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How Do I Start A New Business With No Experience?

How Do I Start A New Business With No Experience?

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How Do I Start A New Business With No Experience?

Do I need experience to start a business

In the two decades that I’ve spent as a business advisor, I’ve encountered countless would-be entrepreneurs filled with brilliant ideas (and some average ones too) but they were all held back by one common fear – the fear of stepping into the unknown, the world of business, without formal experience or education. However, I believe that a lack of business experience shouldn’t deter you from pursuing your dreams of becoming a small business owner. 

Related: 3 Ways To Overcome The Fear Of Starting A Business

Let’s first take a page out of the books of two famous entrepreneurs – Steve Jobs and Sara Blakely.

Steve Jobs, the co-founder of Apple, didn’t come from a business background. He was a college dropout who spent his time attending creative classes. Yet, he spearheaded the creation of a few revolutionary products that you may have heard about – the iPhone and iPad, shaping the tech world as we know it. On the other hand, Sara Blakely, before becoming the founder of Spanx and a self-made billionaire, was selling fax machines door-to-door. With $5,000 in savings, she invented and launched Spanx, a line of slimming undergarments. Without any background in fashion, retail, or business, Blakely navigated her way through patenting her product, developing a prototype, and ultimately selling her product into major retail stores. Her tenacity and ingenuity led her to become the youngest self-made female billionaire in America in 2012.

And while the stories of famous entrepreneurs can be inspirational, if you’re anything like me, you may be rolling your eyes and say something like:

  • They must have had parents who were rich or were well connected – and I don’t.
  • I’m not trying to start a revolutionary business. I just need to make some extra money. 
  • These people just got lucky (Just to go on record, I very much dislike the word lucky, but I won’t deny the influence that some successful entrepreneurs had by being at the right place at the right time).

Now, I’m not implying that you’ll become an overnight success or get rich overnight. However, I can say from my experience and the tales of successful entrepreneurs like Jobs, Blakely, and countless outhers, that you don’t need a business degree to build a successful business. All of things that you need to know to run a successful business can be learned and developed over time.’

Tips for Starting a Business Without Experience

I’ll share some tips that I’ve given clients over the years that helped them get overcome their fear of started, that may help you as well.

  1. See your inexperience as an asset: It might seem counterintuitive, but being a newcomer can be advantageous. For instance, in one of my early consultations, a client with no prior experience in the restaurant business wanted to start a restaurant focusing on gluten-free food. This fresh perspective helped spot a niche in the market which turned out to be a great success. So, remember, coming in fresh means you’re open to new challenges and learning opportunities.
  2. Research the Industry: Before you jump into starting your new business, it’s important to thoroughly understand the market you’re entering. Doing your market research can help you avoid potential mistakes and set you up for success.

    One client had an idea for an eco-friendly water bottle company. He was passionate about the environment and thought his idea would be a hit. However, before investing his hard-earned savings into producing the bottles, he decided to conduct thorough market research. He started by analyzing existing competitors, identifying their strengths and weaknesses, and understanding the price range consumers were willing to pay for such products.

    His research revealed that while there was a demand for eco-friendly water bottles, the market was already quite saturated. Moreover, his cost to produce the bottles was higher than what most consumers were willing to pay. This insight was invaluable, allowing him to pivot his business idea to a niche market segment that has been successful.
  3. Self-education is key: Familiarize yourself with your industry, keep up with market trends, and even enroll in courses if you need to. There’s a plethora of resources available online and at StartUp 101. A client who started a digital marketing agency began by taking online courses and attending industry webinars. His dedication to learning made him competent and confident in a field he had no prior experience.
  4. Start small and part-time: Test the waters with your new business by using a low-risk approach and maintain your current job for financial stability. I once worked with a client who began her handmade jewelry business as a part-time gig. Starting small enabled her to better understand business without compromising her financial security.
  5. Play to your strengths: If you are struggling to come up with a business idea, ask yourself what unique skills can you bring to the table. Is there a skill that solves a problem or improves something that’s already out there? After all, the basis of any business is solving a problem, so if you can find the intersection of something you are naturally good at with solving a problem people have, you may have found your answer. 

    Related: Check out our business library to learn about over 300 different types of businesses

    One of my clients leveraged her love for storytelling and photography to start a successful travel blog, a business that resonated with her strengths and passions.
  6. Create a business plan: While a business plan may sound like something you only do in business school or for a large business, perhaps the most underrated value of a business plan is that it can be used as a blueprint for your business journey. I’ve seen numerous clients gain confidence and clarity as they wrote out their business plans. It’s like shining a flashlight into the unknown, making the path clearer and less intimidating.
  7. Test the market: Before going all in, see how your product or service performs on a smaller scale. I remember a client who wanted to start a clothing boutique. She first launched a small collection on social media platforms and gauged the response. This allowed her to understand her target audience better and make improvements to her business model.
  8. Use free resources: Attend business seminars, networking events, read business books, watch online videos – in short, be a sponge. One of my clients who started an online travel agency soaked up all the free resources she could find. This not only boosted her knowledge but also helped her save money that she could later invest in his business.
  9. Find a mentor and network: A mentor can offer invaluable advice and guidance, while networking allows you to learn from others’ experiences. One of my clients who wanted to start his own roofing company found a mentor after attending an industry conference. This connection not only provided him with insights into the industry but also helped him meet potential clients, making his start much smoother.
  10. Learn to be comfortable with failure: Setbacks are part of the journey. Learn from them and use them to propel you forward. I recall a client who started a small bakery. Her initial sales were not as high as she expected, which was quite a blow. However, she took it as a learning opportunity, sought feedback from her customers, and made necessary changes. Her business eventually picked up, and she became a favorite in the local community.

Related: Things to consider before starting a side hustle

Remember, entrepreneurship is a journey, and like all journeys, it has its ups and downs. There may be moments of uncertainty, but those are often the moments that lead to growth and innovation. With focus, resilience, hard work, and a willingness to learn, you can navigate these challenges and reap the rewards of owning a successful business. Your inexperience is not a barrier; it’s simply a starting point. So, take a deep breath and take the plunge. The journey of entrepreneurship awaits you.

How Do I Start A New Business With No Experience?

How Do I Start A New Business With No Experience?

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