Sharing a guest post by Alexandra Pedro on how to start a business. Read how she took a step out and made a big change and how she went about that. You can find her blog here
From a physiotherapist in Portugal to an entrepreneur, marketer and creative in Ireland, Alexandra founded Alexandra Pedro Marketing in 2018. She drives business to her clients through marketing strategy and content. You can also find her on Twitter and Linkedin too…
It does not matter whether you have had the entrepreneurship bug since as long as you can remember or whether you just want to make some money on the side to support your family. In this digital age, you can start a business with little to no initial investment and barely leaving the comfort of your home.
This is what I did. I quit a stable career as a physiotherapist in Portugal and became a writer in Ireland. Fast forward two and a half years, I offer a complete package of digital marketing services under my business’s name – Alexandra Pedro Marketing – and am taking the first steps to expand my team.
Before anything else, financial security and time are the two essential prerequisites for someone who wants to start a business.
Without the right qualifications but with the need of securing clients, I initially had to charge much less than was fair. I could not have done this without the money I had saved previously.
Also, speak with your family and/or friends and make sure everyone is comfortable with the amount of hours you will be putting in.
You need to know you have the money and time to get through the uncertainty of the initial months. After you have those prerequisites, you are ready to take the first steps of starting your business:
Choose what you want to do
Find out how you can make money
Create an initial plan
Improve as you go
There are many ways of finding out what to offer in your business. Based on my experience, I recommend you look inwards and find what you like doing the most. It could be sewing, speaking in public, selling products. Whatever it is, chances are there is a way for you to make money doing it.
By doing what you like as opposed to what you think will give you the most return or what you have the qualifications to do, you increase the chances of having joy doing it and, therefore, keeping at it when faced with the inevitable bumps on the road.
Once you know what you want to spend your life doing, it is time to figure out how you can make money doing it!
There are three ways to go about this: brainstorming, asking people you trust, and looking at competitors online. Chances are you will find several options for your passion. Just make note of them to later evaluate all of them and decide what is best for you.
Here are a few examples that show how one passion can lead to several paths:
Now that you know what you want to do and how to make money doing it, it is time to come up with a roadmap with your next steps.
- Sewing – you may create and sell clothes, fix other people’s clothes, and/or teach others how to sew.
- Speaking in public – you may speak about a topic of interest at face-to-face and/or online events, and/or teach others how to speak in public.
- Selling products – if you are a strong salesperson, you may develop and sell your own products, sell other people’s products, and/or, you guessed it, teach others your outstanding tactics.
No need to have full-blown plans (business, marketing, financial, etc.) yet. Just have an idea of the initial ways in which you are going to make money (your products and/or services and where you are going to find customers and/or clients) as well as what you want to achieve with your business in the future.
Your plan will likely change throughout the months but you always benefit from having a big picture to rely on when making decisions on what to take on and what to say no to.
And now, stop planning and get going! Yes, you do not have everything figured out. Well, neither had I or countless other business owners when we started our businesses.
If you need qualifications or certifications to start your business, get those as soon as possible. If you do not need anything apart from what you already have, you have even less excuses to be idle!
In my case, as a writer, I started by writing blog posts for customers on platforms like Fiverr. I did not let my poor English-writing skills stop me from starting! I just opted for charging less while learning.
After the first few months working in your business you will have spotted a thousand ways in which you could improve your products and/or services, your processes, and/or how you find customers and/or clients.
That is when you start improving your business. Take notes of what needs to be improved, order it in terms of importance, and work on the top items. Do not waste time on anything other than what is essential.
Bottom line is: you do not need to have everything figured out. Just enough to get started. The rest will come in time as long as you keep paying attention and spending time improving your business.
No business is perfect but with time and care we get to where we want to be. It just takes a bit of patience and a lot of work.
Do not let uncertainty stop you from taking the first step!