There are many approaches to entrepreneurship — purchasing a franchise, acquiring an established company, freelancing as an independent contractor or starting a brand new venture of your own. Each model has its own unique set of benefits and challenges. It’s a big step to migrate from being part of a crew to captaining the ship.
It can be lonely at the helm
I’ve helped a number of clients navigate the transition from a corporate career to entrepreneurship. In fact, I did the same myself back in 2010.
Buoyed by creative energy and enthusiasm, it’s common to plunge in without cognizance of the enormity of going it alone — at least initially, when everything from business development and managing the books to providing the actual service of your business falls directly in your lap. Even for those who instigate the change thoughtfully and deliberately, the scale and scope of launching a business are surprisingly complex.
Fair weather captains need not apply
Beyond the myriad launch activities, there’s a staggering amount of deliberating, reflection and analysis that need to happen to develop a viable business model.
Like the ship’s captain, you must plot your route, meticulously considering the changing currents, shoals and tides. For your new business, that means translating your knowledge and abilities into services that solve problems for your target clients.
How well you execute on that challenge will predict whether your new venture will thrive or putter along.
Your vision for the business enables you to see its future. But to gain the confidence of prospects, you must show that you not only understand their pain points, but can provide informed guidance to address them. A website’s services pages are some of the most important and highly viewed content. Your offerings must be clearly articulated, compelling and credible.
If you’re selling products like sporting equipment, jewelry or home decor, it’s reasonably pretty straightforward. But when your product is your expertise, the story gets more complex.
A penny for your … brain
Sure, you can offer general consulting services at an hourly rate. But by packaging your expertise into “products” — or productizing your service — you offer prospective clients a more tangible asset, helping them to recognize their needs and propelling them to take action.
- An attorney can provide legal expertise — or create a will.
- An IT expert can help with computer-related challenges or provide a monthly security check that monitors for and remedies the top 10 security-related issues.
- A nutritionist can consult with you about healthier eating — or offer a 7 step diet evaluation and reboot.
Is it marketing-speak? Sure, maybe. But when a prospect is frustrated, anxious or overwhelmed, he may not be able to express his precise needs. By developing products that clearly convey your understanding of your future client, you earn his confidence and trust. And that’s the first step in navigating the route to success.
Need help plotting your course? Contact us.