Your passion might have been gnawing at you for years, begging that you give it a try before you collapse of boredom at your current job. Or maybe, it came to you one night after an incredibly stimulating brainstorm session with friends or while watching the latest episode of Kings of Thrones. Either way, the awareness you now have of what would make you happy is hard to ignore and it’s time to finally turn ‘it’ into more than just a hobby; it’s time to make it a profitable business.
What do you do? Before you start dreaming of that yacht you want to purchase you’re first going to have to do a little identification work. The first step to turning your passion into a profitable business is identifying exactly what you are selling. Whether it’s a service or a product be sure you can articulate its purpose. Next, you are going to need to create a list of benefits that these services or products entail. For example, one benefit of a marketing company is helping people stand out from the competition. Make a list of at least ten benefits. Lastly, you are going to need to get specific about who you are selling this product or service to. Saying “the whole world needs me” really doesn’t cut it. It might seem like a paradox to be limiting your target market but it is exactly what will help ensure your success. The more you specialize yourself in one field, the easier it is afterwards to start broadening your horizon.
Shout it! Enough lists! It’s time to get to the fun stuff. Look up two to three networking events in your area where you can meet prospective clients. At these networking events you are going to start practicing your pitch. A pitch in the traditional sense is a 30 second commercial for your business, which entails what you do, who you do it with and why it’s so beneficial. For more on writing the perfect elevator pitch click here. Watch the way in which people react to your pitch and adjust it accordingly. If you notice that someone’s eyes are glazing over, odds are they are not seeing the benefit of your services. This is why you write a list of benefits before you start shouting your purpose to the world. When it comes to getting people to want to purchase your produce or service there is only one question you need to answer: What’s in it for me?
The common advice for starting out entrepreneurs is to write a business plan. But how can you write a plan for a business you aren’t even sure is viable? Writing a business plan is incredibly important but before spending weeks over a plan that is just going to change anyway, start rehearsing your pitch with prospects. You will notice, when talking to prospect, that your business will shift ever so slightly. What you thought people would pay thousands of dollars for might not exactly stick or make the impression you assumed it would. This is why connecting with your prospects is crucial. They are the ones which will verify if your business is a sure bet or not. Once you feel confident about your service or product and who it is for you are now ready to dive into the deep pool of business models, sales plans and marketing.