Have you heard of National Entrepreneurs Day?
Celebrated every third Tuesday of November, it is a day that honors gritty, inspired, bootstrapped individuals who have built a business from the ground up. At #LatinaGeeks, we want to help you claim your stake in the tech world and launch your journey to successful entrepreneurship.
Here are our top 5 tips to get started:
1. Identify your niche
The most crucial part of starting your own business is knowing exactly what you want to do. Even if you have many strengths and interests, every successful business begins with a clear value proposition and one focus area. Ask yourself what specific problem your business would solve, and zero in on it. As your business evolves, it will likely expand, but be weary of trying to solve too many different problems at once. You may take inspiration from Jeff Bezos’ story as the founder of Amazon, which began as a simple online bookstore, and later evolved into the biggest e-commerce empire in history. Let this story inspire you to develop a laser-focused foundation for your business.
2. Create a business plan
Once you have identified one specific focus for your business, it is time to create a business plan. View this plan as a concise pitch for future investors, and ensure it addresses a few key questions:
- What problem does this business solve?
- Is there a need for my solution?
- Who and where is the target market?
- What revenue stream(s) exist for your business?
To write a compelling business plan, refer to resources such as free downloadable guides from Stanford Graduate School of Business’ “Startup Resources” page, and other materials available online to guide you through this initial step of your entrepreneurial journey.
3. Leverage relevant relationships
Once you have identified a focus area for your venture and crafted a complete business plan, the next logical step is to pitch your idea to relevant contacts in your network who can help you begin to generate revenue. For example, if your business is a digital marketing agency, find people in your social and professional networks who can personally refer you to potential clients. Utilize networking sites such as LinkedIn to grow your network in a disciplined and ongoing basis, and be consistent in your outreach to people in decision-making positions to begin building a rolodex of contacts and clients.
4. Brand your business
Once your business begins to gain traction, you will likely want to focus on conceptualizing the look and feel of your brand. There are several free or low-cost options for branding, such as website hosting services (think Wix, or Wordpress) and graphic design online tools (such as Canva, and Tyle). In addition to a professional website and logo, it may be helpful to create social media channels to market your business and build an online presence, if you have the bandwidth to maintain them.
The key to successful branding is consistent messaging and active engagement. As you create new avenues of exposure for your business, be sure to create and upkeep social media calendars for new posts. This will help your company acquire and retain followers, which may translate in growth to word-of-mouth marketing and—in an ideal situation—viral online expansion.
5. Be ready to pivot
As your business begins to take off—or not—pay attention to how your target audience is reacting to your business idea or solution. Follow your intuition and do not be afraid to pivot; shift your strategy as needed to gain traction, acquire customers, and generate revenue.
Share in the comments with the #LatinaGeeks community: if you had unlimited funding and resources, what problem would your business venture solve?
This article was written by Laura Dominguez
Laura immigrated to the U.S. from Colombia in 2008, and now lives in sunny Los Angeles, California. In her job as a Career Services Manager at Flockjay, she helps “nontraditional” job-seekers launch their career in Tech Sales. Laura specializes in working with underrepresented minorities, and is passionate about helping tech companies meet their D&I goals, one hire at a time. In addition to #LatinaGeeks, Laura has worked with 4.0 Schools and Saturday Business Academy in Southern California.