In the world of social media, we are surrounded by images of self-made business people. These range from Instagram models sponsored by fashion products, through cafe owners posting their food-creations to their blog, to local handymen advertising their services on Facebook. Wherever we look and whatever social media platforms we use, one thing is sure – digital entrepreneurs are everywhere. So what’s this new phenomenon?
As American author Erik Qualman has very smartly put it:
“We don’t have a choice on whether we do social media, the question is how well we do it?”
In 2018, businesses no longer exist outside of the digital space. Social media, more than anything else, has overtaken lead-generation. It is on Instagram that we come across hairdressers, designers, car servicers; on Facebook that we get invited to like a new restaurant’s page or a hobby-turned-business idea; on LinkedIn that we connect with those in similar industries to us. And as the scene has changed, so have entrepreneurs.
In order to succeed, the entrepreneurial-minded now must adapt to the ever-changing online environment and take advantage of the endless avenues of digital marketing available to them. They must be tech-savvy. This emerging new market, formed, advertised, and sold on social media, requires a new approach. And those who have it are raking in the rewards!
It is no wonder that being an entrepreneur today looks more and more appealing. But becoming your own (successful) boss isn’t always as quick as one would hope – it’s a journey filled with ups and downs, excitement and disappointment, but one that can definitely lead to results. So how do you become your own boss, you might ask. Let us help you go from employee to entrepreneur!
First thing’s first – what’s your market?
Like any entrepreneur, you have an idea. However, not every idea can be turned into a successful product. As a new entrepreneur, you have to make sure that there is a market out there before you start investing all your life-savings. Remember, competition is good, but it’s best to offer something that no one else has. Conducting market research can help you figure out what exactly your target audience needs. In 2018, this won’t be hard at all – you can easily create surveys on Facebook or polls on Twitter. Whether it is a new take on an old product or something previously unheard of, make sure that people will want to buy it.
Plan your business strategy.
It doesn’t have to be perfect or extremely detailed. As with any other job, you learn a lot as you go. However, having a plan and a strategy will help you keep on top of things both initially and in the long run. Where do you want your business to be in a month, a year, or 5 years? Write down your goals and formulate short-term plans on how to achieve them. Come back to these once you’re on track and optimise them according to data that you collect. It is important to regularly and relentlessly revise your plan and strategy, so you’re not doing anything ineffective. Besides, there is no better feeling than ticking these off as you go!
Perfection kills progress.
Once you have your target audience in mind and a business plan, you can begin your entrepreneurial journey. The best advice we can give is this – don’t sweat the small stuff! There are a lot of entrepreneurs out there whose only regret is not starting their business earlier. Don’t be one of them! If you wait around until everything is perfectly in place, you might have waited too long. Start today! You can always upscale and grow as you go.
Positivity over negativity.
One of the biggest challenges you will face as the head of your own business is motivation. Being an entrepreneur does not provide you with a fixed income regardless of the company’s success – however, it can give you something even greater! If you’re truly passionate about your business, success will be measured not just in financial outcomes, but also in a sense of fulfilment. Make sure you face challenges with an open mind to learning. Negativity can blind you to positive opportunities. Like in everything else in life, there will be ups and downs – what matters is how you go on after facing obstacles. Seek out opportunities and success will follow.
Marketing marketing marketing!
As we have mentioned before, we are now in the era of digital marketing across all online platforms. People need to hear about you and you need to get your product out there. This is where marketing comes in. Entrusting your marketing management to a good agency can do wonders for your business – however, make sure you understand what exactly your business needs and how to achieve this. Bigger marketing agencies often use blanket strategies – they might help some businesses, but not necessarily all of them. Do your own research! Use your social media channels to follow the sales funnel stages and be smart about where you put your money.
Surround yourself with the right people.
Once your entrepreneurial business is up and running, there are a lot of great advantages. As your own boss, you get to decide who you work with. Make sure you understand who can bring valuable assets to your business and lead them in the right direction. It is best practice to avoid working with or for friends – mixing business and friendship can often end badly. Instead, find people who share your passion and grow with them. Formulate network connections on LinkedIn or other social media platforms. Engage with other leaders in the industry and get your (or your business’s) name out there by interacting with those who share your interests.
Becoming an entrepreneur today is increasingly easier – however, becoming a successful entrepreneur requires an understanding of how people come across, choose, and consume products and services. Anyone can quit their jobs, but not anyone can become their own boss. If you have passion, patience, and – most importantly – perseverance, then you only need one more thing: the right marketing!