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4 Things You Can Do as a First-Time Entrepreneur to Start a New Business with Little Risk

Entrepreneur on a laptop

Going into business for yourself is a great way to earn an income while also enjoying some flexibility in your life. Moreover, few things are as enriching as being able to create your own opportunities and maybe even make a difference in the world. And if these aren’t enough reasons to start, you potentially have the capacity to help other people.

However, with the obvious perks come a considerable amount of trepidation, too. Most first-time entrepreneurs inevitably find themselves fearful of many things, including failure and the unknown, which are very much valid. It’s in your best interest, therefore, to go into business gradually and with care, testing the waters to see if being an entrepreneur works for you.

Figure Out What You Want to Do

First thing’s first — before going into business for yourself, you have to know what sort of enterprise you want to pursue. It’s an obvious first step, yes, but the truth is, it can be hard to think of a feasible idea if you didn’t already have a concrete one in place. And if you’re not mindful of this, you may find yourself stuck before you begin.

It’s definitely a good idea to put your thinking cap on and sift through the hundreds of business ideas available to find one that’s most compelling to you. As a rule, go for a venture that will solve a problem and make people’s lives easier, as well as save them money. It’s also wise to go into something that you’re already familiar with or passionate about. You can even work with other people’s ideas and improve upon them — there’s no rule against that.

Have the Right Setup

Once you’ve decided on the kind of business you want to pursue, you’ll need to have the right setup to operate it. For instance, if you’re pursuing something tech-related, you’ll need to have the right computer/laptop and peripherals to perform business tasks, as well as the space to operate, such as a home office.

In another example, you may choose to go into business by dog sitting, which can be very fulfilling for obvious reasons (read: cute dogs). Again, you can start by operating out of your home. But with rambunctious animals wandering about, you’ll want to make sure that your home and things are safeguarded, as well, so make sure to lock up cabinets and secure lids on garbage cans. More importantly, you have to think about your clients, too, so remove house plans that may be dangerous to canines, as well as get rid of choking hazards.

Don’t Go All-In Just Yet

Unless you have plenty of capital to go around, you probably won’t want to give up your nine-to-five job just yet as you try to get your fledgling business off the ground. Fret not because, in this day and age, moonlighting is not at all rare. For example, if you’re a freelance blogger, you can use Upwork and other online job boards where you can showcase your skills and pitch to potential clients. In fact, this is a great way to ease into your business and build up a solid portfolio and client base, all while you still have a day job.

Treat It Like a Legitimate Business

Finally, when you start your venture, treat it like it’s a legitimate business right off the bat — and yes, even when you’re just doing it part-time. This will entail registering as a proper business, as well as getting any permits and licenses that you might need. Having a good accounting system in place to track your finances and, yes, pay your taxes is also ideal. There are, in fact, more must-haves to invest in to get your business going, so do your due diligence and find out what your operations need in particular.

Ultimately, you can perform all these steps to the letter, yet your success as an entrepreneur will still hinge heavily on your own grit, determination, and hard work. The fact is, you have it in you to take the business world by storm — you just have to make the move.

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Derek Goodman