The last two years have been really special – many people lost their jobs, other people had way different working conditions than before… Some people have even decided that they want to switch careers or become an entrepreneur and ‘be their own boss’. If you’re one of those people, it might seem scary. But in this article we’ll give you three great tips so you can start working towards being an entrepreneur!
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Tip 1: Have a solid business plan for your first year (and more!)
It’s the number one business rule: don’t become an entrepreneur without a solid plan. You need to know and write down a plan for the following months that shows your goals and ambitions.
Make sure you know what makes your business unique and how much money you need to earn to break even. And if that’s not the case – how much money and time you’re willing to invest to make your business work. It’s a great idea to also think about the things that could go wrong and write them out. What will you do if you can’t ‘close’ deals? What will you do when you’re making less or more money than you planned?
There’s a lot you need to think about. If you’ve never made a business plan before, this can seem daunting. Luckily, there is a lot of information to be found in business books and online. And if you know any entrepreneurs with booming businesses, you can always ask them to coach you a bit.
Tip 2: Know your strengths and weaknesses
It’s also very important to really, really know yourself inside and out. It can be a good idea to make a list of things you’re good at and things you’re not great at.
This can be difficult, but it’s important! For instance, maybe you’re a great salesperson, always ready to smooth-talk someone into signing up for your products or services. But once you have their signature, you hate the paperwork… That’s ok! Knowing yourself means you can make good decisions about which services to outsource. In this example you could opt to have a part time office manager or you could hire an accountant.
No one can be good at everything. Often, if you want to make your business grow, it’s even a good idea to outsource some things so you can focus more on what’s really important. For instance you can outsource your marketing posts, your accountancy, your customer service … Another service you can outsource is the work a debt collection agency (Dutch: incassobureau) does. Sadly enough, sooner or later you’ll have a debtor that won’t pay your invoice. You can call and email them numerous times, but there’s a big chance you’ll be ignored and it will stress you out. Leave it to the professionals! Your debt collection agency knows just what to do. E.g. seize assets (Dutch: beslag leggen).
Tip 3: Don’t forget yourself!
We’re super excited for you and your business and we hope you are too. But we want you to know it’s important to take some time for yourself too – don’t work 24/7, even though it’s tempting in the beginning, especially when you’re struggling to make ends meet. Your mental health is also very important, so don’t forget to eat dinner with your family every once in a while, to take a walk now and then and sleep enough. Your brain will thank you.