Everybody has a passion that makes them flourish, overcome daily stress or just keep them alive from terminal boredom. There are some who decide to transform their passion into user entrepreneurship and evolve their hobby into a source of income. Hardly anyone would argue that having a passion and at the same time making profit out of it is not a dream job to have. When setting up for a huge move from passion into business, basic rules of every startup should be acquired.
The very first brick in building your entrepreneurship is defining what business is. Usually people mistake business for a product or service as a whole and think if they have goods to offer than they have a business to run. Unfortunately that happens not to be the case, as business is not entitled to a product or a service but to a marketplace. There is no business unless there is a paying customer. As quoted more clearly by Bill Aulet, a well-known managing director “The day someone pays you money for your product or service, you have a business and not a day before". Goods do not equal business, unless there is someone paying for them.
Customer demand is the gap between a passion and a business. When a passion of a personal interest or need gains a potential of being desirable or even demanded by others it evolves from a hobby into a user entrepreneurship. To put it in other words, user entrepreneurship is a phenomenon of a product or service created for personal reasons becoming commercialized.
An essential element for the survival of any startup is the production of an innovative product or service that is absent in the market. Creating what has not yet been offered increases the odds of high if not dominant chances of success in the competition pool. Going on a treasure hunt on already existing ideas, or being a rip-off company is not a recommended strategy for startups in consideration of the limited resources, number of competitors and many other obstacles awaiting every neophyte joining the battle for a place in the market. Innovations or differentiations do not necessarily mean crafting a whole new product from the stretch, as innovation or differentiation can be applied to a specific feature of an already existing product or service. A production can be structurally or functionally similar to those already existing goods, but differ in its features that improve the quality. Let’s say you wanna start a production of guitar picks, and with a high range of competitors including big companies such as Gibson, Fender, Alice and many others, it does not seem like a promising business to run. Take a moment to think about what is the biggest flow of all the existing picks regardless of their brand. Everyone who plays the instrument knows that guitar picks are super hard to keep, as due to their small size they get lost with nowhere to be found ever again. If the guitar pick is not tightly held in your grip, than there is a good chance you are never going to see it again. A possible innovation would be coming up with a production of new picks that could solve that particular problem for the customer. For instance, new age picks with inserted chips that beep or connect to PCs or Smartphones to hint their location. If you come up with any possible solution that improves and covers an item’s shortcut you already earn a valuable place in the market regardless of how big your competitors are. Keep in mind that customers value quality that makes an item unique. It is all about detecting the holes in the production and filling them with your innovations. Recalling the words of John Torrens, a Professor of Entrepreneurial Practice at Syracuse University “The one non-negotiable factor for any sustainable business is that they solve a problem for a specific customer segment in a way that is appreciably better than the next best alternative”.
Keeping passion alive is what keeps your business going. Unfortunately in most cases when people turn their hobby into a startup they get overwhelmed with the idea of profit, which eventually eclipses the preliminary element that started everything. The most common and the most tragic conclusion that might follow a startup is the expiration of passion. The joy that was present at the stage of having just a hobby is usually sucked away when it transforms into a profit-oriented job. Your passion should be kept alive by preserving the aspects that you loved the most when you started. Otherwise business would drain out all the enthusiasm and leave nothing but burden. Passion fuels your ambitions and motivates you to strive for more, become competent and keep on improving. Your passion is the source of your enthusiasm, a fuel without which no startup can run.
Passion can be explored and turned into profit, but first it is needed to determine what a profit-oriented job is and what it requires in order to function. The key that opens the gate to marketplace is not the product or service itself but a paying customer. Products or services do not equal business unless there is someone paying for them. A paying customer can be earned by the quality and innovations of your goods that exceed the alternatives and the competitors. Innovative excellence is what lures customers to your side despite the tension in the competition pool. Tragically going on a treasure hunt usually drains out all the passion that was at the start of the business. Passion is the motor of any startup and once it dies your business would not reach far. In order to keep you motor, in this case passion, running remember the elements you loved the most that made you start and launch your dream job.