Your Million Dollar Idea is Waiting: Tips for Jumpstarting Your Startup
Entrepreneurs are everywhere. Unfortunately, many of them don’t know they have what it takes to break away from the traditional workforce. Regardless of your age, starting your own business is an adventure that can pay off in a big way. From 13-year-old Moziah Bridges to wildly successful entrepreneurs that didn’t start until after their 40th birthday, there are plenty of examples of how passion and a unique idea can help you cut ties with your nine-to-five life.
Getting started is perhaps the biggest hurdle when it comes to opening your own business. Most of it is getting over your own fear of failure and the unknown. This, coupled with limited cash, makes starting your own business a seemingly impossible goal, but it isn’t. According to Forbes, it’s completely possible to launch your own business with $1,000 or less. In order to do so successfully, you have to start with having an actual plan.
Your initial concept should include at the very least:
● The name of your company
● Information about the services and products you’ll offer
● A comprehensive market analysis
● A marketing plan
Once you have the first three together, your marketing efforts should start online. For just a few dollars, you can purchase a domain and create a website that will help bring customers to your doorstep. You can also get the word out by attending trade shows, school-based fundraisers, or, if your business is truly unique, contacting your local news station to let them know what you offer – they may be willing to bring a camera crew and run a story on you.
If you’re sure you want to be an entrepreneur but you really don’t know what business you’d like to get into, start with your personal interests. Are you an accomplished artist? You may be able to turn your painting skills into a mural business. If you enjoy pets, consider walking dogs for a living. Your skills with the guitar, aptitude for home improvement projects, or ability to handle complicated financial matters are also in demand these days.
In fact, there are several up-and-coming business ideas that can help you get on the forefront of emerging trends, which include selling selfie drones, teaching high-intensity interval training, and dropshipping matcha tea. Classic startup ideas that have stood the test of time include selling customized workwear, women’s shoes, plus-sized clothing and, surprisingly, non-medical compression socks. However, there are countless other options available.
Education Ahead of Expansion
Once you get up and running, be careful not to put your proverbial cart before the horse. Once you enjoy a small amount of success, it’s easy to get carried away, but explosive growth is not often sustainable in the long term. Take your time and educate yourself on the pros and cons of expansion. Listen to podcasts, read business blogs, invest in management books, and write down your goals. Open Culture’s list of free business classes is a great way to deepen your professional understanding and gain greater insight on entrepreneurship, finances, and more.
When you finally expand, consider your funding options carefully, as there are numerous options (including equity financing and debt financing). However, choosing the right type of business funding can mean the difference between a cash flow and a cash crunch. You may need to take out a small business loan if you find it necessary to purchase additional equipment or inventory or to hire staff to keep up with demand.
Your big idea doesn’t have to sit in the back of your head. It doesn’t matter how old you are or how much money you have available, with a little creativity, you can start your own business and join the ranks of people like Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg.