Many engineers, especially millennial engineers nowadays are slowly taking interest in building their own side businesses. It may be because they want to have extra money on the side, maybe they want to pursue a different passion other than engineering, or there could be other reasons. No matter what the reason is, to build your own business while working as an engineer means you’ll be dividing your time and will have to take a lot of work. Here are four things you should know before launching your first small business.
There will always be that little voice at the back of your head that will tell you that you can’t do it. Never underestimate the power of self-confidence. Remember, when it comes to decision making, you are your own coach, so it’s important that you encourage yourself. Drown that little voice of discouragement with the voice of your self-confidence. You can do it and you have the power to do so.
It won’t take as long as you think.
There will be people who will say that it will take at least three to five years for you to achieve a profit when running a small business. This may be true a long time ago, but nowadays–with the power of technology, social media marketing, and training, it isn’t really an absolute truth anymore. It is possible to achieve big profits without putting everything on the line within the first year. It’s evident in many startups we see today. Don’t be discouraged by people who say you won’t get anything anytime soon. We’re engineers remember? We make the most unexpected things happen, the way we want them to happen. *wink*
Concentrate on your key milestones.
Take note of the direction you are taking. Create realistic goals and track your progress, do this also with the problems you encounter. This way you’ll know where you are headed, and how to solve the problems you’re encountering along the way. Be ambitious with your goals but make sure they are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time bound). Push yourselves to greater heights.
It’s never wrong to get help
Everyone needs some help too, especially in business. You can ask help from a family member, a friend, or anyone who can give you some good business advice, or can help you out with connections, suppliers, etc. Look for help from those who are more successful than you. Humble yourselves and don’t assume you know it all because you don’t. You may think it will be easier to want to keep control and do everything yourself, but you’re wrong. You’ll be burned out real soon, and your progress will be much slower.
Be open-minded and leave your ego.
It’s never wrong to listen to what other people have to say, there’s nothing wrong with listening and learning at the same time. If there is something we engineers are good at, we can analyze a whole lot of information simultaneously. So listen to what others have to say and analyze what would be the smartest thing to do. Books, online forums, blogs, and social media can aid you with crowdsourcing information. Use this as a guide when you are still mapping out the direction you are about to take. Once you create a firm direction, just do it!