The word “entrepreneur” gets bandied about a lot these days, but most people don’t understand the real meaning. As far as we are concerned, you can use that title when you’ve created two or more profitable businesses.

The guide you’re reading today will highlight a simple path that should help you to achieve that goal. Don’t worry too much if you haven’t got experience in the corporate world at the moment. Everyone has to start somewhere, and you have the same chances of success as other people.

Contrary to popular belief, your level of education doesn’t make a blind bit of difference when it comes to making money. You just need to identify suitable concepts.

Start with what you know

The easiest way to start your first business involves focusing on an area you know well. Take a look at your employment history and see if you have any skills or knowledge about particular industries. Maybe you’ve worked as a chef in the past, and you think you could make money from new cooking devices?

Perhaps you have a background in accounting that could help you to develop the next big software program. Either way, you will always get better results if you concentrate on an industry for which you are familiar.

Launch your first company

Once you’ve come up with a promising concept, it’s time to start your first business. You can do that without professional help if you feel confident. However, most accountants will handle company formations on your behalf for a small fee.

As soon as you register your firm with the relevant authorities, you can start making money. Work from home during the early stages to keep your outgoings as low as possible. You could also use freelancers until you can afford to employ full-time staff members.

Seek the investment you require

When it comes to seeking investment, you are in an excellent position. So long as you have a good credit score, most banks will offer the cash you require. Even so, there are other solutions for people who have trouble with the traditional routes.

For instance, you might like to contact private equity firms or business loan companies. A recent review of Fleximize concluded that new SME lenders are preferred in most circumstances.

So, don’t make the mistake of concentrating on the established websites and brands. Sometimes you can get a much better deal when seeking investment through new and innovative enterprises.

Create a growth strategy

It’s important that all new entrepreneurs create a growth plan during the early stages of their companies. The program you design should highlight the best times to expand, and how you will spend your profits.

It’s sensible to leave as much cash in the business accounts as possible for the first few years. That will help to ensure you can cover the costs of any unexpected expenses. You never know when something will happen that could place a strain on your finances.

For the best results, you should contact an established business adviser and ask for their assistance. They tend to charge a premium, but it’s worth the cost to get things right.

Hire an accountant to help manage your finances

While you could manage your accounts in-house, it’s wise to hire an accountant as soon as possible. An accountant could not only provide financial advice but also invaluable support to help grow your small business.

That’s one of the main things you need to get right when starting a business. You are far too busy with other matters to deal with the numbers and figures.

Also, your accounts will become more complicated as you progress in the business world. You need someone on your books who knows all the tricks of the trade.

It’s possible to make a small fortune without paying a hefty tax bill if you are smart. Just look at how much tax Amazon and Facebook paid last year compared to their revenue.

Secure lucrative contracts

Your business will become a little more stable when you secure big contracts with retailers or service providers. That means you need to create a presentation and information pack to show your clients. Arrange as many meetings as possible and try to speak to the most influential people.

With a bit of luck, you’ll secure a deal that means your business is safe for the next twelve months. People selling products won’t have to work as hard as those selling services, but everyone can succeed with the right approach.

Employ a manager to run your company

The next step is where most people make the worst mistakes. You need to hire a manager to run your business, so you are free to work on other projects. It’s hard to hand the reins over to someone else after all your hard work. However, failure to do that will mean you never get to launch company number two.

Advertise the vacancy on specialist job boards to attract the most suitable candidates. You have to employ someone who has a lot of experience in the business world for the best outcomes. Otherwise, you run the risk of damaging your operation when you release the helm.

Repeat the first three steps

Now you have some free time on your hands; it’s time to get started on your next project. In most circumstances, you just need to repeat the first three steps on this page. However, you are now in a much better position because your first business has made a profit.

So, you could fund your second concept without seeking outside investment. That means you won’t have to sell part of your idea, and your monthly expenses should be much lower than the last time around.
You can officially call yourself an entrepreneur if you manage to reach this stage. That said, you’re going to need an incredible level of motivation during the early days when you’re not making any money.

There is always an element of risk involved with any new business venture, but you should be okay so long as you use the information on this page. In the unlikely event that your company fails, you just need to dust yourself down and start again.

Founding Editor @Alltopstartups, Contributor @Entrepreneur, Columnist @Inc. Magazine and Curator at Postanly (his free weekly digest of the best life and career improvement posts on the web. Subscribe for free.