The perfect dream job for many is to be their own master and answer to no-one. No boss problems, colleague jealousies, and petty office politics is worth the risk of floating your own venture. Added to this is the new pandemic scenario, which has led to many losing their jobs and being made redundant. To fly solo and start on your won may become a necessity for many post-pandemic. Freelancing, becoming a contractor or consultant will be the future for many, and much of this will bank on how you increase your entrepreneur network.
Doing business on your own needs one to be innovative, organized, and diligent. It is better to start small in the beginning. Try to operate from a small space or home office. And once you find your feet then think of expanding and hiring staff etc.
Here are a few tips that will help create and grow your entrepreneur network.
Marketing + Networking
Entrepreneurs need to be good at marketing and networking. To garner business, you initially need to build a personal brand and equity especially if you are a freelancer or a consultant; you need to be more visible and build a portfolio that can be shown or accessed easily.
Use social media to connect to likely clients and update people of the activities. Become a part of forums and digital communities. Participate in digital events. Networking with known sources and people from within the community is also essential to know of likely leads to follow. Having a website, social media presence, etc. to distinguish yourself from the competition is imperative to stand out. Entrepreneurs need to have an active digital presence. People look for leads, source business needs etc. from the internet. It is the yellow pages of yore.
A marketing study says that 47 percent of revenue will be driven by digital marketing in 2020. Considering the post-pandemic scenarios and the social distancing norms that will be in vogue for a long time to come, going digital is the only answer. People will prefer to connect virtually whenever possible.
The proliferation of video conferencing apps and the widespread acceptance of doing business virtually will see this number going up sharply. On top of that, 56% of CEOs believe that improving their digital strategies boost profiles and grow their entrepreneur network.
Element of Risk
An entrepreneur needs to be a risk-taker. He/She needs to move out of their comfort zone. That means connecting and making your presence known to all in your business verticals and even laterally. Be organized, use enterprise tools to help you sort out your calendar, emails, social media presence and contacts.
If the business grows, outsource some of the tasks. If you are a writer and need some graphics, instead of doing it all, find someone who is in that field. You can collaborate and generate income for others this way, adding to the economy. Have a business plan in place. A well thought out business plan is almost 50 percent of the task done for new entrepreneurs. A well laid out plan helps you budget well, set goals, and even enables you to get financing.
Your business should be niche and sustainable. It should fill a gap in demand for a product or service. Being too niche or generalized limits your customer base. Your business takes off, and your revenue is steadily rising, which means the company is paying for itself and is a good thing. But is it making money? Instead of concentrating on the revenues, focus on profits. If the business is eating up all the money you are making, then it is not profitable.
It cannot be emphasized enough that everything is about building a customer base, sustaining the same, and expansion. Find unique ways of engaging with the customers. Event planning, promotions, and digital reach are marketing mantras that need to be followed.
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