FRIDAY JANUARY 19, 2018
 
Blog CAREER
BECOMING AN ENTREPRENEUR IN TORONTO
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Have you been waiting for the perfect time to share your invention with the world? Are you anxious to get away from the normal 9-to-5 schedule of the business world and instead work on something you love? Are you waiting to become your own boss?

As Canada continues to grow, prosper, and embrace technology, there’s no better time than now to start your own business. Canada has already become a technology empire in its own right, and entrepreneurship has the ability to prosper in our current economy. But how do you get started? 

Diving into the beginning stages of entrepreneurship doesn’t have to be difficult. Here are some guidelines to help you better understand where you can start and how successful you can become.

DISCOVER YOUR SELF-WORTH: TIME IS MONEY

For many entrepreneurs, the first step in opening their own business begins with a simple transition: understanding your worth. In the business world, especially, it’s far too easy to fall into the pattern of being a cog in the machine. Are you someone who works for others, or are you someone that works for yourself? 

Additionally, it can be easy to get swept up into the drive to make more money and to sacrifice our well-being to do so. Not everyone is satisfied with a normal 9-to-5 job, and side hustles are becoming increasingly common to help make ends meet.

Side hustles are projects that you can do on the side that can help you earn some extra money. Examples include being an Uber driver on the weekend, being a freelance writer for online magazines and blogs, to even buying, refurbishing, and reselling antiques on Etsy. There are plenty of platforms that exist that promote side-hustle businesses, and they can help you gain financial support or perfect your craft.

However, side hustles shouldn’t be taken so lightly. As one study with Earnest found out, most people who have a side-hustle make less than $500 a month from that side business. Additionally, reports have shown that working over 56 hours a week can be very detrimental to the body: covering all the bases of being mentally, physically, and emotionally exhausting. Side hustles, then, shouldn’t be used as a way to get extra money, but as a way to achieve a goal. Only you can decide what that goal is.

If you’re looking to become an entrepreneur, then perhaps that goal will be to secure a down payment for a loan to open your own business. Maybe it will be to perfect your art, build your resume, or to grow your network. When side hustling gets dangerous is when it simply feeds into your habits of overspending, and you’re spending money and time on not achieving your goal.

Your time is valuable, and the first step in becoming an entrepreneur is acknowledging how you can better harness your time to make money for yourself. If you’re ready to make the change, only you can see it through.

ESSENTIAL SKILLS FOR ENTREPRENEURSHIP

But hold up! Before you can quit your day job, it’s important to note that there are some essential skills you might need before you give up the corporate ghost. These skills will help you run a business, effectively execute any goals you set, and help you better understand how to creatively solve any problems. Some of the skills might seem like common sense, but it’s important to keep in mind how each skill will help every facet of your future business. Additionally, it’s vital to have the foresight to see how your current endeavors will help hone these skills.

Identify Business Gaps and Opportunities: No matter what industry you get into (or which industry you plan to invent), you’re going to need an eye for detail. Learn everything you need to about your competitors, from how they market to what they sell. Learn everything you can about past failures in the industry, and learn to identify any current gaps that you could capitalize on. There’s a lot more, but essentially it starts with some hard research. Plus, when you’re finally ready to build a business plan and ask for money, you’ll seem better prepared to lenders and banks.

Identify Your Audience and Their Needs: Additionally, you’ll need to learn everything you can about your audience and their needs. Who is your target consumer, and why are they wanting to purchase your item? What has market research revealed about your audience’s stresses, and how can you help relieve any of those pain points? Why does your competition not meet those needs?

Learn to Market Yourself and Your Product: Marketing is also an essential skill, especially in today’s economy. But marketing goes beyond the textbook definition (although that is important, too). Marketing is also networking: building up your personal network of colleagues so you can hire qualified individuals when your business is up and running or find angel investors if you need financial help. Create a personal network of support to help you through the hard times. Marketing is also learning to become a public speaker, creating a personal brand and being the model for that brand, and being a proud supporter of your creation and your team.

Be Creative: This one might be obvious, but to be a successful entrepreneur, you need to be creative. You have to find creative solutions to common problems. Be creative about your marketing and funding campaigns. Be creative about who you hire and who you promote in your company. Creativity is essential to making a product that stands out and is able to meet the needs of your customers. Creativity is also essential to ensure that your business can continue to grow after your initial launch. You have to keep creating, and keep building to be successful. Being an entrepreneur is a never-ending job, but it certainly is rewarding.

Face Adversity Head On: You will always have naysayers and critics, and that’s certainly something you need to be accustomed to. However, there will also be those that can provide real, genuine criticism, and you need to be prepared to receive it. Criticism is essential to self-growth and education, and being shut off to criticism will only hurt you in the long run. Don’t be afraid of any critics and embrace the criticism instead. Also, be excited to prove the naysayers wrong.

MAKING YOUR IDEA REALITY

There’s no time like the present to get into entrepreneurship. With our prosperous economy, growing access to technology, and expanding knowledge from around the world, there’s so many opportunities out there waiting for you.

No matter what your creative idea is — whether starting your own subscription service, opening your own healthcare office, or something more simple like selling your art — there are going to be people out there that are interested in what you have to offer. Refine your skills, put them into practice, and go out there and claim your time. If you build it they will come, and if you do a great job, then you may never have to work for someone else ever again. 

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