Tired of busting your butt for a marginal salary, while having next to no free time and dwindling job security? If this describes your situation, take heart: it has never been easier to do your own thing in today’s economy.
Peter Benedict St. Andrews managed to leave the rat race, leaving his office job behind to run a highly successful photo booth franchise.
If you want to follow in his footsteps, following the steps outlined in this guide will help you make the transition from employee to entrepreneur.
1) What are you interested in?
This is the point that many people get stuck on, as there are tons of ideas floating through their head and they can’t pin down a specific one, or there are none that come to mind which seem original.
At the end of the day, any idea that you pursue should capture your imagination, or you shouldn’t proceed to the next stage.
In essence, if it isn’t a heck yeah in your mind, it’s a no. This should help sift through the mass of ideas overwhelming you so you can move on and take action on the ones that captivate you.
If you are interested in something, but the fact it isn’t 100% original is dissuading you from pursuing it, don’t be so easily scared away.
There is room in the world for more than one hamburger chain, one automobile company, one photo booth franchise, and so forth; as long as you are able to impart your own spin on the business, you’ll be successful in the end.
2) What are people willing to pay for?
It is all well and good to do what you are passionate about, but if customers aren’t willing to open their wallets after you make your pitch, then you won’t last long.
At the end of the day, being a successful entrepreneur is about finding gaps in the market and filling them.
Many entrepreneurs have made a career doing this, even if the niches they fill are yawn-inducers to most people (e.g. selling nuts, bolts, and washers to construction companies).
If you are passionate about the process above all else, simply finding needy customers and catering to them can yield success, even if the subject matter would ordinarily bore you to tears.
3) Find a convergence between the above two points
If you really want to skyrocket your results, go through the list of ideas that have you saying, “heck yeah!”, and set up micro-businesses to test customer response.
The ones that get the best results will be the ones that achieve convergence between what you like and what sells … always seek this out, and entrepreneurship will be a fun and profitable venture for you.
4) Test it on a small scale and re-evaluate
Set up a domain name and site, lay out the terms of your service or product, do some SEO to get your site ranking in organic Google search, and buy targeted AdSense ads that promote what you have to offer.
If you are profiting from it (or are well on track to get in the black) after a few months, keep pursuing the idea.
If you are getting some results, but profitability is still a ways off, re-evaluate and figure out what you need to do to right the ship.
If you are getting nowhere fast, cut your losses and move on to the next idea.