Becoming an entrepreneur seems like an attractive option to many people at some point in their lives, especially if they don’t feel like they’re cut out for the standard corporate lifestyle. Many want to work at their own pace or do something that has more meaning in their community. Going into business for yourself certainly offers a great amount of freedom, but with it comes increased responsibility and uncertainty. Working your own hours doesn’t mean you’ll work fewer of them—quite the contrary. The entrepreneur’s lifestyle involves long work hours, careful planning, and responsible budgeting and spending.
It’s a well-known statistic that, in the U.S., roughly 20% of businesses fail in their first year, and only half of them survive their first five. If you want to keep your business from becoming part of these statistics, you’ll need to work smart and hard. Here are some important tips to increase your odds of success.
1. Learn project management skills.
As an aspiring business owner, you’ll need to become a project management professional (PMP). After all, what is your business if not likely the largest and most important project you’ve ever undertaken? Fortunately, the Project Management Institute (PMI) offers everything you’ll need in their Project Management Body of Knowledge. The PMBOK is a process-based guide that teaches you the basics of each process group involved in project management: initiating, planning, executing, monitoring or controlling, and closing.
Prove your mastery of the knowledge by taking a PMP certification online. This PMP certification training course includes nine education modules and four practice PMP exams to ensure you can pass the real exam and get your PMP certificate. PMP certification is recognized internationally and is considered one of the overall best certifications you can have. Mastering these concepts will provide you with knowledge that you can apply across your entire entrepreneurial adventure.
2. Find investors.
A lack of capital is the primary reason businesses fail, but being backed by investors will offer you a financial safety net. If you don’t know where to start looking, you can ask a financial advisor about angel investors and whether they can connect you with any. Be sure you have a compelling story and a solid business plan for your pitch that explains what you’re doing, why and how you’re doing it, and how your potential investors stand to profit.
3. Build authority.
Every business owner knows the importance of building trust with their prospective clients, and one of the best ways you can do this is by becoming an authority in your niche. Make original content like blog posts and videos, and post them on sites you know your intended audience frequents. Show them how your business can solve their problems, and they’ll be willing to come to you and spread the word.
4. Accept the possibility of failure.
One of the best traits an entrepreneur can have is humility. The odds of your first business attempt succeeding aren’t high, but that shouldn’t scare you away from pursuing a business opportunity. You need to be comfortable with the idea of failing because you will certainly encounter some bumps on the road. Maybe the business doesn’t go under, but you fail to hire the right people on your first attempt, or maybe your first pitch to investors doesn’t go well. No matter what happens, the important thing is to learn from your mistakes and keep going.
5. Consider a franchise.
It may seem like you’re largely going it alone as an entrepreneur, but the good news is it doesn’t have to be that way. Search “franchises for sale near me” to see if you can become a franchise owner. Affordable franchises are a great way to get into business ownership without assuming all the risk of an unproven idea. Franchise owners work for brands that are already recognized and have an established customer base. Franchisees also receive business assistance throughout their journey with the company and tend to have a relatively low failure rate. This isn’t to say that running a franchise is easy, but for an experienced project manager, it may be the best way to get started.