There has been an ongoing shift in the working world.

More and more people are attracted towards the freedom of owning a business. Despite their desire to follow their passion, there are still those who choose the safety net their day jobs offered.

Greg Prudhommeax has been in the same predicament.

Almost ten years ago, he came to China and established a consultation firm. The goal was to help local and foreign companies settle in China.

While doing so, he and his colleagues realized the need for a community to help fellow entrepreneurs, professionals, and businesses who are trying to settle themselves in Shanghai.

This gave way for NextStep, which connected well over 15,000 professionals in its first three years. After a while, the team decided to move on to other projects.

NextStep was put on hold.

Greg decided to take a leave from his desk job and decided to follow his passion. He wanted to help people turn their entrepreneurial dreams into reality.

NextStep was revamped. This time it has become an online and offline platform for entrepreneurs, managers, and businesses. the goal is to assist those who wanted to accelerate their business’ growth.

Here he went on to partner with experts and businesses who shared their proficiency with others.

Greg realized the need for a program after getting feedback from workshop attendees. This gave him the idea to design a workshop series called Jumpstart your Business.

The workshop is divided into five parts. Each will be discussing what a ‘wantrepreneur’ needs to do in detail to turn his passion projects into profit.

Part 1: Eyes on the Prize

Aptly named, this first part of the series focuses on the motivations and challenges of the entrepreneur. The discussions can be summed up in four points that help guide the ‘wantrepreneur’ and shift his focus on the why’s of his passion project.

1. Pitch your idea

This aims to help the ‘wantrepreneur’ define and strengthen his reasons for launching his project. Here he answers the most vital question: why are you starting this project? The goal is to help the wantrepreneur to focus on and create a path to follow to reach his goals and get the unnecessary out of the way. It also helps him identify the pain points of his idea, and come up with solutions to counter them. This will also help identify the value proposition he is offering to potential customers and the likelihood of these customers to pay for the services that he is offering.

2. Overcome your hurdles

Despite having a great business idea, most of these wantrepreneurs encounter challenges that somehow stop them from starting their business idea. This part discusses how you can overcome these challenges, evaluate your strengths and do a reality check of what skills you need to improve on.

Evaluate your ideas

Once you get a picture of your strengths and weaknesses, you can now decide which tasks you can do on your own and which tasks you need to get help on. Get in touch with the right people with the right set of skills to get things done.

3. Know your market

Understanding your market, your ideal customer and your competitors are one of the most important considerations you must take as a budding entrepreneur. It’s a must to get to know your competition, their strengths, and weaknesses of their existing competition which you can use to your advantage. How do you find out what these are? Focus on what their current customers say and you’ll pretty much have a picture of what their pain points are. See comments from forums, social media and even word of mouth. From here you can learn how you can improve the solution you provide to future customers.

4. Start small.

It’s better to do one or two tasks very well than try to take up everything and come up with nothing. Stay focused on your goals, tell a compelling and unique story of you and your product and services, and dare to be remarkable. Remember, it’s the little things that count. It may sound tedious, but paying close attention to your customers’ needs will pay off well in the future. Your customers are the key to your success. If handled well, your customers can be your advocates who spread the word about your business.

At NextStep, we are doers. We’d like to help make your move. Let us help you start on your business plan, a marketing strategy to get your services out there, figure out a way to structure simple operations and build your community. We may not make you the next Apple, but we can get you started, and that’s what matters most.

So, what are you waiting for?

Ideas without execution is useless.

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