There is one way to successfully start a business with limited resources, but you are not going to like it. TV and movies have convinced you that starting and running a business is fun, stylish, and that it gives you lots of freedom and independence. The truth is that it does the opposite. In this article, you will learn the scary truth about running your own business, and then learn a time-honored method for starting a business and making a go of it (even if you have limited resources). It may seem like this article is trying to talk you out of starting your own business, but it is best that you learn the harshest realities now so that you may prepare for them. It is better than learning them when you are $50,000 in debt and your parent’s house is being seized.
Before you read on, your expectations need a tweak, and your reality needs a slap. It will save you a lot of time and heartache in the future. As mentioned earlier, TV and movies have convinced you that starting and running a business is fun, stylish, and that it gives you lots of freedom and independence, but it just isn’t true. Running a business is very hard work for a very low hourly return rate.
Running a business is all about working far harder than you do now…. but for a far smaller wage. Ever see rich independent jewelry store owners in their 60s? Even if those people started in their 20s, they had to work so many hours that they would have only been paid an average $2.25 per hour (taking off all overheads and taxes). Would you go to work for 90+ hours per week for 40 years, with just a 3-week vacation per year and for a wage of $2.25 per hour? Ever wonder why “Real Life” successful business people look so beat up and rough? It is because they have spent their life working like a dog.
Why the horror stories? The reason is because the only way to succeed in business is to work so hard and work so many hours that it consumes your life. If you are willing to do that, then you may start a business with limited resources and still make a go of it. Do not be fooled by what TV, the Internet and movies show you. The people who seem to make lots of money without trying are either hiding their efforts very well, or they are the exception to the rule.
Here is a method that is time-honored because it is a common-sense method that patient and hardworking people are able to put the good use. There are two reason why it fails so often. The first is because people try their business and then decide it is not for them because it is boring, too much hard work, or too unprofitable. The second is because people become impatient and kick it in to high gear too early.
To demonstrate the step-by-step method, let’s take the example of Samantha who wants to become a full-time photographer with full-time clients and the ability to earn a profit without any form of outside financing. However, instead of getting a startup loan, she decides to become a photographer in her spare time and decides to keep her day job (for now).
She started by taking snaps on her Smartphone. Her camera was only a 5 mega pixel, so she couldn’t sell her images on large marketplace websites. The best she could do was sell her funniest or weirdest pictures to a group of meme creators that she met on Facebook. She also managed to sell a few of her pictures to a review company that posted her landscape pictures to make it look as if somebody took them while on vacation.
Each photo earned her an average of $0.50 per photo, which she saved and put together with a full-time job wages. In five months, she could afford a new Samsung phone with a 13 mega pixel camera. Her new shots were finally of a high enough resolution to be placed on a photo marketplace. She uploaded new shots every weekend. Within 6 months she had uploaded 1200 images and was selling roughly 3 per week at $13 each.
After seven months, she used the money she was making to buy an SLR camera. She continued to sell to her Facebook group and on the image marketplaces, but she also placed free ads online for her photography services for birthdays. After gaining more experience and a bit of a reputation, she found herself booked up every weekend.
By the time she had enough experience to start photographing weddings, she had built a client list, bought a second hand car, secured the services of an accountant, and had finally saved up enough money to buy the last of her equipment. She had already made her own website, and she had saved up enough to keep her business running for 3 months even if she made no money at all (contingency savings). When demand became so much that she had to start turning people down, she took the plunge and started working as a full-time freelance photographer.
You need to lower the amount you pay out both in startup costs and in regular overheads. This may sound like common sense, but you will be surprised how many people start their business with a spending spree – especially if a startup loan was involved. Try to be more energy efficient around the office and workplace because energy bills and phone bills are the ones you are able to run up with abandon and not realize until it is too late.
If you have limited funds and you are thinking about getting in debt to start your business, then ask yourself if you truly need the things you are going to buy. For example, could you run your business for a week without buying the thing you think you need? What about a month, two months, three?
If you can survive without it for that long, then shouldn’t you wait as long as possible until you simply cannot function without it. Businesses don’t become successful by spending money. The story of the business with a safe full of cash is Hollywood fiction. Most businesses are operated by work-a-day Joe and Joanna who go out of business if they start to slow down or slack off.
This article started by kicking your expectations into the ground, and proceeded to give you a method for starting your business with limited resources that was so boring that sweeping roads may have seemed more appealing. However, that is how you start a business with limited resources. If you have rich parents who are willing to fund your adventures, then you can take a different path. If you have a good con in mind, then you can take the Wolf of Wall street method. Otherwise, your only path to success is a lot of hard work, money saving, and experience gaining.