Are you familiar with a certain gentleman who built his globally-renowned career based on a skill he learned while taking care of his siblings, by preparing food for them? Colonel Sanders has built his KFC empire literally out of thin air, with no formal experience to support his venture. Not unlike this story was that of Walt Disney and many other entrepreneurs who have made a name for themselves without ever stepping foot inside a business school.
Simply put, yes, you can absolutely venture into the world on your own and kick-start your own company. However, with more competitors on the market and high investments at stake, you should use every learning source at your disposal to give your venture a fair chance at success. Here’s the breakdown of what you can do to achieve just that.
Learn about your target market
Possibly one of the worst pitfalls of starting a business is when people stubbornly stick to an ideal, or a dream that only fits their own perception of what is needed in any designated industry. While you may be right to a certain extent in recognizing a gap in the market, how you fill it will determine if you succeed or fail in the first few months of launching your brand.
Make sure to conduct thorough market research in any way available to you, to gain insight into what your target audience needs, how they already communicate with your competitors, and where you can position yourself to stand out. A successful business is one that is memorable and relatable above all, the rest can be adapted on the go.
Consider a franchise
Truth be told, as wonderful as the current business climate may be for starting your own story, your lack of experience or insight may be preventing you from utilizing your true potential. That is why so many people choose to work under the wing of a reputable franchise to transform a small business idea into a profitable brand in their chosen market and the local community.
On that note, starting a franchise will not only make financial and entrepreneurial sense for you personally, but it will also have a positive impact on your local business landscape. You will work with the support of the franchisor, proper training will be provided, you’ll have a solid business model at your disposal, and plenty of jobs to offer once you launch the franchise.
Look for and utilize free learning channels
No matter if you choose to fly solo with your own small business or you opt for an established business franchise, you should utilize your online resources to your fullest potential. There are renowned universities and a wide range of online platforms offering free-of-charge courses to those looking to get trained in a particular field of work.
There are offline courses you can choose as well, and you can reach out to teachers, lecturers and experts in your own community who can be your mentors, if they provide such services. It definitely doesn’t hurt to ask, and you can sign up for business classes if necessary and invest in paid workshops to solidify your knowledge base.
Build your capital
While a business can be built with no experience, there is definitely a need for the starting capital that will ensure a proper lift-off for your brand. It doesn’t have to be a million-dollar check in your possession, but you should evaluate your needs realistically before you start investing haphazardly and drain your funds altogether.
Once you have a fair analysis of the target market, you can build a budget estimate for your business. Then, you can proceed to find the best way to fund your venture, whether it’s via angel investors, crowd-funding platforms, sourcing loans, or even asking your friends and family to pitch in. Don’t let the lack of your experience cloud your financial judgement, and also have a professional finance expert take a look at your budget allocation plan before you move forward with your business plan.
Apply your best skills and know-how
Lack of experience is not the same as not having any skills, on the contrary. Disney’s animation skills were certainly more than present and well-formed, it only took refinement and a knack for business to deliver it to the market. Before you choose to work with a franchise or build your own company, you need to assess your strongest skills and expertise.
That way, you can see where you’ll be at your strongest in your company, and what roles should be filled by other experts. If you’re a cooking guru, don’t push yourself to design your own website or be your own accountant. Keep in mind that your skills will likely apply to a myriad of niches, so choose an industry where your passions lie, and apply them in a way that will ensure scalable growth.
No matter what you choose in the end, starting your own business is a challenging task. Stick to these essential steps, and you will pave your way to a successful career in the future!