19 Steps How to Become a Successful First-time Entrepreneur

Let’s face it, working that 9-5 just isn’t cutting it anymore. The stress of spending long hours traveling to and from work just to get home and be too tired to do anything on your to-do list, just doesn’t seem fair.

Especially when you would prefer to enjoy your weekends with your family and friends, but mustering up the energy to do anything but rest, isn’t the life you thought of living. 

If this sounds like you, then look no further buddy. I have got all the steps needed to get you to entrepreneur while still being an employee.

WARNING: Success doesn’t happen overnight and a non-stop attitude will be needed to reach success with our transition. 

Now that we have that out of the way, let’s get started. 


1. Determine If This Is What You Want To Do

Okay so I know this is obvious but many people overlook the seriousness of this step. You have to understand that your business won’t grow overnight my friend (unless you’re a celebrity or something like it) and because of that, you have to be willing to stay on this ride. 

Think about what it’s going to take to make this transition from employee to entrepreneur successfully. Ask yourself:

Am I willing to work overtime to make this work?
Am I willing to risk my passion to make a business?
Am I willing to change my entire schedule to create time for this new venture?


2. Find Your Passion

It may be cliché but I totally think you should have something you’re passionate about before starting your business. As I stated previously, this business thing will be difficult. There will be some ups and downs and for you to maintain your motivation, it’s a good idea to tie in something you love. 

Some people aren’t sure what they are passionate about while others have tons of passions. Sit down and think about what it is your friends or family come to you for all the time, or something you love to read about or discuss for hours on end. 

 

3. Select a niche from your passion

The first rule of business is “if you try to resonate with everyone you will resonate with no one.” It’s a great quotes from John Dumas. It’s important for you to know, understand, and accept that. Be clear about what you do to make it easier for your market to resonate with you.
 


In the example, you can see how it can be confusing for your potential audience to determine what you do or even if they can benefit from your services or products. Think about what you want to do and stick with that. 

Related: What is a Niche and Do I Really Need One

4. Identify Your Target Market

After you determine what you will be selling, then determine who can benefit from it. Get specific and think about who you can target. The clearer you know your market, the easier it is to find them.  Ask yourself:

Who will mostly benefit from my product?
Who will pay for my product?
Am I making assumptions based on my current knowledge?
How will I sell my services or products?


By Regina wrote a great article how to create your ideal reader profile that you may find helpful with identifying your market.

5. Set Schedule + Stick To It

Working your 9-5 and trying to get your business up and running calls for some serious planning. Organizing your schedule to produce more results is the best method. I recommend waking up an hour earlier than you currently do to get somethings done as your brain is more productive after rest. 

Evernote
Wunderlist
Procraster


6. Select A Name

Naming your business can be pretty difficult. Start with what you want to communicate to your audience. Be creative and try to make the name unique for easy recognition. Don’t put yourself in a box with your name.

TwelveSkip did a great job with creating a name that was one of a kind and rememberable. 


Choose a name that can grow with you and your company. Selecting a name such as Cakes of New York or Necklaces by Jamie is too limiting. Cakes of New York may have people thinking you only bake cakes for the New York area when in fact you have an entire bakery that ships nationwide.

The same goes for Necklaces by Jamie. Maybe you can make necklaces, bracelets and rings. A better name would be Jewelry by Jamie.

7. Choose A Brand Identity

A brand is a set of stories, memories, relationships, and expectations that are placed together, that weighs on a consumers decision when selecting products or services to purchase. 

You want to ensure you have a strong brand that will make you potential customers turn into customers. Your logo and colors should reflect your business and your products or services. 

How to ensure a strong brand

  • Add value
  • Stay consistent with your colors and font
  • Place logo, business name, or website on each post on social media

Here's a great example from Think Creative Collective. They do a great job of what it means to have a strong brand.
 


8. Create a Business Plan

Not really, but really. It’s not as intimidating as it seems. A business plan simply allows you to stay focused on your business goals. Without this plan, it’s easy to get off track on what the “real” goal is for your business. 

Each business plan will vary from business to business, depending on the goals and intentions of the company. I created a short and simple questionnaire that will assist you in creating your initial business plan in about 20 minutes. Thank me later. :)

9. Get A Website

You’re audience has to have a way to find you and learn more about you. Creating your website is a perfect way to ensure your potential customers can find you, learn about you, and purchase what you have to offer. 

Wordpress
Squarespace


10. Purchase Business Cards

I know you’re probably thinking, who uses business cards anymore? You do, that’s who! Use the fact that business cards usage has declined over the years and use it to your advantage. 

Moo (my go to)
Vista Print


11. Select An Email Provider

Hands down, the most important tool you will need and use for your business. With email providers, you can send weekly newsletters, store email subscribers, and even segment your emails to certain people. Some email providers that I have heard good things about are:

Mailchimp
Infusionsoft
Aweber
Convertkit (my current)


12. Get Leadpages

Leadpages goes hand in hand with your email provider. Having lead pages makes it super easy to sign-up and can grow your business exponentially. 

You can create opt-in boxes for your blog post, landing pages for your social media, collect email subscriptions through text messages, and more. Leadpages a MUST HAVE for your business. 

 

13. Get On Social Media

If you’re not on social media then now is the time to get on. I suggest selecting 2-3 platforms to start. When you’re just starting out, trying to maintain multiple platforms can be difficult.

Your inconsistency with posting and possible off brand post, could cost you potential customers. You would rather be killing it on 2 platforms than a hot mess on 5. 

Find where your target audience is hanging out and start there, then build your accounts. 

Related: How to turn your social media from lame to fame

14. Get a Social Media Manager Account

This will be your best friend. As an employee turning entrepreneur (possibly solopreneur), you will need assistance with as much as possible. Scheduling your post in advance will free up your time to focus on profitable activities and keep you consistent for your audience.

15. Hire An Assistant

Everyone we see on social media, television, or any blogs seem to have it all together and we think, "wow, how do they do it?" I have got to let the cat out the bag (lol, old saying from my grandmother, please don’t ask). Their secret is: they get help. 

An assistant can help you stay on top of responding to emails, creating forms, scheduling your events, researching new ideas for your current market, etc. As an entrepreneur, you have to remember to focus on the profitable activities and delegate the unprofitable activities. 

Related: Is hiring the amazing virtual assistant right for you

16. Use Admin Program

Honest hour! I was late with getting on the wagon with this one. Can’t quite pinpoint why but I think it has something to do with my “I can schedule everything” superpowers. 

After I came to the reality, that those superpowers were only a myth (womp, womp), I finally used the tool to delegate tasks, track conversations, and work completed. Whoa! The best thing since sliced bread (and yet another one….lol). 

17. Create Opt-Ins

Opt-ins are basically content created for you to give in exchange for an email. There are tons of options you can create like checklist, editorial calendars, eBooks, etc. 

Creating opt-ins will grow your email list quicker than without it, so creating them are imperative. Create items that will entice your audience to trade for an email address. 

Think about creating opt-ins that will assist your audience with solving a problem, or get them started with solving a problem.

18. Track Your Growth 

If you don't know how far you've come, you won't know how far you can go. Tracking your growth isn't only good for your knowledge but also good for others purposes. 

You will need this to create your media kits, gaining advertisements, and other things that can create additional income. 

19. Hire A Coach

This one is not mandatory to start your business but it’s something that I truly found helpful. Though you can figure out how to run your business through trial and error, it’s a lot easier to just have someone to guide you in the right direction.

You tend to see results a lot faster, which means turning in that resignation letter a lot quicker. Click here to schedule your FREE consultation with me to get you started on your journey. 


DO YOU HAVE OTHER STEPS YOU CAN ADD TO THIS LIST TO GET STARTED? HAVE YOU ALREADY STARTED ON THIS BUT GOT STUCK? LET ME KNOW BELOW!