Identify an opportunity
It starts with an idea. However, it also has to be unique, a gap in the market that has yet to be done (or, at least, done well) and will fulfil demand. When you’ve locked on to an opportunity, identify your target audience.
It’s then important to come up with a set of objectives and an action plan. This will serve as a vital blueprint, and will help keep you focused and assist you in reaching those goals.
Most importantly, though, it must be an idea that you are passionate about. If you are not enthusiastic about the project, you may lose your initial drive and determination.
Find communities and networks
If you’re looking for entrepreneurship guidance, you’d be wise to try and seek out groups of likeminded individuals. Support networks may prove vital, especially during your first few months of entrepreneurial life.
The Greater Birmingham Chamber of Commerce offers a host of networking opportunities, events and business support. The GBSLEP Growth Hub is also a good place to garner advice, as well as Birmingham City Council.
If you want to learn on the go, there are also a host of entrepreneurial podcasts that provide valuable info and advice for entrepreneurs.
Own your success
If you want to be your own boss, you need to understand there will be good times and there will be more challenging periods. Therefore, it’s highly important to celebrate the big wins you get along the way.
In a previous blog offering advice to female entrepreneurs, Dr Adila Khan stresses the importance of saying goodbye to ‘imposter syndrome’.
“When my business became successful, I thought it was purely down to luck, not because it was unique,” she says.
“Make sure that you reflect on your successes. Give credit to your personal entrepreneurial skills and to your hard work.”
Make tough decisions
Taking risks and making hard decisions are two essential aspects to consider if you want to be your own boss.
While being able to go on gut instinct can be thrilling, you also need to ensure that it will not result in any considerable risk for your company. Ensure you have a backup plan and do not put all your eggs into one basket.
“Perseverance is a crucial ingredient of success,” Adila says. “It’s a great strength to have during your entrepreneurial journey, and will help you move forward in a positive way.
“You will need to be perseverant in order to overcome any obstacles or mistakes you make along the way.”
Look after your finances
From funding your initial launch to ensuring there is enough money for ongoing operations, it’s imperative that you understand how much money you need to keep your business sustainable.
This might involve starting small, and working alongside another job.
By running your business part-time, you’ll be able to track costs (and profits) while building up a client base. This should make it easier to organise and maintain your financial situation.
You’ll also be able to figure out if you need to factor in any additional costs – whether it’s carrying out further training (e.g. taking a business management course) to develop your abilities, or hiring an employee to fill a skills gap.
Ask for help
This is one of the most important pieces of advice for entrepreneurs. While it’s easy to think as a business owner you must face every task alone, the truth is successful businesspeople never hesitate in asking for help.
BCU Advantage has a range of products and services that can help you on this unpredictable and exciting journey.
For example, if you are a BCU student or recent graduate, BSEEN provides entrepreneurship guidance, a designated business mentor, access to funding opportunities and will help you craft an effective business plan.
Meanwhile, the STEAMhouse incubator offers workshops, mentoring and exposure to small business opportunities.
If your business has been going for a longer period, you can access our business analysis services, which offer bespoke analytics of your business’ pain points and provides tailored advice on overcoming them.
Want to learn more about what it takes to be your own boss? Check out our STEAMhouse Business Incubator and discover the tools and support available to you.