018 opportunities of self-employment

What do you need to consider as an entrepreneur when setting up your own business? In this edition of Live It, Lead It! I will be talking about the essentials to think about when providing a product or service, along with which market to have your eye on to generate the leads you need to be successful!

Cost, lead time and quality. These are the three dimensions every company and entrepreneur that produces things for other people must consider when looking to improve a product or service. Ultimately you can never reduce all three elements, but you can usually reduce one or two. In this podcast, I’ll be discussing the three filters to ask yourself when looking at how to go about making your product or service better.

No.1 Eliminate it.

The first question you need to ask yourself is how you can streamline the work that goes on behind delivering your goods to your customers. Eliminating unnecessary processes behind your products without reducing quality is key. For example, maybe one of your products contains a function which is no longer utilised by your customers. Or perhaps you can improve the materials used in their production.

No. 2 Automate It.

Automation today is also a viable option for improving production processes, particularly as robots become cheaper and cheaper. 

No. 3. Delegate.

This is particularly key if you are an entrepreneur or are looking to become one.  Outsourcing should be considered, particularly if you can find cheaper labour costs abroad. Not only can it reduce your spend but it can also reduce complexity. Big companies that offer specialised products or services can usually provide them for cheaper. Or consider opening a service centre. However, labour costs will eventually go up, and other destinations can become cheaper. The key is to always have your eye on the ball – because sooner or later the work will move elsewhere.

The markets.

If you’re living in the EU, then it’s a great chance to take advantage of travelling within the Union which can be a fulfilling experience to learn and grow, as opposed to staying in your country of residence waiting for work to come to you. Living somewhere other than your home country is always good for your CV. Be sure to learn the language and familiarize yourself with the culture.

However, if that’s not an option consider how to pull work to you. This is the essence of what it means to be an entrepreneur. To stand yourself apart you need to decide on who is your perfect customer and what keeps them awake at night. What problem do they have that needs to be solved and how can you help them?

If you are working in a market other than your country of residence however then there are some critical points to consider. If you don’t speak the language of your customers, then you’ll need to learn the language. Understanding cultural difference is likewise essential. Take for example the Chinese that tried to sell automobiles in the German market. They completely ignored everything that Germans look for when they buy a car, and they got thrown out of the market. You will be much more successful when you speak the language of your customers and understand the social differences between you and them. Everything from what they wear to what interests them is key. Get closer to the society that you think will be your market. Understand your customer and reduce the effort required among your customers to trust you. Make it easy for them to understand the products and services you have. We are in the best time of mankind ever. Go and take advantage!


Olaf Kapinski