By Sally Ocaña and Juan Francisco Sánchez
So You Think You Can be an Entrepreneur?
If yes, then this is your lucky day. Today in this article we will give you the magic recipe to become an Entrepreneur. Read carefully and then the power will be yours. Ready? Here it is, the best secret kept during millennia: Just start!
Easy, right? That’s the secret. If you want to be an entrepreneur you just need to take the first step and do it. Of course it is not as simple as it seems. Ok, ok, let’s go a bit ahead with what do you require to become an entrepreneur.
• An idea that can become a product or service. Perhaps you have a talent, a skill, and you know you could make a profit out of it. Perhaps you have detected a gap, something missing, and your idea can cover it. Take this idea and shape it into something doable, something tangible.
• Knowing the market of the place where you are. Is this service or product monetizable? Is there a niche for this product or service? Perhaps your product or service already exists, however you know that you can take it to a different level, or your style is different, or you just simply love it and want to do it. Then easy, just go for it, but be aware of competition, find a way to shine among the crowd.
• Understanding the law requirements for the country and the city where you are. If you are serious about entrepreneurship, you need to register your company or brand, usually to the Chamber of Commerce. You may need to get ready to declare taxes and have some knowledge of the laws. Luckily there are plenty of organizations that can support, in several cases for free, or for a low fee. You can also find information on the Internet. In the Netherlands it is possible to get free advice from the Tax Office, and organizations such as International Creative Women provide workshops explaining what is required to create your own business.
• Work, and work and more work. If you want your business to thrive you need to put the effort, not only making the product or planning how to deliver your service. If you want to create postcards, you will have to take the time to draw them. If you want to teach Yoga, hopefully you have already taken Yoga sessions and workshops on how to provide your own sessions. If you want to become a Zumba trainer, hopefully you have learned and practiced how to give amazing workshops.
• Marketing. Perhaps the most important aspects for any business or initiative. Sometimes we wonder how it is possible that some musicians that are really good are not so famous, and some others that are terrible reach fame and glory. The answer is simple: a proper marketing campaign. Your business must be known, and for that you need to reach people. How to do that? Social media: Instagram, Facebook, Linkedin, but also the use physical media: fliers, posters, invest in presentation cards; showcase your products and services in markets, be in contact with potential customers: if you want to teach Zumba specialized in pregnant women then visit middle wives offices and place fliers in their board. Do you want customers? Then make your product known. Without proper marketing the most spectacular product will die.
• Develop a thick skin. Be prepared to get rejections, days without a single sale, days when all your efforts seem in vain. If you can resist and hold, you can reach success. Don’t get discouraged if things don’t go well all the time, be persistent, but also…
• Be realistic. Success may come to you right away, but in most of the cases you will experience failures: markets without sales, days without customers. You may need to do trials and errors, and if failure is the trend, then it is time to take a pause, revisit your strategy, review what could be going wrong, fix it, and start again. It could be that your product is not as good as you thought, or your service is not well received. You can fix those issues and try again. However, it could be that the product or service has serious flaws, and perhaps you should redefine them completely.
Here you had it, the magic recipe. To be completely honest, the entrepreneurial path is not for everyone. Being an entrepreneur should give you energy, should make you happy, despite the effort, because you are doing something that you love, something you believe in. And maybe that is the secret of success in any entrepreneurship: a combination of passion for what you do, with skill, and reaching out to be known, and of course as in everything, a bit of luck. But as the famous writer Isaac Asimov once said: “good luck favors a prepared mind”. So, get prepared and the stars will shine in your direction. Welcome to the world of Entrepreneurs!
International Creative Women
‘T College 22, 5611EH Eindhoven