Posted by : Amanda Stein Thursday, December 20, 2012
College grads to experienced professionals to MBA holders - all can be qualified candidates to start an independent consulting business as long as they hold value in their unique industry. Far too often, though, the desire to pursue an independent venture remains only a notion as fears and myths of entrepreneurship hold many back. It is time to recognize how to mentally prepare yourself to overcome these common reservations and get your plan on the market.
I don’t know if I am ready!
Being an independent contractor you don’t have the luxury of an 8-week training program – you already are the expert of the trade. Yet, how proficient are your management and client relation skills? Just because you may be a veteran professional in a certain industry doesn’t make you an expert business owner. Yes, it will help with connections and operations, but the best qualities you can have as a novice business owner are confidence to trust in your abilities and potential, patience for the ever-evolving planning process and flexibility because, let’s face it, rarely will everything go as planned.
The most successful owners’ triumphs are never solely a result of intricate sales and demand predictions or the scrutiny of relative case studies. The accomplished entrepreneurs are those that can easily adapt to change and quickly strategize around the demand with little to no perceived stress. They are progressive, tenacious and compliant with all personality types. If you can supply the trade skillset with an open-minded disposition you are a step ahead of the game.
My idea isn’t innovative enough.
Most ground-breaking goods and services are hybrids of preliminary services and product lines. Those who may take on IT consulting could, over time, conceive a new phone application to compete with the best of them. Yet, they never get to those ideas without implementing the basic business plan to begin with. Take what you know, don’t over complicate it, learn from experiences and allow it to flourish. You may just surprise yourself with the supplementary business ideas that will come to surface.
*Discovering through trial-and-error what doesn’t work is almost as, if not more, valuable than discovering what does work.
I will go broke!
Entrepreneurs need to be open to criticism and relatively low clientele especially in the first year or two of the business plan implementation. Take what is going against you, analyze it and use it! Learning how to operate and utilize free website domains and doing your own sales and marketing while you get your feet wet is becoming more and more common. It is not how much money you put into your new venture as much as it is the productivity and creative effort that will ultimately boost sales, clientele and ROI.
My industry is far too competitive.
What you are good at and what you are interested in should both be present in your project venture. If that means you are competing as one of thousands in the same in the trade you shouldn’t be running for the hills. It simply means it’s time to differentiate! While we all dream of being on the cover of Forbes with a world-wide consumer span, targeting locally on a smaller, more concise range can be your key to success.
Getting traffic by accident is just as useful as no traffic at all. As an independent professional you need to construct your plan with a sufficient marketing strategy targeting those who are looking for your specific services or products. You want to attract people, but the right people. Understanding and implementing upon this idea will boost your client prospects and overall ROI despite the competition.
I don’t have the time.
There is absolutely no one who can manage working a full-time job while strategizing, implementing and managing a whole new business, is there? Spending any available time writing a business plan, constructing a marketing approach or running the numbers is time well spent.
Large companies with full marketing, accounting, sales and analyst departments get stuck in the comfortable stagnancy of their success and can fall behind smaller businesses that bring a fresh, open and constantly evolving work ethic. The one defining factor the “little guys” have over the long-standing trades is a determination built upon the idea that every decision counts based on what is at stake – a life career. Make your time valuable, make it count.
Starting an independent venture requires the leadership, expertise and over all determination to compete on any scale. Trust your proficiencies, manage your time productively, put in more effort than money, and be ready to constantly learn and allow for change throughout the rest of your career. The minute you accept these easy-to-tame fears and myths an independent career can bring is the minute you allow yourself to jumpstart your new career path.