Why do you want to be an entrepreneur? Are you sick of your day job? Are you looking to get rich? Are you passionate about something that can be a business? These are all great motivators in becoming an entrepreneur, but these five steps are what I have found are key to becoming an entrepreneur.

1. What are you a master of or what annoys you?
Doing what you love each day is an amazing way to be an entrepreneur! Do you love dogs? Open up a dog walking or doggy daycare! Do you love graphic design? Start freelance work on Odesk, Freelance, 99Designs or DesignCrowd! What do you love doing? Nothing?! That’s ok.

What annoys you? Everyone has something that bugs them. Think of all the great products that were created out of a need to solve a problem, for example: the step stool, shower caddy, coffee cup warmer…the list is endless! Still struggling for that business idea?? No worries, get the creative juices flowing with this random word generator!

2. Do it better!
What competition does your business have? Search keywords for your specific product or service on search engines. Try EVERY variation of the keywords people would use. If you think you have NO competition, well congrats…but check again! Just because you don’t see your product or service on the first page of Google search doesn’t mean it hasn’t been created and possibly failed already. Search start-up and product launch sites like Crunchbase, Kickstarter and Angel.co for profiles with products and services including your keywords.

3. If you build it, they will come…maybe 🙂
Now you have a business idea, it’s time to create a product or service! The next thing I do when launching a business is choosing a name and locking up domains/social media accounts for it! This means if I decide to make the next best iPhone case, I will need to source the iPhone case or build it myself. I like to use Alibaba for sourcing; you can either find a rapid injection mold factory to build your idea or find a factory that will sell you similar iPhone cases in bulk at a discount.

Before spending a ton of money on web development, I like to test products for sale on sites like eBay, Amazon, Bonanza, Etsy, Weebly or simply a free blog like Tumblr or Blogger with a PayPal checkout button. Then once you have proof of concept and sale, lock up a domain for your business and build out a store with something like WordPress WooCommerce or the new great eCommerce web app Squarespace.

4. Track your progress
We tend to become what we focus on, so track your progress! Check your KPI or Key Performance Indicators at least 2-4 times per month. Maybe you’ll measure how many customers made purchases, maybe you’ll measure how many clicks/views your site gets via Google Analytics, maybe you’ll compare the sales made to each promotional method. The list of ways to track and IMPROVE your progress is endless! Using varying coupon codes is an easy way to see where people found your product/website.

5. Think BIG!
Do NOT let negative thoughts creep into your mind! What you think and focus on, is where you will gravitate toward. Keeping goals aimed high and positive thoughts are key! Yes I know this sounds all motivational speaker, but there are endless studies and cases showing that THINKING BIG is key to being a successful entrepreneur. I love Tim Ferriss’ quote about big ideas: “The collective insecurity of the world makes it easy for people to hit home runs while everyone else is aiming for base hits.”