Many of the most renowned entrepreneurs started out with no idea what they were doing. Bill Gates was just a college dropout playing with electronics in a garage. Mark Cuban wasn’t much different. Colonel Sanders was a directionless dreamer who started selling roadside fried chicken.
You don’t need to have it all figured out to start a business. What you really need is motivation, intuition, and dedication. If you truly have all that — and a decent business model — then the rest may just figure itself out.
And the news just keeps getting better: In our modern digital world, so many opportunities exist online and this makes launching a new venture less risky and overwhelming than ever before. Because you don’t necessarily need a physical location — and all the associated overhead. You can bring your idea along at whatever speed fits your lifestyle.
For some, that means jumping in whole hog, working 20-hour days for the next year, and putting their life savings on the line. For others, becoming an entrepreneur means starting small with a side project on the weekend that they hope will turn a profit by year two.
Regardless of approach, the one thing that you need to do is set yourself up as a reputable, trust-worthy business rather than some fly-by-night operation that looks more like a pyramid scheme trying to scam people. The key is to clearly separate yourself, and fortunately the first steps can be done quite quickly. By following the three tips below, you will definitely position yourself on the right side of the line.
1. Be Visible
A company that is easy to find online and across social media isn’t necessarily credible. But nowadays, one that is hard to find is equally hard to trust. Don’t make potential customers play guessing games. Establish your brand’s digital presence through a proper, professional-looking website and set up a few key social media channels.
You don’t have to sign up for everything from YouTube and Reddit to Pinterest and LinkedIn. You should understand your space though and go where the people in your niche are. And at a minimum, it likely makes sense for almost any company to have a Facebook and Twitter profile, and you should look to experts in the field, like Sprout Social, for best practices on how to increase your visibility on different platforms.
2. Be Transparent
Across your website, social channels, sales materials, and other communications, you should always strive to let people know who you are and what you stand for. Some startups try to be coy about how they make money, where they are located, and what type of services or products they offer. This does nothing to drum up business and makes you look like you have something to hide.
Instead, understand why transparency is such a priority today and make sure you are easy to reach if any confusion arises. You want people to think about your company as an open book. Include easily accessible contact information on your website and be responsive to customer concerns. If people don’t understand who you are, they are going to start to wonder why. Or, even worse, they will just forego thinking about you at all — giving precious business to your fiercest competitor.
3. Be Knowledgeable
As mentioned, even Bill Gates didn’t know what he was doing on day one. If you don’t either, no problem! But you must work to get past the ignorance stage. Act like a sponge in the early days. If this “early state” takes years, that’s fine. But it will become easier and easier to be perceived as professional as you gain and project more knowledge.
Amway is one company that has served as a phenomenal resource and partner to help countless independent business owners get their feet wet. With a wide range of training and educational opportunities — as well as a proven platform to operate within that — the company not only creates entrepreneurs but true wealth for its top owners. And by providing all the facts and information about its business in a very transparent way, the company shows the world that it helps provide a true sales opportunity rather than being an Amway scam, which it has been called in the past.
Be an Entrepreneur
Nobody was born as a business owner. It will always be scary at first, and it will always require a burning desire to build something on your own. But don’t let excuses get in the way of your dream.
You can do this! And you can be in great shape quickly if you start off by establishing your business as one that can be trusted. Be visible by letting people find you easily. Be transparent so that nobody thinks you have something to hide. And be knowledgeable — not on day one, but increasingly over time as you prove your mettle.
If you get off on the right foot, those early wins will start to add up quickly. You will become more and more motivated by the day and start to forget the doubts that held you back. Then, one day, you will wake up and realize that you really are a business owner. And you will be able to work with the confidence and fulfillment that you — and you alone — created something out of nothing.