Do you want to become an entrepreneur but don’t have a business idea? Keep reading as we share a complete guide to becoming an entrepreneur from scratch.
Newton’s second law of motion says that you need more force to move a static object than to move an object in momentum.
Starting a business follows the same principle. Becoming an entrepreneur from scratch is much more effort and time-intensive than augmenting an already successful business that shows massive growth potential.
However, there is a large population of individuals that believe they need to come up with revolutionary ideas to become an entrepreneur.
So, what’s the truth? Do you really need an idea to become a successful entrepreneur? In this guide, we will try to answer the question and share the steps to becoming an entrepreneur from scratch. Let’s get started!
Can you become an entrepreneur without a business?
Revolutionary ideas are amazing. If they come originally from your head, voila! But, that isn’t everything when it comes to entrepreneurship.
While having an original idea is great, the idea won’t alone render you a successful entrepreneur. Did you know that of small businesses launched in 2014, 44 percent of the companies failed to survive just four years in!
If an idea was the only qualification for becoming a successful entrepreneur, the success rate of small businesses won’t plummet this severely.
Here’s what you need to understand: ideas, investor capital, or selling equity does not create successful entrepreneurs.
What does is their ability to run businesses. Now, the question that arises is — “Do I need to have a business to be called an entrepreneur?”
As we mentioned earlier, it’s your ability to run businesses that makes you an entrepreneur. But, you don’t necessarily have to own businesses to prove your mettle.
You can own other people’s businesses or accompany them — inspiring a broader definition of how entrepreneurship can benefit their businesses.
How can you own businesses if you lack ideas? Here are a few acquisition entrepreneurial habits worth your consideration:
You must know what is going on in a particular industry. Every industry goes through trends and it is okay to ask if you feel one with them.
Once you figure out the trends that are worth working on, check if the companies available for sale have the potential to make use of the trend.
You must inculcate an insightful ability to capitalize on trends and not worry too much about the business idea. Make sure you use Google Trends to know what’s happening on the streets!
Browse through companies that are for sale. What should you be looking for? We highly recommend seeking inherent growth opportunities in the business model.
The idea is to figure out whether or not you can take the business to the next level. The more you go through such companies, the better you get at judging their current stand and future performance.
You should aim at looking beyond the present market and see how you can scale the company’s operations in the future.
For example, you should pen down different ways you can make the company penetrate a different market and diversify its portfolio.
Self-awareness is key to entrepreneurship.
We suggest you spend time acknowledging your strengths and weaknesses as it will help you determine whether or not you can leverage a growth potential with your current experience and background.
Bet on your strengths and don’t let your weaknesses make the decisions for you.
What are the steps to becoming an entrepreneur without an idea?
1. Find an idea
While you can always build a business around anything and still be successful, it is crucial that you find and work towards an idea that you are passionate about.
But passion isn’t going to cut it. You must choose an industry in which you have some experience. Most importantly, you must be willing to put in the effort to build a business around the idea.
Don’t mistake our advice for ‘finding your passion.’ This is because passion is subjective and finding it might take you forever.
Instead, we suggest building a business around an idea that you believe can deliver if you worked on it. Moreover, you should be willing to build a business that attracts equally passionate people.
Eliminate all distractions and focus for 15-20 minutes every day to come up with a list of business ideas. Pen down the ideas and shortlist them in order of the idea that you’d want to work on first.
Indeed, you might not find your big idea in the first attempt.
But, you should not quit this practice. This exercise will boost creativity and help come up with better ideas with time.
The next step we recommend for entrepreneurs that have no business idea is getting inspired through books.
There are several books in the market that will provide tremendous information and lessons about starting a business. Not just that, such books do an excellent job of inspiring the budding entrepreneur in all of us.
Books like The Lean Startup by Eric Reis, Body of Work by Pam Slim, Purple Cow by Seth Godin, and others are a good start.
Such books might not excite or wow you. But, these tend to have the information you will be looking for in your entrepreneurial journey. Get the required inspiration and knowledge and move on to the next book.
However, you’d not want to overdo the reading part. Believe us, reading is an excellent habit unless it takes you down a rabbit hole.
Remember, you are here to start a business — not to cultivate a reading habit. A couple of weeks to go through the books is more than enough.
We already discussed the importance of self-awareness in building a business from scratch. It’s critical that you acknowledge your strengths and weaknesses.
But more important than that is eliminating the self-doubt that kicks in when you face the unknown. Entrepreneurship is essentially trodding through the unknown territory without losing motivation.
Self-doubt can fog your brain with defeating thoughts and might even make you quit. It’s these times that you should remind yourself that self-doubt is normal.
Why? Everyone faces self-doubt when doing anything challenging in life. However, the more you try challenging stuff in life, the easier it becomes to deal with self-doubt.
The feeling of self-doubt disappears once you put something out there.
Now’s the time to make a push towards launching your business.
First thing first, you will have to identify your market. In other words, you need to find your potential customers.
Identifying your potential customers or target audience might be a daunting task if you don’t already have an email list or social media following. So, accept the fact that finding and building an audience will take time.
However, there are certain tactics you may use to find your potential customers when starting a business from scratch. First, connect with people nearby, i.e., your friends and family.
You want to be sending them personalized emails from your business domain quoting that you don’t want to sell anything but want their support to find potential customers to get some feedback.
Second, look for forums and blogs on the internet about your business.
See if you can find the right demographic and buyer persona from there. Lastly, try sharing information related to your business online that your potential customers can see.
The information shared on forums, blogs, social media channels, and local events can attract your audience.
Now that you know your potential customers’ buyer persona, it’s time to indulge in a conversation with your target market, like literally.
Entrepreneurs should understand the market by connecting with it personally.
Focus groups do an excellent job at helping entrepreneurs learn about the market.
Regardless of your strategy, you should focus on asking more and more questions to the target market and practice active listening.
Talk to your potential customers without trying to sell them anything. However, the questions and topics you converse upon should help you gauge their willingness to convert.
Use this opportunity to shortlist their pain points. Once you have all the information, try connecting the dots and identify patterns that will help your business build better business-customer relationships.
Now’s the time to pull the trigger and start building your product or service. Don’t go all out and build an actual product you’d want to sell. Instead, focus on building a prototype — a conceptual product that showcases what your business intends to do.
The prototype will help get better funding.
You might not even have money to start the basic online marketing campaigns on social media channels. Don’t worry, use email marketing.
Emails are quite personal and if sent consistently, can help you develop trust and strong business-customer relationships.
That’s how we recommend you start marketing.
The idea is to start with the simplest version of your business and product and get more and more people to use it. Start small and build momentum.
No matter how tempting it is, resist the urge of growing too fast — at least in the beginning. You might want to get everything (marketing, promotions, products, customers, and more) quickly.
And if that doesn’t happen, you’ll begin questioning your potential. Let the media appearances rest for a while. Your business isn’t established enough to deal with the media.
Instead, focus entirely on shaping your business for your first customers.
Here’s what you should aim for – create such a stunning experience for the first customers that they bring you more customers.
Double down on leveraging word-of-mouth marketing. Create something that your customers would want to talk about.
Lastly, be there for your customers as, without them, your business doesn’t exist. Remember, entrepreneurship is essentially about creating value for the market.
If you can’t do that effectively, then you should drop everything you are doing and go back to your 9-to-5.
Put customers on a pedestal.
Serve them like your life depends on it. Care about your customers and create immense value for them. Solve their problems and help them improve their lives with your products and services.
If you don’t believe in serving, then you should probably drop the idea of starting a business.
So, what are you waiting for? Entrepreneurship is a challenge we recommend to everyone at least once in their lifetime.
Believe it or not, it has never been easier to start a business. The simple trick to becoming a successful entrepreneur is to ‘just get started.’
Struggles are a crucial part of entrepreneurship because overcoming them automatically helps your enterprise grow.
So, don’t fight the unknown. Embrace it and absorb the learning in your entrepreneurial journey. Did you find the post helpful? Don’t forget to check out other informative posts on the blog!