it is you are looking for – fishing, accounting, law, this will usually pull up Facebook groups that are related to that.
Be careful as some of the groups that are pulled up are full of spam, others are inactive while there are even more that are just full of people trying to sell you something and not offering support, but a lot of the time you can find groups and people who are talking about your business field or about ideas that are similar to yours.
You may find you have to scroll a little to get past some of the more spammy posts but they are out there.
There is one finally thing you can do in the social media and networking step, which is to follow trending hashtags. You can go to Google Trends or type “trends” into Twitter and find hashtags that relate to your business or to being an entrepreneur and follow those hashtags.
You’ll be able to see conversations, advice and posts that people are making about being an entrepreneur and it’s a really easy way of being encouraged and staying motivated so that you can start a new business or take your existing business to the next level.
4) 5 Creative headlines for your venture
It doesn’t matter what your idea is or what field of business you are looking at going into, coming up with 5 creative headlines to market your product or 5 titles for blog posts is a great way to refine your ideas.
It’s something you can do right now, something that will take less than twenty minutes to do and can really get your creative juices following.
If you are doing blog post titles, the blog posts don’t even have to be about your product or your idea, they can just be about things related to your business or even tips to help other entrepreneurs. If you are an accountant then you don’t just have to blog about spreadsheets, you can blog about personal finance.
Blogging is a really great way to engage with your audience and start to interact with people as a networking opportunity as well as building a mailing list that you can market to in the future.
All you need to do right now, is take a blank sheet of paper and a pen and just start writing, come up with those 5 creative headlines or those 5 blog post titles that you can put out in the future. For helpful tips go to http://www.copyblogger.com/10-sure-fire-headline-formulas-that-work/
If you are struggling to write then there are ways to overcome the blank screen of death or if you need help with writing your posts because you don’t have time then you can find tips to help with that here. Even if you aren’t going to write the blog posts yourself, you need to come up with an outline to outsource so that it focuses on what you want to say.
5) Think about how to market your product or solution
This one is kind of related to number 1, and is all about thinking about the end game and about your product. Some people don’t even realise the services they are going to be offering with their idea because they haven’t sat down and thought about it, mainly because they want to get started so quickly, the end game hasn’t even entered their mind.
I really want you to think about your idea and what it is that your product or solution is going to be. Think product.
You can do this when you are driving, or on the bus or when you are doing chores round the house, you just need to start refining your idea into what your product or service is going to be.
Once you know what it is then the next step is making a video demo about what your product is, what you are doing, why you are doing it, how it can be used – no matter what your product or service is, you can do this.
The reason you want to do this and that is a really easy way to get started today is that people love the little things that happen in the background.
Go to Kickstarter.com and you will see how many of them have put in those little details to show how they have developed their ideas and how they are going to do things and how well investors and customers both respond to it.
If you are going to be selling info online – you might want to offer a course, offer an e-book or a digital product, something that can give people great information to get them started. There are so many different resources out there to help you run a course like learndash.com, zippycourses.com and WP Wishlist.
You can even start by offering an online membership where a person pays $9.95 a month for your services or you can even offer consulting work to get you started.
Use kickstarter.com to look at some of the products being launched, look at how people are marketing their products and getting their own ideas out there. You can do this for digital and physical products and use all of this information to create a mood board or a palette to get your creative juices flowing.
This is all something that you can do today, you can blot out an hour and a half of your time to get started right now, if you can’t manage that then just find half an hour, maybe in your lunch break and use that time to get started immediately.
I really hope this helps you to get started today.