Written by Georganne Hassell, WISE Public Relations Specialist
The journey of an entrepreneur is undoubtedly filled with unpredictability. With only one constant being change, entrepreneurs learn key skills like planning, resiliency, and adaptability just to make day-to-day life run smoothly. Cultivate these early on, and utilize experience to start strong and build a career that fuels your passion.
Beginning a business might seem overwhelming at first, but by breaking it down into manageable steps, the task becomes much easier.
The reality of entrepreneur life is that while there are some unique advantages and skills gained through all that unpredictability, there are also limitations that should be considered when deciding on what kind of business to start.
“Portability is an important factor to consider for entrepreneurs,” says Laura Early, Deputy Director of WISE Advise + Assist Team. “Businesses that require significant stock or real estate space may be challenging to maintain over the long term.”
That’s not to say selling goods isn’t feasible, but it needs to be carefully planned and executed. Instead of renting a storefront, opt for an e-commerce store. A smaller, tailored selection of products will keep stock to a manageable and movable amount. Another route is to think of what will always be in demand, no matter the season of life.
Step 1: Custom Signs
For example, local businesses will always need signs and custom designs (think of all those social distancing signs now).
Step 2: Dropshipping
For those who aren’t planning to manufacture their wares or don’t have a collection they are ready to sell, consider dropshipping, which offers low overhead.
**Selling goods is just one way to be an entrepreneur. Brainstorming for your new business should take into account easy entry ideas. Selling items in person or online isn’t the right fit for everyone. What skills do you already have? Is there a fit for leveraging them in a remote market? Start there.
Instead of buying or making goods to resell, or competing in the dropshipping market, consider a low capital choice that already plays to your strengths or interests.
Step 3: Remote Transaction Management
For example, real estate experience can be transformed into a business that deals with remote transaction management. This kind of work allows for work across borders and has the added bonus of having a work-from-home option, which is becoming more important than ever.
Step 4: Second Language Services
Leverage language knowledge. For those who speak more than one language, translation or language classes might be seen as the obvious choice. But the WISE founders push the idea further into a different market.
Consider creating an SEO business that helps companies trying to gain customers in the target language market. This might require some education and development in the SEO realm, but the payoff for finding and filling a niche is worth it.
As entrepreneurs, there is always learning involved, but knowing where your strengths, skills and opportunities intersect is crucial to find a business that will be sustainable throughout your life.
Step 5: Service-Based Business
Making a break into business can be time-consuming, so the services side could be just the right fit. By offering services, especially virtually focused ones like graphic design, entrepreneurs have the ability to quickly get started. The investment can be minimal, often with just software fees, and the return can be immediate.
Think about what others need help with in their own lives and businesses.
Virtual assisting is a growing field, and utilizing current personal connections can help break into that business quickly.
Technical services is another low-cost, portable fit for military spouse entrepreneurs. Learning to code opens the tech doors, and there are free coding bootcamps to get started. From there, building websites or advancing tech skills to code programs can launch a business, all from just a laptop.
WISE co-founders agree that creating their business together came with challenges, but that they relied on their ability to innovate to make it work. Finding the right roles for their strengths and developing a strong team has helped keep their virtual assisting agency a success, even through the pandemic.
“Entrepreneurship is such a rewarding experience,” says Laura Early. “Any entrepreneur who wants to give it a go, should. They just need to do what they’ve always done to take care of their family: plan and adapt.”
Ready to get your business started and off the ground? Work with WISE Business Advisors to get off on the right foot.