It’s decided, you are going to become an entrepreneur and create your own business! But maybe you don’t have any inspiration, you’re just missing the right idea? Or are you just not sure where to start? This article should help you see more clearly, answer your questions and give you all the keys to becoming an entrepreneur.
We will discuss how to become an entrepreneur and the 5 essential steps, with what to take into account at each step. Let’s get straight to the heart of the matter without wasting time: when you are an entrepreneur, time is precious .
What is an entrepreneur?
First of all, let’s agree on what an entrepreneur is. According to Bpi France , the agency that supports business creators, an entrepreneur is defined as follows:
“ He is a person who acts with complete independence and who is responsible for his actions. It is not placed under the legal subordination of another person. This is what distinguishes him from the employee. He is therefore free to organize its work at its option, choose its customers, suppliers and subcontractors, set prices, etc . “
In other words, becoming an entrepreneur is becoming independent and working for yourself. There are many ways to be an entrepreneur – we’ll come back to that.
Why become an entrepreneur?
Being an entrepreneur is above all enjoying great freedom. Being able to do things in your own way, test, innovate, etc. Make money on your own terms. Many entrepreneurs also want to change the world, and leave a mark. And it is sometimes the opportunity to achieve a better balance between personal and professional life (even if the life of an entrepreneur is not easy).
If this sounds appealing to you, however, you should be aware that it is a great responsibility to make all the decisions alone (at least initially) and that you may be faced with the loneliness of the entrepreneur . Nevertheless, with determination and perseverance, it is possible to overcome difficulties.
To better understand this reality, we invite you to read our article devoted to entrepreneurship as seen by entrepreneurs .
Becoming an entrepreneur: the 5 main steps
So, concretely, how to become an entrepreneur? Before starting your new life, there are a few essential prerequisites. We explain how to proceed and do things in order to give you every chance of success.
1) Find a business idea
To get started, you need to decide what area you are going to get into. Because there are a multitude of types of entrepreneurs: craftsmen, traders, artists / creators, e-commerce entrepreneurs, self-employed / freelancers, etc.
Often, entrepreneurs get started out of passion and decide to become an entrepreneur in a field they have mastered. But it is quite possible to create a business without prior knowledge or experience, provided you are trained!
First big decision: are you going to sell goods or services? In other words, products or a service? These are 2 completely different approaches, which can sometimes be complementary. This is the case of infopreneurs for example, who can sell ebooks but also offer coaching and support.
Second big decision: what will be your sector of activity? The possibilities are numerous, but we advise you to choose a sector with which you have affinities. If this is your very first entrepreneurial adventure, it is also wise to take a cautious approach and go for a business that does not require a significant upfront investment.
It’s often a good idea to get your hands dirty and gain some experience before getting down to business and “scaling” up. In fact, most successful entrepreneurs today have had several businesses before they found success.
2) Perform a competitive analysis
That’s it, have you found the activity that suits you and that you want to start as an entrepreneur? It is now a question of refining your approach, which notably involves a competitive analysis.
Indeed, it is important to take into account the companies and entrepreneurs already present on the market. If you do what a lot of people are already doing, your chances of success will be pretty low. Because for your business to work, you will have to stand out!
Competitive analysis is a kind of market study, but it is specifically interested in market players: who are they? what is their offer? who are their customers? Understanding these elements will allow you to better identify opportunities and see how to position yourself.
Sometimes it can also highlight an already saturated market, with little room for new entrants. If the supply is greater than the demand, we advise you to go back to step 1 and find another business idea to become an entrepreneur.
To find out how to do this, read our article on competitive analysis .
3) Create a business plan
Does your activity seem viable to you, with a real place to take? It is time to confirm it, by writing a business plan. This reference document describes your objectives, your financial and commercial strategy as well as your action plan.
If creating such a document may seem tedious, it is a crucial step to think about your choices and strategic orientations and to verify the profitability of your company. In particular, you will need to calculate your commercial margin , a key indicator to confirm the potential of your business.
Another important aspect: how much are you going to be able to afford? Because becoming an entrepreneur is getting paid through your business and for that you must free up enough cash. If your business isn’t profitable enough, you won’t be able to pay yourself every month.
4) Choose a legal status to become an entrepreneur
Many aspiring entrepreneurs tend to put the cart before the horse and seek “the list of self-employed trades”, “the list of self-employed activities” or even “the trades that work as a self-employed person”.
But it is your activity that should lead to choosing a legal status and not the other way around. And, anyway, the vast majority of activities can be carried out as a self-employed person. You should know that becoming a micro entrepreneur offers many advantages, such as simplified administrative obligations and favorable taxation. But becoming a self-employed entrepreneur, you have to be aware of it, it also means depriving yourself of certain possibilities and being capped in terms of turnover.
We advise you to take the time to study the different legal statuses (micro-enterprise, SARL, SASU, etc.) and not to hesitate to carry out load simulations to find the most suitable status. For example, you can use the Le Coin des Entrepreneurs application, which offers a simulator to help you choose the legal status of a company .
If, at the end of this analysis, you decide to start a self-employed activity, find out the steps to take in our self-employed article : how to start a micro-enterprise?
5) Communicate and get your first customers
Is your company officially created? It’s time to let people know! Because becoming an entrepreneur is also becoming a communicator! No matter how great your business is, if no one knows about it, it will flop!
Communication today goes through digital marketing and social networks, which are essential tools for developing awareness, reaching potential customers and making sales. In addition to communicating about your business, do not hesitate to mobilize your personal network and make a publication on LinkedIn, for example, to say that you are now an entrepreneur!
Even if your business is in the process of being created or your products are in the testing phase, communicate without delay! Teasing is a powerful strategy for creating expectation and generating buzz.
5 steps to become an entrepreneur
- Find a business idea
- Perform a competitive analysis
- Create a business plan
- Choose a legal status
- Communicate and find your first customers