If you’re here, chances are you have creative ideas and you may even have tried to start a business before. But despite all your efforts, it failed. The reasons are diverse, but the main reason is that you didn’t know what exactly you needed to do to start a business or how to find the best idea for it.
There is no big secret. In fact, you may already know everything that is required to start and run a successful business. The only thing is that you must put that knowledge you have into action.
Many people dream of starting their own business and being their own boss. But few pursue that dream. If you are looking to start your own business, you’re in the right place. What I am presenting here is not to give you a blueprint on how to start your own business, but to make you realize you can start one, and to encourage you that it’s more than possible.
Business owners are ambitious. They want to succeed and make money. But some people don’t know what business idea to start or how to get started.
Here are some ideas that can help you start your own business.
Don’t have any money? Get some
This is the most important piece of advice to anyone who wants to start a business: Start with no money. Trying to get a business up and running with no money means you have to be incredibly resourceful.
You’ll have to get creative in coming up with ways to build your business without spending lots of money. It’s no simple task, but if you can do it, your business will be much stronger for it.
People who launch a business on a shoestring budget have an advantage over those who don’t. They’re forced to be more creative in getting their businesses off the ground, which means they often end up with more innovative ideas than those who are trying to do everything the conventional way.
Starting a business with no money is possible. In fact, it’s how many elite companies started out. Trying to start a business and needing to raise capital is common, but trying to start a business with no capital is quite rare. However, it’s not impossible to start a business with no money or even credit.
Story of one of today’s most successful business owners who started a business from nothing
Entrepreneurs who had absolutely nothing started some of the best-known companies in the world.
Take Howard Schultz, for example, the founder of Starbucks. He didn’t have millions of dollars when he began his coffee company in 1971.
He couldn’t get a bank loan because banks wouldn’t lend him the money, considering he had no collateral. That didn’t stop Schultz, though.
He wrote letters to everyone he knew, asking them for $10,000 each, and received funding from 125 people in total. He also received $250,000 from family members and raised $350,000 through credit cards and personal loans.
Today, Starbucks earns approximately $24.61 billion per year and has 33,000 stores worldwide (source). The next time you’re thinking about starting a company but need some capital, remember that if someone like Howard Schultz can do it with no money, then so can you!
Start a side business
How many people do you know who have a side business?
According to a 2019 survey by Bankrate, 45% of Americans have a side hustle. That’s a pretty big number! However, most people don’t make enough money from their side gig to consider it “full time”.
On average (according to the survey), these hustlers bring home $1,122 per month. This is actually pretty good compared to the median income in the U.S. Many people are creating their own side businesses right now. People like you and me are creating amazing new businesses that allow us to:
- Work from anywhere
- Set our own hours
- Set our own prices
- Keep 100% of the profits for ourselves
- Having more fun than ever before
Make something customers want to buy
One of the best ideas on how to start your own business is this one: find a problem people have and create a solution for it.
If you have a talent, skill, or hobby that you can turn into a profitable side business, do it. If you’re not sure what to do, try this exercise:
Make a list of ten things you enjoy doing (besides your day job). Also, make a list of things that people pay for on the Internet.
For example, if you’re a writer, maybe you could write an e-book about a topic you know well and sell it online. Or if you take pretty wonderful photographs, perhaps you could sell them online.
Trying to figure out what people will pay for is a good way to come up with ideas on how to start your own business because you’re looking at what people are already buying.
Determine if your idea is scalable
No matter what industry you’re in, you need to determine whether your business idea is scalable. This doesn’t mean you have to start a massive company; it just means your concept should be flexible enough to grow into something more than a one-person operation.
Questions to ask yourself: Ideas on how to start your own business.
- Are there a lot of other potential competitors?
- Who are they?
- Are there similar companies out there, and if so, how do they make money?
- If the market is already saturated, can you improve on what others are doing? Or are they already doing things better than you could, in which case you should find another way to fill the need that your business idea addresses?
Once you answer those questions, you should be able to determine whether your business idea is scalable. If it is, it will take hard work and patience to build turn your business idea into a full-fledged business. But if it’s not scalable, it’s time to either rethink your idea or move on and pursue another one altogether.
Make your weekends work for you
Work smarter, not harder. We’ve all heard this phrase before. If you’re a business owner or self-employed, chances are, you work to live rather than the other way around.
When you’re trying to build your business and manage your time, there’s often no time for nonessentials. That includes weekends. Building your business on weekends is an inevitable part of entrepreneurship. And if you have a family, chances are good that you want some time with them, too. But it’s possible to work on your business without working all the time — or even any time at all during the weekends. Here’s how:
1) Stop thinking about what has to be done. If there’s something that absolutely has to be done this weekend but can’t be put off until Monday morning, start doing it now. Work on it in 15-minute increments and then schedule one hour on Saturday to finish up anything that might need it.
2) Do what doesn’t have to be done this weekend but can’t wait until next week either.
Ask friends and family: Ideas on how to start your own business.
What’s the best way to get a new customer?
Ask your existing customers. Most customers will tell you if they like your product, but only if you ask them. So make it a point to find out what you can about what people think of your business.
If you’re running a small business or working for yourself, one easy way to do it is by asking friends and family about their experience with your product or service. If someone comes up to me and says, “Hey, I just bought the new X from your company,” my first response is always, “Thank you.” But then I’ll ask, “How did we do?”
You’d be surprised by how many people will say something like, “I love it. You guys did a great job.” It’s a simple question that only takes a couple of seconds and could lead to more business in the future.
It’s easy to get feedback on your business — it’s just something that entrepreneurs forget to do. In most cases, the people who buy from you will tell others they know about their experience if they had a positive one. And if they didn’t have a positive experience, they’ll spread it even more.
Do stuff you’re good at: Ideas on how to start your own business.
Starting a business is a lot of work, so it’s important to focus on strengths and delegate weaknesses.
What are you good at? Focus on your talents. What are you bad at? Hire someone to do it.
If you’re not good at sales, or public speaking, or technology, or whatever your business requires, hire someone who is.
If you’re not a people person, be an online retailer instead of opening an on-site store.
It’s hard to know what you’ll be good at before you start your business.
But try to think about the things that make you excited, and how you can incorporate them into your business. If your hobby is knitting sweaters for pets, maybe you can open an eCommerce site that sells those sweaters.
You don’t need to have thousands of dollars to start a business. Be resourceful and learn to be an entrepreneur.
Starting your own business can be an exciting but daunting endeavor.
Whether you are dreaming up a product, or just need to know how to get started on setting up a website, there is plenty of information available for you to get started. But where do you start?
This post should help answer that question and also provide some helpful advice on what to avoid.
Hope you enjoyed reading this article. What are some other ideas on how to start your own business?
Let me know in the comments.