The crazy part about starting a business is that the journey is so different depending on the type of business you end up pursuing. From the humble beginnings of Bill Gate’s Microsoft to the crazy start of Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook, every entrepreneur’s journey is unique. This makes a whole lot of sense when you think about it. After all, opening a Chinese restaurant is obviously a lot different from starting a local resume writing service, which is also completely different from starting a resume writing service available nationally – sort of like what I ended up doing.
As a result of how different each path can be, there are a lot of misconceived notions about what it really takes to start a successful business. So, if you’re someone looking to be your own boss one day, let me enlighten you on just how easy it can be by revealing five things you probably think you need to start a business but surprisingly don’t.
1. A never ever before done idea
Striving entrepreneurs are always obsessed over finding that one completely unique idea that will change the world. Sure, if you do somehow manage to find that brilliant idea, that is awesome. Hats off to you! But don’t mistakenly think that a great idea is your only avenue towards starting a successful business – far from it in fact. The reality is, it’s very rare for a new business to be completely unique. Think about all the restaurants that are opened each and every day. All unoriginal, and yet many end up being extremely successful.
The core of a profitable business is not your idea, but your execution. All you really need is to be able to sell something that other people are willing to buy and to be profitable while doing it.
2. A whole lot of startup money
When people think about starting their own business, they think about huge startup costs. It’s just like on Shark Tank where the contestants are always asking for more money to fund their business. It’s easy to wonder: how am I going to pay for the store rent, the employees, the insurance, the manufacturing costs, and all the other various overhead costs? All of this must cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not millions! Well no, not exactly – at least not unless you’re starting a traditional brick and mortar store. There are a lot of businesses out there that only require you to own a website. Sure, there are monthly fees to pay, and startup costs are still “a thing,” but we’re talking three, four, or maybe low five digits here. Not millions.
3. Full-time employees
Wait, but if your business has no employees, then how does the work get done? One word – freelancers.
Hiring freelancers is a great way to avoid all the paperwork and strings attached with hiring a full-time employee. This alternative also saves you the worry of not having enough work for your full-time employees. Sales are inevitably going to fluctuate when you start a new business. Oftentimes hiring a full-time employee is just going to be a money dump because there won’t be enough stuff for them to work on year-round on a day-to-day basis. Using freelancers is the workaround to all of these problems, and it’s actually one of the reasons why you don’t need as much money as you’d think to start your own business.
4. A ton of work experience
If you don’t have any experience, how the heck are you going to know what you’re doing? It’s a natural concern to have if you’re planning on starting a business straight out of college. Sure, having work experience can be a great asset to you when starting your business, but it’s in no way a must-have. Every first-time entrepreneur is going to have to learn as they go no matter how many years of work experience they have under their belt. Let’s also not forget, everything you need to know about starting a business is a single Google search away. If you really want some formal tutelage, there are even plenty of online courses you can take that are meant to help striving business owners like yourself get started.
5. A giant noggin
One of the beauties of entrepreneurship is that you can find success without being the smartest, most gifted, most talented person in the room. It’s completely different from something like trying to make it to the NBA, where if you aren’t at least 6 feet 6 inches or an extremely gifted shooter, you’re basically out of luck. It’s not like trying to make it as a world-class chess player, where you need to have the inborn potential to think twenty moves ahead of your opponent. In fact, you don’t even necessarily need to be better than the rivaling businesses in your industry to succeed. All you really need is to find a way to make money, and there are an almost infinite number of possibilities out there that you can pursue.