Prior to the Industrial Revolution’s rise of the corporations, the majority of people were self-employed. Now, we’re circling back as millions of workers have had a taste of freedom.
What’s causing this renewed interest in entrepreneurial ventures? Many people believe that the peak of the pandemic lockdown was the moment when they realized the importance of entrepreneurship. As they could work from home and spend more time with loved ones, people felt autonomous. They also had the ability to arrange their own schedules. Many are refusing to give up this new freedom and are resigning.
Perhaps you’re one of the many looking to follow your dreams. Remember that the road from “I quit” to successful entrepreneurial ventures is anything but straight, predictable, or easy. It is possible, especially when you partner with established business models, which provide resources and support.
Before we get into what a proven business model is and why it matters, it’s important to understand the scale of entrepreneurship. The self-employed 1099 contractor is on the left. The right-hand side is home to someone who can create something new from nothing. They are a visionary, someone who accepts 100% risk.
For people in that middle, the business model can still work. They are directing their daily lives on their own with no one telling them what to do, but they also don’t need to do all the experimentation and risk-taking that comes with creating something from scratch.
Make no mistake: Following a proven business model doesn’t restrict your autonomy. You’ll still have mastery over your time. But you’ll need to follow the system you’re given consistently to set yourself up for success without having to reinvent any wheels.
If you’re looking for more freedom than the corporate world could give you, the first place to look is inward. It’s important to take the time to reflect on your strengths and weaknesses, determine what you need, and then figure out how you fit in. If you’re the type who might benefit from some established structure, the next step is to discover the business model that’s right for you. Here’s where you start:
1. Assess yourself honestly to determine if you are a good entrepreneur.
You know you’re an entrepreneur if you don’t need to be told what to do. You don’t ask for permission; you ask for forgiveness later. Act now and follow your instincts. You’re a risk-taker, but you take responsibility and blame no one for your failures or setbacks. You can think outside the box and see problems and solutions where others don’t. You have the drive and passion to work for your company and yourself.
Once you confirm you’re an entrepreneur, assess where you fall on the continuum. If you’re somewhere in the middle between self-employed contractor and from-the-ground-up entrepreneur, you can find success with a proven business model. However, you need to be aware of where your strengths and weaknesses are. If you’re a visionary with big, creative ideas, for example, you might be too far to the right to find fulfillment following an existing model.
2. Find the reason that you are able to light the flame in your belly.
Without a goal, work can quickly become boring. That’s why so many workers with entrepreneurial leanings become disengaged. Therefore, it is important to define and claim your purpose. To give an example, I’ve had a passion all my life for entrepreneurs. I was inspired to create a system that would allow me to be a coach for business owners.
To make your list, record everything that you’re passionate about. Maybe it’s working with kids or college students. It doesn’t matter what it might be, just write it down. Next, elaborate a bit more on your goal.
Let’s say you like working with school children: Do you want to teach them? Are you passionate about the activity and want to continue it daily? After you have identified what motivates you to continue, it is time to start searching for an income-generating business.
“Entrepreneurship is about turning what excites yuo in life into capital, so that you can do more of it and move forward with it.” – Richard Branson
3. Look for business models that match your needs.
Many entrepreneurial ventures exist. Many require substantial investment while others are relatively inexpensive. You should have a plan and a budget. Then, look for business opportunities within your financial range. If you want to tutor young people then maybe it would be worth considering opening your own Kumon Learning Center. These usually fall under the low to middle investment category.
Perhaps your family is more financially savvy and you are passionate about serving families. It could be a good idea to open a chain of restaurants. You’ll likely need access to a substantial upfront capital, but many chains have known working models that tend to be lucrative when followed closely.
Be cautious when looking for venture capitalists. If part of the model’s revenue system is based on somebody else making money from you joining, that should raise some red flags. The person who brings you in to the model is important. If it’s an individual who is personally incentivized financially, beyond maybe a nominal referral fee, to get you into the model because they get a significant portion of your revenue, then be wary. You should only be dealing with a model’s business operations group and not individuals looking to fill their downline.
4. Decide on the right person to manage your company.
It is important to really think about yourself, to determine what kind of entrepreneur and who you want to become. Then filter the opportunities. Do you prefer to take control of your company or hire people to manage it?
WaveMax, an online franchise full-service laundry that is coin-operated, allows absentee owners to do everything themselves. The only thing you need is to make the payment, then hire the general manager. It’s recurring passive income, and you can then scale it from there based on your investment returns.
5. Gauge the business model’s support system.
You’ve narrowed down your business model options to one or two possibilities. Now, it’s time to evaluate your top contenders on the support they give.
You should have a proven business model that can provide leads and a process for marketing and sales, as well as a framework to help you develop your business. You can then skip many of the startup tasks and get started earning more quickly.
You should also be careful about verifying references. You should also check references. Is the business profitable, or is it on a road to profitability? It will be easier to find the perfect model for your needs if you have more data, both hard and non-verbal.
The road to entrepreneurship isn’t a straightforward, exacting one. Many entrepreneurs never get liftoff. However, aligning yourself with a business model that’s proven itself time and again can afford you the runway you need to soar.
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