Entrepreneurship is a more attainable goal than ever. Today, you can sell your products and services to an unlimited audience and, thanks to technology, have the option to work at home or on the go. Finding a place that is good for your productivity is as easy as connecting with Business E Suites. Whether you’re looking for privacy, a co-working space so you broaden networking opportunities, or meeting rooms for your entire team, they have solutions. Call 281-862-3150 to learn more.
First, take a look at the “sharing economy” and a few tips on how to grow your budding business — as well as three mistakes that can squash your success.
The world is your marketplace but not everyone is your customer
Even though you have access to a bottomless people pool, your actual customer base will be small by comparison. But, even a small group of buyers can render a lucrative career if you learn how to define your target market appropriately. You must choose a specific demographic considering factors such as age, income and occupation. For instance, if you specialize in designer wedding cakes that cost $500 or more, you will need to target couples with a sizable disposable income.
Grab your first gig and get started
Just like riding a bike, becoming a small business owner requires a first few wobbly attempts at perfection. Before you dive in, it’s a good idea to work a few side gigs to help you weed out any imperfections in your processes. Social media lends itself well to marketing yourself so you can get that first vital project — without dipping far into your budget.
Slow and steady wins the race
In Aesop’s The Tortoise and the Hare, there was an unlikely winner – the tortoise – who beat his adversary not by being the fastest, loudest competitor, but the one with the most drive and determination. The tortoise kept moving at a steady pace and, when the hare was comfortable enough to let his guard down, became victorious. Business is no different. If you want to succeed, you will need to keep your eye on the prize and work toward success. You may be the best at what you do, but if you take on too much or fail to consider the competition, you are doomed to come in last.
Considering the fact that 20 percent of all businesses fail within the first year and more than one-third by the end of year two, the odds may seem stacked against you. But there are a few things you can do to stack the proverbial deck in your favor. Start by avoiding three of the most common mistakes made by new entrepreneurs, especially those who choose to work from home as an independent contractor or small business owner.
- Money mismanagement. Cash flow problems account for 82 percent of small business failures, according to Preferred CFO. These financial issues all come down to mismanaged funds. Avoid the temptation to use your newfound financial freedom to invest in yourself. Instead, funnel money into your entrepreneurial endeavor and learn how to price your product or service competitively. Do this for at least one year. Also ensure that you handle concerns like payroll properly; it’s all too easy to miss tax deadlines or not have the right amounts set aside to pay Uncle Sam. Fortunately, you can use a payroll app like Quickbooks to simplify concerns like withholding, direct deposit and tax deadlines. Assemble the right tools for keeping your books on track right from the start.
- Poor working conditions. Your home office can be an asset or liability. On one hand, you have the freedom to work your own hours; on the other, you may have problems separating your working life from your personal life. Make sure you have the right equipment and set specific office hours for yourself. If you’ve never worked independently, you’ll also need to learn how to navigate distractions such as the refrigerator, social media and the laundry. Scott & Sons notes that something as simple as cleaning off your desk can go a long way toward boosting your productivity.
- Hiring the wrong help. If you haven’t already and your business is growing, you will, eventually, need to take on employees. This is not a decision to be entered into lightly. While you might want to give your friends and family jobs, they may not be the right people for your business. Your employees are the face of your company whether you plan to stay local or go global. Choose them with care and based on experience, personality, and dedication to you and your business.
No one can guarantee your entrepreneurial achievements. But, if you focus on steady growth, financial responsibility and give yourself the tools you need to succeed, you’ll have a better chance at standing out from the crowd and becoming a samurai of the sharing economy.
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