Anyone who’s had the goal of entrepreneurship or dreams of starting their own business has had doubts. It’s a difficult thing to do and it’s especially difficult to start. The task of starting can seem very daunting. There’s risks involved. There’s a chance of losing money and not becoming successful. There’s a chance you tarnish your name. There’s a chance you lose confidence in yourself. There’s a whole slew of things that could go wrong. And I want to show you a way to toss all of this doubt out of the window. I want to show you how to create a business with zero risk at all. All it takes is a little time and daily effort and you can be on your way to having your own business.
I know that all sounds very car salesmen-like. But it’s true. I started my business this way and think everyone should too who has doubts. It’s the best way to mitigate risk and take any chance of personal embarrassment out of the equation. So here’s how you do it.
First thing’s first. Pick something you like. Whether it’s a service or a product you like. Don’t think about money or what you think people want. Just think about what you like to do. Don’t think about judgement or what people will think. Just think about what you like to do! Sometimes it helps to think about two things you like to do and combine them. Whatever you decide on, don’t worry about uniqueness just yet. We’ll work on that later. There’s lots of examples of people starting out, then finding their niche later on. So for now, don’t worry about being unique.
Now, make a fake business around that topic. You don’t even have to put your name on it. This will help you stay away from the fear of embarrassment. If you name isn’t attached, then no one will know it’s you. And if all goes wrong, you can slip away quietly without anyone knowing you had anything to do with it.
The first thing you have to do when creating your fake business is to create and post content. Create a social media page for your fake company. Again, leaving your name off it, add “Coming Soon” in the bio. Post pictures and videos. Write blogs. Connect with others in the space you chose. Be active in that community by liking, commenting, and sharing other people’s content. This all will help build your following. This is step one.
The best strategy to have when building your following is to post one thing each day. On Instagram or Facebook, you should have at least one post per day. Whether it’s a video or picture or blog, be consistent how much you post daily. The reason I say one post per day is because it’s easy. It helps you come to terms with putting time in each day. You ease into it rather than jumping into it and it gets you in the habit of thinking about your new project. The other reason to only post once or twice daily is to limit your posts for your audience. For one, you don’t want to burn yourself out and run out of content. Especially in the beginning when you may not have much content to share. The other reason is to not annoy your following. Don’t post so much where you’re following thinks of it as spam and you lose their interest. For this reason, one post a day is just fine.
After some time of building and building your following, you’ll notice people start to engage with you. They may ask you about your business or your products. They may even want to buy what you have to sell. This all happened to me after just a few months of creating my fake business. I put in a little time each day, kept persistent with my posts, and built a following that would reach out to me often with questions about my product.
Now, since at this moment you don’t actually have a product, you have to keep saying, “We are excited for our launch in a few months.” Or something along that line. Say you have something exciting in store for them. If this starts happening enough where you are responding often to your following, then you are ready for the next step.
You’ll notice that the longer you do step one for, the more comfortable you will become with starting your own company. You won’t feel nearly as shy or embarrassed. You will also see yourself slowly becoming an entrepreneur. You’ll think about your company naturally. You’ll have more energy and be more excited to work on it. Step one is like feeling a nibble on the line when fishing. Once people start reaching out to you, you know you have something. You just have to finish the job and reel them in.
Step two is about making your fake company into a real company. You have already proven demand and interest in your product by people reaching out to you. Now you need a product. This is when your efforts shift towards finding how to get your product to sell. If it’s a physical product you will need a supplier. If it’s a service, you may need a friend or two to help. Either way, getting your product ready to sell is your new objective. You should still be posting daily, but it’s important to find a product as well. You can’t be a fake business forever or you’ll die out. So shift your focus on getting your product ready.
The supplier search and negotiating process can be long and dreadful, but once it’s over you’ll be happy you did it. Once you buy your own product, now this opens up a whole new avenue for content. You can now post pictures about your product with your logo and your packaging. You can now have a website with your products listed ready to sell. Once that happens, you are now a full business.
The only next step to do is start selling. Show people how they can buy your product. Show people your website. Post about your new online store. Get the word out that you are officially launched and open for business.
After that, you did it. You have done all the leg work to start your business. Now it’s all about keeping up with what you are doing. Keep doing what works and take out what doesn’t work. You will be fine tuning all the work you’ve done over and over again. And you will officially be an entrepreneur.
Starting a business can be scary. But creating a fake business is the best way to mitigate your fears of financial and personal risk. Through constantly building up your fake business over time, you’ll eventually convert your fake business into a real business and start making sales. But it will be reassuring that you have already created demand and interest for your product before spending money on inventory or supplies. Create demand first with your fake business. Then follow through with your real one.