One of the biggest questions that I get is from people who are seeking to start their own business for the first time.
They have spent their whole life working in jobs for someone else, and thus the idea of starting a business seems scary and overwhelming.
Often these people turn to blogs or books to start figuring out how to start a business. While I highly recommend reading as much as you can, the wrong books or educational material can often send you down a rabbit hole of bad information.
My goal with this post is to share with you my biggest recommendations for first time entrepreneurs.
Start with a service, not a product
One of the biggest mistakes that I see first time entrepreneurs make is that they immediately dive into trying to create a product.
They have an idea for an app they want to build.
Or an idea for a physical product they could create.
Or an online service that people can use in some way.
People are often drawn to products because they do have an ability for scale.
But the problem is that products are very hard.
Often products require up front capital, or a significant time investment on the front end without generating any revenue.
Then when a product is launched, it often takes a lot of customers in order to hit a point where you achieve enough steady income to justify quitting your job.
So what is one to do if they don't build a product?
Keep it simple, start with a service
Contrary to a product based business, a service business requires little to no up front investment.
If you have skills that someone else needs, then you can charge for doing those skills.
A designer who does freelance work for clients.
A writer who helps businesses with their marketing materials.
A consultant who helps a business grow.
Chances are you already have some sort of monetizable and desirable skill.
Not sure if you do?
Think about the current job you have right now.
Your employer is paying you do something. You have skills at this job that create value for the company.
Now can you take those skills and go find yourself 2-3 other freelance clients with the same need?
If you can do that, then you have just started your own service business.
It's as easy as that.
What if my skills aren't in great need?
Inevitably, some people come from a corporate or administrative position where their skills are less suited to start their own business.
In these situations, you have two choices:
- Stay stagnant, stop learning and be content with the job you have
- Learn new skills, keep growing and seek out greater opportunities
If your skills aren't in great demand and clients don't desire them, then your best choice is to keep learning new skills.
Keep improving, keep growing and keep learning.
Even if your skills are already monetizable, don'ts top learning.
The better you become, the better your business becomes.
The bottom line
If you want to start a business, keep it simple.
Start a service based business and begin charging for your expertise.
You can always launch products down the line, although this simple service based business will give you a taste of what it is really like to work for yourself.
And never stop learning.
Your situation only becomes better when you become better.