Recently a member of my sales team had a conversation with a prospective client about attending our CEO Circle workshop. The prospective client mentioned that they were struggling to know what direction they should take with their business. They didn’t know exactly what they wanted to do, what their programs would look like, or even what the name of the company was going to be.
My team member asked what advice I would give and here’s my answer, “Let her know that this is the easy part of business, and she should not proceed any farther until this is figured out.”
It may sound harsh, but you’d be amazed the number of entrepreneurs I’ve met who have spent years in what I call, the Wantpreneur phase. They want to be a business owner, so they attend seminars, workshops and webinars. They bounce around different business ideas without ever really launching any of them. I meet them at one conference and they are doing one business. The next year, when I return, they are doing something completely different, and 6 months later, they are onto something else.
If this sounds like you, someone who looks like you, or maybe just someone you know, please, do yourself a favor and move past the Wantpreneur phase and into the startup phase of business.
Here are 5 steps to help you find the right business opportunity.
- Determine which type of business opportunity you are looking for. Which of the following statements rings true for you?
- I want more flexibility, to set my own schedule and to earn more per hour than I would at a job. Consider Independent Contractor work. You can take your skill set and find a handful of clients to work with. Your business will be simple to run, and it will feel more like having a job where you are the boss. Earnings will be similar to what you would make working for another company.
- I want to maximize my earnings, while working a smaller amount of hours. I have other things in life I’m passionate about, and want the cash to follow my dreams. Network Marketing is probably going to be your best bet. And I’m not talking about dabbling in some jars or creams. I’m talking about really researching to find a product you love, a compensation plan that’s good, and a corporate culture that you are committed to. Then get to work! Work 20-30 hours a week for the first couple of years and you can set yourself up for financial independence that lasts a lifetime.
- I want to turn my life’s mission into a business. Now you are looking at starting a hybrid business. It will have elements of traditional, elements of online, and new outside the box strategies. These types of folks tend to start expert or service businesses.
- I want to create a company that will become a household name and can be passed down to my grandchildren, and great grandchildren. You are looking to start a traditional business structure. It’s critical to make sure that everything you create will work without you! Be cautious of service businesses. They are more apt to cap out at an earlier growth point.
- Forget about the “Do what you love and the money will follow” mantra. I love watching everything BBC, gardening, writing in my journal, painting, and spending time with my kids. No one pays me to do those things! Instead, you need to find a business opportunity that fills a need in a specific population.
- Separate out service opportunities and business opportunities. I am passionate about helping women in developing nations. I’m passionate about ending early sexualization of girls. I’m passionate about ending child abuse. All of those are service opportunities for me because those populations do not have the money or purchasing power to pay me. I met a woman who had spent 3 years trying to launch a business helping homeless women vets. It is a very worthwhile cause. It is a poor business concept. If she pursues it as a business, she will likely experience frustration, disappointment and feelings of failure. If she pursues it as a service, she will be more likely to feel like she is making a difference.
- Choose a business opportunity that is scalable. I met a woman who made a custom craft and she wanted to expand the business. The craft cost her $7 to produce, and it retailed for $15. It took 20 minutes to hand craft. She enjoyed the crafting process. She and her clients loved the finished product. BUT, when she came to me wanting to grow the business, I didn’t have the advice she was looking for. That business was simply not scalable. She either had to automate the production by getting the cost of materials way down so she could hire labor. Or she had to dramatically increase the cost of the product so that she could make a lot of money on each unit sold. The problem was, she only had a certain amount of hours in her day, so there was a limit to her ability to produce. As you select your business opportunity, make sure you are thinking, “How would this produce 10K a month? How would this produce $50K a month? How would this produce millions of dollars a year?” If there is no way to create it, then it’s time to find a better business opportunity.
- Quit Dabbling and get into startup. At some point, you are going to just have to jump in and get started! All companies learn, grow and evolve with time. Mine has. Yours will. Let go of the idea of getting all of your ducks perfectly in a row before you launch. Instead, make sure you have a good idea, that people are wanting, and that has the ability to grow. Then start building the foundation of your company! I guarantee you’ll make adjustments as you go! It’s healthy and normal. Startup is an intense phase of business growth! There is no easy way around it. You simply have to go through it. And you don’t get past it without paying the price. It also works better if you jump in full force rather than dipping your toe in! Do yourself and your business a favor. Get serious today!
Business ownership and marriage are similar in that they are wonderful when done right. Just like the wrong partner can turn into a disaster quickly in marriage, the wrong business opportunity can spell disaster for your entrepreneurial dream!
And remember, deciding what you are going to do is the easy part! Figuring out how to make it work is where the real challenge begins!