Many working class people would want to be an entrepreneur at a certain point of their professional life. Are you an aspired business person too? Being a boss seems like a good thing. You get to call the shot. You can work on your flexible time. However, it also comes with a lot of responsibilities. You will only learn about those untold stories when you finally become a boss yourself.

One thing for sure – you will have to work like crazy, most of the time, for years before you can reap the actual benefits of being an employer!

Before starting any new business, there is a lot of planning and thinking to do. The first thing to analyse is if you’re ready to start your company or not. You have to be mentally strong and prepared and have the will power so that you can carry on for a very long time, as building a business is an ongoing process. After you make up your mind, you have to decide what kind of business you’ll be starting, which has the greatest odd of making it big.

To run a business, the need of capital is indispensable. Capital is like a backbone to the firm. Of course, you can always start off with a small amount and gradually keep on investing if you think it is feasible to do so. In this article, I am going to show you some ways to minimise the risk of burning your capital too fast. When calculating your burn rate properly, you will have a much better chance to succeed.

Test Water!

Luckily there are many ways to test out an idea in this advanced world. You can conduct a market survey or just simply buy some traffic on the Internet to see if your new products or service will have the desired market demand.

When I started my online business, it originated from a simple blog hosted with Google’s I published a few articles each week, for months. It didn’t cause me any money until I purchased the domain name on 17 Jan 2007. When I get more readers from strangers referred from search engines, I started to believe that I could run an online business out of the site.

Nowadays, it is even easier than before because you don’t need to wait for free traffic from Google. You can put up a sales page to your product that you haven’t created yet, and get traffic from Facebook. If people buy, that means your product or service is in demand. If not, ask them why not they buy? What do they want? You can just ask!

Learn to Sell through MLM

If you’re not confident enough to take up your own business, you can opt for multi-level marketing (MLM). Most MLM programs require small capital to set up, usually below RM100 to get the starter kit. This way you will not be at significant risk of losing your money.

The familiar concept marketed in MLM is that your upline will help you to succeed because the more successful you are, the more successful he will be. So you’ll get training on marketing, communication, and closing technique. That’s one effective way to learn about sales and marketing, which is crucial for entrepreneurship. Learn how to convince people. Find out how to handle objections. Discover how to face rejections. These are the things you will eventually face when operating your startup.

Sell OPM (Other People’s Products)

Another option is to start with selling other people’s products and earning a commission. This type of business includes the traditional insurance selling and unit trust consulting. Your initial startup capital may just be a few hundred ringgits for the examination and license registration. The best part is that you don’t have to fork out money to stock any products before you even take an order.

In the online world, it is generally known as affiliate marketing. The most famous in the world is the Amazon Associate program. I have a website about piano where I put up some affiliate links to Amazon products. Until today, I am still getting income from Amazon Associate program, even though the amount is negligible comparing to my primary business operation now, but it works!

Offering Services – Freelancing!

Another economical method to start being a self-employed business person is to offer some services. Most service-based companies are asset-light, which means you don’t need to fork out upfront capital. You don’t even need an office space to provide services such as photography, wedding planning, freelance writing, music entertainment, coding, graphic design, etc.

Can’t think of any distinct service to provide? First, you work in a company. The benefits of working in an established company are that you’ll get to have more experience, ideas and knowledge, and a tremendous amount of training while being paid to do so. You will also understand how the affairs of the company take place. When you are ready, you will know how you can start a similar business on your own that can do better than your employer – better service, better products and better marketing plan.

If a journey is a thousand miles, you have to start with a step. Drops of water fill up the pot. To your business success!!!

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Personal finance author and trainer

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