Step One: Have an Idea or Get One
You heard it before, all you need it a dollar and a dream. Well that dream is the idea that starts us down the road to entrepreneurship. If you have an idea then skip this step and go to the next. If you don't have an idea then you need to generate one. Easier said than done but here is a few ways others have tried.
Ask everyone you meet, (and I mean everyone you meet for 30 days continuously), "Do you have a problem that you would pay to get solved?" Write down all of the answer no matter if no matter if you think you can solve them or not. Think of this step as brainstorming. Remember in a storm, things are flying everywhere and it's chaotic. Decide what the top twenty ideas are and rank them in terms of the frequency they were suggested; next skills you believe you have to accomplish them; and finally how easy they are to accomplish. Remember to save the ones that didn't make the list, you never know the pearls that can be found there, after you have honed your entrepreneurial skills. Now you have 20 ideas, but working on all of these would take a massive amount of time, so you are going to reduce these to five. Once again you are going to use the people you meet and the people around you. Ask them to rank the ideas according to what they believe will best suit you. Don't be afraid to talk about your ideas with people in the beginning because that can give you a reputation of beings a guy with ideas or a guy who is always asking questions. This allows you to spend time with people that are like-minded. Gather all the votes for each idea, then add between 3 to 5 points to each idea you like and take the top 5.
Don't spend the majority of your time convincing other you are right, just find others that think like you and work with them. Once you have your 5 ideas start assessing them. Go to next step (Step Two).
Turn to Google and Google it. Put something into a Google search like, "small businesses to start". Once you have a list of about 50 small businesses to start, then reduce the list to 20. Same as above; rank the ideas by the number of skills you believe you have to accomplish them and also how easy they are to accomplish. As above, you should save the ones that didn't make the cut. With your 20 ideas, you have to further reduce them to 5 ideas. To reduce you will have to utilize the people around you. Ask them to rank the ideas according to what they believe will best suit you. Gather all the votes for each idea, then add between 3 to 5 points to each idea you like and take the top 5. Now let's go to Step Two.
Step Two: Assess Your Idea; Talk to People about It
In this step the 5 ideas from step one will be boiled down to one idea, this is your dream and in the next step you will have to find a dollar. Hone and refine your idea. You need to reduce those 5 ideas down to one. There are three things you have to keep in mind when assessing your ideas and they are set up cost, maintenance and profitability. When assessing set up cost, figure out all the cost associated with set up like any regulatory fees or licenses or zoning requirements.
Step Three: Start with Little or No Money
You might be asking yourself how the hell, do I start a business with no money or little money. Start by looking at the parts of needed for a business to start. The essential ingredients of a business are manpower, capital, product, marketing, financial management, and distribution. How do you accomplish these things when you are starting with nothing? Here are some ways to do this. There is no specific order in which you can try the following or any rule that says you cannot combine the different ways. Crowd sourcing funding, network to find people with the skills you need to start and are willing to invest their time.
Step Four: Create or Assess Your Business Model
The good thing about get to this point is that you have done the first two parts of creating or assessing your business model. You should know the purpose of the business at this point and you know it's more specific that make a profit or get customers. You know what problem you r business solves. You should have a fair idea who your customers are. Also you should know what your business's offerings are. All that is left to figure out is your marketing strategies, the specific steps you move a customer through to get them to the end where they pay you and last but not least, your policies. Policies can make or break a business before it begins. You should have similar policies found in other business like yours but review them carefully before implementing.
So there you have it. It's clear as mud. There is more to these four steps as you will learn but the important things is to start moving and continue till you get through all steps. Happy entrepreneurial trails. Work smart and prosper.
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