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At a time where unemployment rates are rising up, oil prices are hitting rock bottom and even the value of gold is plummeting, maybe it’s time to consider entrepreneurship as a way to move forward with your life and career. I'm not saying that you go and quit your job to start a new business- that would be a rather dumb thing to do, especially in these current circumstances. But there’s a way to get around this- take it from someone who co-founded a recruitment company in 2014 and also started an ecommerce business last year, while I'm still an employee. So here are my thoughts on how you can build something new and real:
1. Initiation: prepare your brain.
Start off by realizing that you need to think in a completely different way if you are going to consider getting into entrepreneurship game. One of the easy ways to do this would be reading books on such topics (such as Rich Dad, Poor Dad), and/or watching inspirational shows on this theme (such as Shark Tank).
2. Brainstorming: find out what you want to do.
Now, start thinking of all the things that you are good at and could potentially turn into great business ideas. Talk to your friends and colleagues, and reach out to influencers, entrepreneurs and business owners for their thoughts as well- given all the social media channels out there, this is usually more easier to do than you may think. For instance, I have reached great entrepreneurs and CEOs in Dubai by using Facebook and Twitter! Keep in mind that brainstorming is an ongoing process that will definitely lead to great ideas.
3. Planning: narrow it down.
Here comes the actual work and things will start getting more serious here. Start by connecting the dots and filling up the puzzle in your head, and make sure you write everything down as well. This will help your mind unload all of the thoughts inside your brain, and this will also make it easier to access these thoughts later when needed. You can write all of this down on your own, or even get a freelancer to do it in a more professional manner.
4. Execution: build the first blocks.
You have made it this far- great! And you haven’t yet spent a fortune, I assume. Now it's time to move online, by reserving your business name on all social media platforms, and also reserving your website domain name (which will cost around US$20 a year). This step is mandatory, because you will need all of this before the actual launch of your business. Make sure that your venture’s social media channels also have a logo, which can be also done quite inexpensively and outsourced.
5. Pre-launch: collect the needed data.
This is when you will put your social media channels and website to work. Your social channels should have generated a number of posts already, which talk about your services and what one can expect from your business. Your website must have a landing page- allow visitors to put in their emails in exchange for perhaps a discount when you open, or a free e-book, or exclusive information. Remember that you need your prospective customers’ emails, so that when you actually launch, you can let them all know that your business has officially started.
6. Share: spread the word.
Tell everyone in your network about what you are up to, and ask them to spread the word- remember that you need all of the help you can get from all of your acquaintances. Also start participating in online forums and discussions, where you can interact with fellow business owners. In case you are planning to start an e-commerce business, you can easily test the market by attempting to sell on different platforms; there are many to choose from.
7. Financing: energize your business.
Here comes the hardest part. But note that we are almost at the last step in this list, and look at all of what you have read so far and what you can accomplish, without the need to spend serious amounts of money. Now I assume at this point, you can start the financing process by either using your savings, or seek a minor investment, or a loan, or maybe even borrow some money from someone in your circle- do note that this does not necessarily have to be an outstanding amount of money.
8. Licensing: get the formal paperwork done.
A lot of people don't know that it is actually possible to form a company with the needed proper licensing papers in an arguably rather easy way. All you need to do is ask and investigate; Google is always your best friend when it comes to researching stuff. Here in the UAE, you have the free zone licensing option, which gives you 100% ownership as an expat for reasonable fees, and the best part of this is that most of these free zones offer options for payment in installments, so you can pay at your ease.