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"The Art of Finding Winning Products"
2020 has been the most … let's say unique year that any of us are likely to have ever lived through. While things may be more than a little unpredictable in the outside world in many ways, there has never been a better time to take the plunge and go self-employed. Even before the pandemic's global effects impacted many people's ability to work, more and more creative and gutsy humans were venturing into the entrepreneur or solopreneur world.
Of course, many choose to start up their self-employed business while continuing to work at their full-time job. Unfortunately, if you are one of the 22 million Americans who lost their job earlier this year, that choice isn't available to you. While not having stable income things harder (although you probably won't have to sacrifice as much Netflix!), becoming a solopreneur can still be done.
So, if Coronavirus has you thinking about taking that side-hustle and turning it full-time, or maybe embarking on an entirely new project from scratch by yourself, now's your moment! Here are some handy tips to get you started:
The internet has given many people the chance to start their own business. The number of entrepreneurs and self-employed people has been growing year-on-year for a while now, and the opportunities are genuinely endless. However, it's important to remember that you won't be the only person with this idea, so consider the right business for you.
The most important factor here is to pick something you love, go with your passions. You're going to be putting a lot of time into this, so make sure you'll enjoy the journey! Secondly, don't try to tackle the busiest markets. Your first thought might be something that many other people are doing, which will make it hard to find your place in the industry. That doesn't mean you should think of something else but try and find a niche that's all your own.
Following from number 1, find the market that's out there for you. As we mentioned above, the first thought you have is likely to be one that many others that have already thought of, so dig a little deeper.
For example, if you're considering a YouTube channel about fashion, you're going to be battling it out with a lot of established names that are already doing it. That doesn't mean it's a bad idea — it just means that you will have to think of something that sets you apart from the other influencers and then market yourself accordingly.
Think about your interests, and work within that niche. Maybe it's sustainable fashion, or fast fashion, or the right outfit for specific moments (weddings, job interviews, dates, etc.). If you can find a market that isn't as competitive, you will immediately increase your chances.
Whatever your business idea is, your branding is going to make or break your online business from the outset. When we say branding, many think of logos, and while this is important, it isn't everything. A memorable logo is a great way to start building a brand, but you also have to consider the tone of voice, style, and personality. Your brand should represent both you and your business, and it's worth taking time over perfecting that.
When it comes to online branding, words, and images are of equal importance. Maybe you're good at both, and that's great. But there's no shame in seeking help. Sites like Fiver and PeoplePerHour have tons of talented, affordable people who can help with writing or graphic design jobs.
You want your branding to be the best, so you want to find the best people to help you within your price range.
You're going to want to take over the world from the outset, obviously. But the truth is, you're probably not going to be able to do that straight away.
Think about your favourite solopreneurs — all these people started small. Baby steps are the way early on, work within your limits, and don't try to do everything at once. That said, also keep an eye on growth opportunities. When the chance comes for you to take that next step forward, you want to make sure you're ready for it!
If you're working from home, as most self-employed people do (the close proximity to the fridge is why we all do it, right?!), then do not neglect your working space. We all think that we'll work kicking back on the sofa or lying in bed, and while those moments will come, you also want a dedicated working space. The ability to switch off after work is made a lot easier if your work life and home life are kept separate, even when they're in the same house.
And most importantly (this can be one of the hardest things), keep it clean! At the end of every day, clear away the pile of coffee cups and whatever else you've amassed during the day. It's an irritation, but you'll thank yourself when you arrive at your bright, clean, welcoming desk tomorrow morning!
You can do a lot on social media, and you should definitely be doing that. But websites still go a long way, especially if you're going to be working with clients or running an online store. A website for your business automatically makes you look more professional and makes people stand up and pay attention. Sites like Shopify and Wix make it easy to start an eCommerce website, and you can also include a blog to publish regular content to keep your audience engaged.
Once you have your website, make it look great. First impressions matter, so ensure your website looks enticing and makes it very clear who you are, what you do, and what you have to offer.
If you're going to working with clients, the chances are you're going to have to take some boring when you're first starting out. There will come a time when you can be picky about what work you take on, but that isn't going to be the case on day one. Don't turn down work — take on everything you can, and, if nothing else, you'll get paid. You might even receive a nice review or recommendation to add to your website for credibility.
Being open to accepting all sorts of business doesn't mean that you should undervalue yourself. Research how much other people in your industry, and with your experience, charge and set your prices accordingly. You'll likely need to start at the lower end of the scale when you're new, but you can build that up over time. Asking for money is never easy, but you need to state your prices with confidence, you are worth what you're charging, and you and your clients both need to know that. If you are selling products online, ensure that you have a healthy profit margin while maintaining competitive pricing.