There was a time when you couldn’t start a business without putting your credit on the line with a business loan. Today, all you really need is a two hundred dollar laptop or used smartphone and an internet connection. Here are a few principles to keep in mind before you get started:
A Word on Cost, Risk and Planning
Something to bear in mind when it comes to the concept of cost and risk: the more something costs you in terms of time, money and effort, the more planning you should put into it, the more research. When you pay for web hosting, for instance, you need to do you homework and make sure that you’re going with the right web host for your business. On the other hand, sending an email to a graphic designer for a quote takes about one minute, so you don’t need to spend all day researching graphic designers to make that choice.
The more something costs, the more planning it should involve. Maintain this rule of thumb in order to manage risk and to avoid getting hung up on the small stuff.
Plan to Fail
Big ideas are the only ones worth having anymore. You need to be the best at whatever it is you do, and that means thinking big. Making a modest profit on iPods on eBay isn’t going to work, because the people who already dominate that market will just cut their prices lower when you come in to compete with them. They have the access to greater bulk quantities of goods that they can sell for cheaper, so simply selling commodities won’t cut it, someone will always be able to undersell you in that area.
Big ideas are the ones with potential to fail. When you decide to be the very best shoe repairer in your city, when you decide to create a new kind of light bulb, these are the kind of ideas that will allow you to dominate that field if you succeed, but that always have the potential for failure.
Luckily, every failure is a chance to learn, to grow, and to try again. We don’t like the idea of failure, but anything that doesn’t kill us or bankrupt us is a failure that we can afford to risk, and more importantly, nobody ever succeeded without risking failure. Some of the most successful business people failed dozens of times and tried their hands at dozens of things before finding the niche where they truly excelled.
Selling the Story
What you’re really selling at the end of the day is not a better hair dryer, it’s not a nicer pair of athletic shoes, it’s a story. Your customers want to experience something through your product or service, some kind of adventure or competitive edge. Even someone who buys an energy drink isn’t buying caffeine, they’re buying an extra couple of hours partying or they’re buying greater productivity at work.
Stop thinking of your product or service in terms of commodity and start thinking of it in terms of the story.
About the Author: Charles Moore has the credit of writing articles on home organization and solution. He is also a regular contributor to Movingtips.org.