Since I was a kid, I always had fantasies of being an author. I still do, but I have a far more realistic view of what that will mean. Working a ton of hours on my writing, as well as a day job and a second job to help make ends meet are all incredibly challenging. It can be hard to think of abandoning all of that to make your dream a reality. For me and hundreds of thousands of others like me, we want a way to support ourselves and do what we love. If you’re looking to make your dream job a reality, then here’s a great jumping off point to get you started.
Find a marketable niche for your chosen business
This first tip may be similar to the advice you might have been reading nearly everywhere else. Take your chosen business market and list every way that you can think that would fit you as an individual. From here you can narrow down that you think will be the best fit for you and find a niche. If you can’t find one, make one. With access to the internet, nearly anything can become marketable, with the right plan. Know that this will be a difficult task and potentially become your most significant hurdle.
Do market research
Before you jump in further, I suggest you start researching your chosen market. In the case of you trying to start your market, research similar niches. There can be valuable information to learn freely from those who tried and failed before you even started. If some marketing technique or shipping service fail in your chosen niche, market research is how you find out about it and how to avoid similar failure. There’s plenty you can learn to help prevent obvious pitfalls in your journey for someone else who’s tried before.
How are you going to market your service to potential clients?
Will you advertise through TV, internet, or outdoor ads? Will you have a physical store or will you stay primarily online? What supplies will you need? Can you buy them pre-owned? No matter the business, you’ll want to have a firm grasp on the answers to these questions before you start moving any further. Even if you haven’t decided on anything yet, it’s best to look into the potential cost of starting a business, if there is one.
Network within your chosen community
If you’ve found yourself in a niche that has a large community, you can start reaching out to both businesses and clients. Networking should be considered a vital step in research, as well as a way to build visibility for your new business. You can gain clients through this networking, as well as potential business partners and even friends. Your ability to network can be an excellent resource to anyone new entering into the community.
Make a career plan
Dream big here. Make a list of everything that you think would make you successful in your business. Now, reel yourself back a little bit. What steps can you take to get there? If a significant storefront and a specific revenue amount is your primary goal, what would you consider your first step? For me, it is making more than my current day job to be able to stop and freelance entirely on my own for a consistent six months. I’m not there yet, but I’m moving closer every day. Plans can be adjusted later if your market shifts, so don’t hold so tightly to this plan that you can’t course correct if needed.
Treat it like a job
There is nothing more difficult than taking a dream that you only get to dabble in on your free time and expand it into a career. You’ll need to put time into your business if you want it to succeed. If spending 20 or more hours a week working in your chosen niche doesn’t sound appealing to you, then you might want to rethink your plan. Otherwise, it’ll take practice. You’ll have to learn how to organize your schedule because you’re the boss now. If you want your business to thrive, you have to treat it as if it were already thriving.
While starting your own business is incredibly difficult, and there are hundreds, if not thousands of people out there fail for any plethora of reasons, it’s still worth a go. Find what you love and see what’s out there. Take up your brush and become an artist. Same with the pen. If opening a roller derby cake shop is your dream, step on up and at the very least, take a look at what’s out there. I took steps to make my dream of becoming a professional author a reality, and while it’s slow going, I don’t regret a single moment of it. It’s been a valuable experience, and I intend to keep moving forward. Now it’s your turn to do the same.