Due to the continued and steady decline of the job market in America, many people have tried dabbling their feet in the entrepreneurship waters.
According to a survey carried out by the Young Entrepreneurship Council in Association with Buzz Marketing Group, more than 36% of the featured respondents were involved in a side business of some sort to supplement their employment income. The survey featured respondents aged between 16 and 39 years.
There are many side businesses you can engage in – tutoring, web design and development, graphic design, freelance work in various fields, starting a web marketing firm, EBay, Etsy and other ecommerce stores among others. People of all age groups are embracing entrepreneurship, either as side hustles or as their main source of income.
According to a difference survey carried out by MetLife, which sought to establish what the respondents were engaged in to improve financial security and boost income over 17% of the generation X respondents (30s and 40s) as well as over 12% of baby boomers (50s and 60s) dabbled in supplementary freelance work.
The reasons for venturing into entrepreneurship are as varied as the ages represented. Those in their 20s find themselves unemployed, underpaid or underemployed, and therefore look for something which will fully maximize their potential and education.
The Generation X-ers are looking to boost their income after wage stagnation amid growing family and household responsibilities. The baby boomers on the other hand have probably seen their assets and savings decline over their earlier working life, and so are trying to rebuild their savings and investments to ensure they are secure enough in their golden years post-retirement.
In every age bracket however, entrepreneurship also offers practitioners a chance to build new skills, raise their level of satisfaction and build a sense of confidence in themselves as well as build new contacts, even apart from the financial motivation.
However, if you are to succeed in entrepreneurship, there are traits that you must have, which will prove helpful in your journey towards financial independence. Most entrepreneurs that have succeeded have had them to an extent, and as a budding entrepreneur, you must work hard to ensure you’re developing the right skill-set to make your journey easier. They are given below:
1. Know your motivation
Whether you just lost your job and need money, or you just need to have an outlet for your creative skills and other proficiencies, you must know exactly why you’re getting into entrepreneurship in the first place. Especially if you have a day job and a family on top of that, making time your side hustle will be quite the challenge, and if you don’t know why you started to begin with it can be easy to give up.
A side business can provide a valuable safety net for you in these difficult financial times. By having that ‘major’ turning point or motivating factor, you can build the tenacity needed to succeed.
2. Stick to what you know
Even if you heard that a line of business is very lucrative and businesses there are doing well, first consider what you like and what you know, and how you can turn those into money-makers. When your business feeds off of your interests, passions, talents and skills, your journey to success will be much easier than venturing into a completely new field.
3. Reduce your outflows
Whether in the business, at home or in your personal life, minimize your expenses to the very basics. Successful small business owners are those who devote themselves towards repaying any debts as early as possible and then work to build an emergency cushion for the business.
This way you can run the business without having to worry about money for a while, but you’ll require great discipline to pull it off. Ensure your financial plan is in order before venturing into your business.
4. Build networks
Build networks physically or over the Internet. Successful entrepreneurs heavily rely on their networks built among people of like minds. Instead of alienating them as competitors, embrace them as your friends and mentors and learn from them, since they have a lot they can teach you.
5. Shamelessly evangelize
Use every avenue to shamelessly push your brand, products and services. You can use social media, marketing software or any other grass-roots marketing strategy. To buy from you, people need to be made aware of what you sell. Frequently promote yourself, whether you’re exchanging stories with your seatmate in a bus or speaking out on Facebook. And make sure your products will make customers come back for more.
6. Manage your time
Again, you must have a schedule of time to devote to the business amid all other responsibilities – your day job, family, and relationship responsibilities. It’s not easy, and it requires a lot of discipline, but it’s definitely do-able. You’ll wake up before anyone else, any mornings and stay up long after the world around you goes to sleep, but you must have exclusive time devoted to your business.
7. Build resilience
Starting any business is an uphill task: few customers, little revenue, obscurity, bad reviews and other negative experiences. These are all part of the entrepreneurship journey. Nurture serenity and strength to help you accept downfall graciously and press on despite trials.
8. Support other businesses
As your business and abilities grow, support other small businesses by outsourcing some of your tasks. This will also free up some of your time buy reducing the things you need to do yourself. Research and find reliable service providers, and give them your business.
9. It goes beyond the money
Aside from the money motive, do you derive a sense of meaningful satisfaction and fulfillment from your business venture? Sure, the extra money is nice to have, but it should just be icing on top of the cake: the fact that you really enjoy what you’re doing and you want it to succeed.
Daniel Mattei is a web Marketing Specialist at Dynamic Search with a love for film-making, content marketing, and photography. He lives with his wife and Pomeranian, Couscous, in Phoenix, Arizona. You can also follow him on Twitter.