5 steps to become an entrepreneur with all the tools to succeed 💲💲

 The essential steps to create your company

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The Five Steps to Becoming an Entrepreneur will give you insight into what you need to put in place before you start. Starting your own business is an exciting thing. Anyone who has been successful in business will tell you that once you start there is no stopping. You will always want to start something new.

It can be a long road and you have to hang in there to succeed. There are bound to be good times and bad times.  However, they are all constructive in the path to our success. But before launching out for good, it is preferable to follow a methodology that will avoid bad surprises.

 

Risk assessment

You may be currently employed or just out of school. In either case, you probably have a cushion. Your job provides you with a salary that allows you to support yourself and your family. And if you're still living with your parents, that gives you a bit of a cushion.

When you decide to become an entrepreneur, you take a certain amount of risk. Can you live without a salary for one or two years? Very few companies have the budget to finance themselves during the start-up phase. Entrepreneurs often have to reinvest their entire profit to grow.

A company needs at least three years to reach its cruising speed. It takes more than seven years to enter a consolidation cycle.

It will then be necessary for any person wishing to start a business to make an accounting evaluation of his situation.

 

Draw on your savings

People who want to start their own business often draw on their personal savings to begin their activity. In Switzerland, people think first of their second pillar to finance the launch of their business. The law allows us to withdraw half of our BVG savings. However, this can involve a risk. If you fail, you will lose part of your pension. In addition, ideally, to have a full retirement, you will have to pay back this loan either by buying into your pension fund or into another type of savings.

It is preferable to have equity from savings specifically set aside for the creation of your business. In addition, banks will be more likely to lend you money if you avoid touching your retirement savings.

 

Starting a business is far from being a long, quiet river.

Always think of a way out if the venture goes wrong. It could significantly affect your life if you lose your business, the time you have spent on it and part of your retirement.

 

Family life

Becoming an entrepreneur and growing a project can take up a lot of your time. It can affect your family life and social relationships. You all need to be on the same page. You need to set goals and stick to them. Once you achieve them, your life will be better, but it will require some sacrifices. You will probably be less available for activities with your family or friends. To avoid losing your footing, consider finding the right balance. Being totally caught up in running your business can cause you to miss essential things.

When you decide to become an entrepreneur, you take a certain amount of risk. Can you live without a salary for one or two years? Very few companies have the budget to finance themselves during the start-up phase. Entrepreneurs often have to reinvest their entire profit to grow.

A company needs at least three years to reach its cruising speed. It takes more than seven years to enter a consolidation cycle.

It will then be necessary for any person wishing to start a business to make an accounting evaluation of his situation.

 

The market study

Even if you have the best idea in the world, you will need to do some market research. Think you have found the product that will revolutionize the world? Great! Test it with a panel of potential customers. Ask them how they would use the product, what problem it could solve for them, and would they be likely to buy it.

The fear of many entrepreneurs is that they will have to disclose their project before it is commercialized. They are afraid their idea will be stolen. This fear is unfounded. What is the percentage chance that the first testers of your product will be able to reproduce your prototype? Almost zero. Moreover, by developing your product, gaining knowledge about your potential clientele and finally bringing a very successful product to market, you gain an advantage over the competition.

Are you launching an innovative product? Even more reason to do a market study.

The first player in its field becomes the benchmark for the entire industry. If you want to keep your leadership position, you must have a product above what the competition could produce.

Coca-Cola is the benchmark for soda. Even if Pepsi makes great efforts to compete, we will always base ourselves on the Atlanta Company to compare the taste, the packaging or the communication. The Coca-Cola Company, in the 80, wanted to modify the taste of the soda to get closer to Pepsi's. The latter, in blind tests, was preferred to Coca-Cola. As a result, consumers demanded the return of the real Coca-Cola. It is the only one that refers.

To stay ahead of your competition you will need to conduct market research.

 

The Business Plan

Once you have properly analyzed your market, your customer base and your product, you will need to make a business plan. It will be used to present your idea to banks, investors or business partners. Having properly conducted your market research, you will have an overview of your strengths and weaknesses. Everyone who wants to become an entrepreneur should go through this essential step.

By writing your business plan, you will discover new ways to improve your product and its marketing. Use it as a thinking tool. Each chapter should be developed as precisely as possible.

Your business plan should include the following sections:

·        A description of your project

·        Practical information about you,

·        Your professional background

·        Your skills and those you will need to acquire

·        Your personal network

·        The legal form of your company

·        The structure of your work team

·        Your business partners

·        The market for your project

·        A summary of your market research

·        Your customer segmentation

·        Your competitors

·        Your strategy to attract customers

·        Your USP

·        A financial plan

When you have completed each of these points, you will have a document that will answer all the questions that someone who needs to analyze your project might have. Have your family and friends read it, and then have someone familiar with your business read it. You can use their questions to improve your answers. This is how you will find out how your product will be perceived by your future customers.

 

When writing your resume, be honest. Your resume and credentials are verifiable, so do not overstate the facts. If your project requires special skills, train yourself or hire someone with the necessary qualifications. It will be impossible for you to fight alone on all fronts.

 

The marketing plan

Some people who want to become entrepreneurs will include a chapter on marketing in their business plan. This will outline your thinking about your market and your product. However, its development will be too succinct.

We advise you to make a more complete marketing plan. It will include a macro-economic and local analysis of your market as well as your product. You will need to develop the 4Ps:

 

Product

Price

Placement

Promotion

A set of tools are available to you to implement your marketing plan. The s.w.o.t., Porter's five forces or Hofstede's cultural dimension are some of the classic tools that will help you develop the positive and negative points of your market.

 

An aid to decision making

The marketing plan should help you make a decision based on the most tangible elements possible. Unfortunately, it is often impossible to have access to all the necessary information. Thanks to this investigative work, we can make an arbitration on several options that are available to us. We will choose the most appropriate solution for the strategy we want to implement.

The best thing to do is to call on a company specialized in marketing that will have an outside eye. They will bring you proposals without the bias that leads you to make a decision on instinct. The mistake that many entrepreneurs make is to think that they are better than others are and that they can do without analysis. A decision is made on quantifiable data.

Once we put in place several strategy axes, we will have to choose one. The chosen option is defined by how we want to penetrate the market. Companies with the same types of products will work differently. Danone and Nestlé, for example, have different strategies despite the fact that they are competitors.

Whether you decide to do your marketing plan yourself or with the help of a company, it is essential to have marketing notions to run a business.

 

The communication plan

Once your marketing plan is finalized, you will have to set up a communication plan. No one is on the lookout to finally discover your product. You are unknown to your target customers. You will have to make yourself known.

In the past, the choice was between television, radio, print or outdoor advertising. In addition to that, you could also use point-of-sale promotion. It was a good time. All you needed was a comfortable budget and a good advertising campaign to attract prospects and convert them into customers.

 

We all dream of being a Mad Men and taking the time to think, like Don Draper, about a concept. But times have changed and now we have a multitude of ways to communicate. We have to move fast and occupy the field quickly.

 

The communication plan allows you to set up a relevant strategy to get your message across. Your product must solve your users' problem. You need to talk to them individually. Each customer segment reacts differently to the message you send them. You must adapt to your customer.

 

Depending on your product, you can communicate on traditional media but you can also do events, public relations or digital. To do this, we will have to develop our sales promise and then our message.

Thanks to our market research and our business plan, we already have some of the necessary information. To finalize our research, we will need to know how our customers feel about our product. We will, for example, collect their verbatim.

A communication budget must be established

Once we have all the data we need, we need to develop the strategy. How and where will we communicate? This will depend on our budget and the access points we can put in place. For example, it is impossible to get the best advertising spots in certain magazines. They are allocated year after year to the same advertisers.

The visibility of our product, brand or company is something to put in our priorities as an entrepreneur. From the beginning of our project, we must establish an annual budget dedicated to communication. It will be necessary to find out the percentage that is generally common in our sector of activity. This can range from 10% to 50% or even more. Taking this aspect lightly can be costly. There is a correlation between the share of voice (the number of visible ads) and the market share. This means that as your market share increases, you will allocate a higher share of exposure to maintain your competitive advantage. In addition, in the opposite direction, if you want to gain more market share, you will need to increase your advertising budget.

An invisible company is a dying company. However, in rare cases, a company can stop communicating to refocus its offer or image. This is the case when we lose market share while we increase our share of voice.

 

Entrepreneurship, an exciting adventure

With these five steps to building a solid business, you will be armed to face the tough times that every entrepreneur faces. Like a lone sailor, you will have a compass and a map to guide you to your destination.

Knowing the different aspects of starting a business is crucial to being able to navigate correctly but also to be able to talk with service providers with full understanding. Just as you will need to have knowledge of accounting, personnel management or your core business, you will need to continually train in various skills to stay on top of your game.

Some people learn alongside a mentor through an apprenticeship or diversified career path, others through education. It is up to each individual to find the path that works best for them.

Either way, entrepreneurship is an exciting journey. We are always happy to hear from entrepreneurs about their journeys and advice. Leave us your stories in the comments if you are an entrepreneur who wants to share your experience. In addition, for those who want to be one, ask your questions, there will always be someone to answer them.

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