Are you an accidental entrepreneur? -Tammy Jersey

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Tammy Jersey

Do you harbor the desire to work for yourself? You may be closer to that day than you imagined.

Many successful entrepreneurs never go through the process of writing an elaborate business plan and agonizing whether to quit their job. In many cases, you simply need to have some pieces of a plan; the rest can unfold as you get your business underway.

This was certainly true in my case.

I wanted more flexibility than my previous job provided, and I started to look at opportunities in other corporate settings. Two different companies were considering hiring me as their head of recruiting, and I asked both, “What if I just helped you solve your search?”

Both gave me a search, and suddenly I was in business for myself.

Within one week, I created business cards and a web site. To ensure that I wasn’t lulling myself into a false sense of security, I also decided on a financial “bogey” for myself, an annual revenue target that I believed I could hit.

In three months, I hit half the bogey, and I hit the whole bogey in just five months. Without much forethought, I was a successful entrepreneur.

Two things you need to know in advance…

While my advice is for you to leave room for new possibilities to emerge, I do caution that you need to make two tough decisions in advance:

1. Does a need exist? You should be clear whether you are offering a product or service for which a need exists in the market. There can be a big gap between what you want to do and what potential clients require. It helps a great deal if you have already been working with the type of customers you wish to serve, because you understand their needs.

2. Can you hit your bogey? While there are no advance guarantees, you should know your market well enough to make a realistic estimate about whether you can generate enough income to make a decent living.

Don’t just test an idea by inquiring about a need; include your price when doing research. For example, an artist thinking of launching a commercial design business could ask a potential client, “Do you need help designing a logo?” The response wouldn’t be worth much.

A better question might be, “Would you pay $2,500 to get a professionally designed logo that sets your business apart from your competitors?”

Can you shift the odds in your clients’ favor?

A great way to unearth a new business opportunity is to look at an industry or service and ask, “Could I change the rules in this space to benefit my customers?”

You might be able to deliver better service than a larger firm, simply by being more responsive and personal in your approach.

You could target more specific needs than your larger competitors do, such as clients who value highly specialized knowledge and insights.

If you are very good at what you do, the odds are strong that a market exists for your services. Talent is always in demand. It takes courage and tenacity to succeed on your own, but it doesn’t always take a 70-page business plan and months of planning.

If you think you can provide a better service than currently exists in the marketplace, this might well be the time to do it.

Tammy Jersey -TKJ Leadership

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