Every great ambition begins with a vision of what can be. The difference between those who attain those dreams and those who don’t is how well they shape that dream. This is what separates the visionary from the dreamer. A visionary will take the raw dream, and mold and shape a clear picture of the end result: constructing a blueprint that will guide the enterpriser to ultimate success.
Molding your dream as a self-employed enterpriser will require progress through a process of research/investigation. Here are five tips to shaping your vision.
- What is the product or service that will form the basis of your enterprise? In business jargon, this is your core business. Do these involve certain core skills that you possess (e.g. graphic designer, carpenter, chef, etc) or will your business be built around your knowledge and/or experience (e.g. consultant, physical therapist, former residential construction project manager). This may sound like a simple question to answer but consider it carefully. It’s vital that you marry your core business with market opportunity.
- What is the opportunity? Is there an established market for your enterprise? Is there room for a new player (you) in this market? Assessing the market potential, that is to say, the amount of opportunity, will give you a preview of how successful your new enterprise can be.
- Where do you see your enterprise in five years and what will you be doing? This is another critical consideration as it will shape the format of your business. For example, do you foresee needing to hire people in the future or do you see your enterprise as a “1099er” type venture in which you are the sole provider of services? Answering these questions at the outset will help to avoid costly mistakes or disappointment in your working life as an entrepreneur.
The Path to Picturing Your Enterprise
Answering the preceding three core questions about your enterprise is essential. However, what if you have insufficient data, or don’t have enough information to competently answer these questions? Here is a suggested pathway.
- Research similar businesses – There is no substitute for seeing how someone else has done it. Unless you have created a totally new enterprise in a brand new market, there are probably ventures out there that have similarities to yours. Find them. Study them. Learn their histories.
- Talk to people who are in similar enterprises – In addition to doing research on businesses like yours, speak with those engaged in similar enterprises. Not surprisingly, people are more than willing to talk about their enterprises, as most are proud of what they have accomplished.
- Get to know people who are self-employed – The more self-employed people with whom you speak, the more perspectives you will get on what it’s like to be an enterpriser.
- Analyze and assess the risks and potential earnings – Before going into any enterprise, be sure to go in with eyes wide open. This may seem obvious, but it’s amazing how many people I have met who started enterprises based on informal or incomplete research regarding potential profitability. For example:
– If you are starting an enterprise in a new market, start-up costs will be higher and time required to turn a profit may be longer.
– If you are launching an industrial or heavy commercial enterprise, you may require capital. This is also true for inventions that require manufacturing.
- Determine the human requirements to make your business work – Can you start your enterprise without employees? Will you need to hire people, or to use specialty contractors? The number of people needed for your business is a major component in launching your enterprise and it’s vital that you do a thorough assessment.
One of the cardinal rules of a start up is that the enterpriser –– you, in this case –– have a clear vision of what the business is, how it will work and what form it will take.
Need some guidance and direction as you plan your own enterprise. Check out NEVER WORK A DAY IN YOUR LIFE! This handy go-to-guide provides a concise, step-by-step introduction to self employment.