Entrepreneurship is a goal that many people have. Some of the richest people on earth were at one point small-time entrepreneurs who came up with an idea that filled a need that many people did not even know they had. Mark Zuckerberg and Richard Branson are prominent examples. A couple of the biggest fears that would-be entrepreneurs have are a lack of money and a lack of experience. However, these are not insurmountable obstacles to becoming an entrepreneur.
Find a Need
There are many little annoyances in life. All that’s needed to become a successful entrepreneur is to figure out what these annoyances are and then figure out a way to deal with them successfully. Henry Ford brought mass production to the automobile industry and brought the cost of a new car down substantially. Most solutions will not be so expensive for consumers. Facebook was an innovative social media platform, and it still costs its members nothing to join.
Validate Your Product
One of the best steps to take to know if an idea will have a market is validation. This involves testing a product or service and getting feedback from prospective customers. There might be a need for tweaking the concept a bit, or there might be a need to market a new product or service to another market demographic that responded more favorably. There is no need to go into mass production until going through the validation process. Unless a prototype is prohibitively expensive, there may be little need for raising much funding at this point.
Figure Out Financing
Once a product is validated, there may be some serious production costs involved with scaling up an entrepreneurial pursuit. This is the point at which financing may be necessary. Those who have a credit card or two might be able to finance relatively small expenses through credit. Those who have bigger expenses might want to go for outside financing. This could come through a crowdfunding site. It could also come from pitching the idea to angel investors or venture capitalists. The latter idea could mean giving up some equity in a new corporation or a royalty payment for each product sold. The final option for financing a new pursuit with no money or experience is old-fashioned bootstrapping.
This could involve periodic infusions of cash from a day job or from the income that comes from selling the product or service. Bootstrapping will cost little in the way of interest payments or equity, but it can take more time to scale a business using this method of financing. Regardless, it’s not necessary to have a massive stash of cash to become an entrepreneur. All it takes is a dream and an effective solution to a common problem.
Originally published at http://danielmarcinko.com.