Starting a Business is Easy

Many people think that it’s hard to start a business and you need a brilliant idea. I have mostly followed an approach that’s pretty much the opposite of that. I recently joined a mastermind group with others who are dedicated to pursuing the easy approach to business so we can further refine and practice these ideas.

The “business ideas” you see on TV that seem like a lot of work and a big struggle are really just examples of bad business ideas. The reason they are so hard to do is that people do a lot of work before even knowing if anyone cares so most of their work is wasted. And as a result they are very likely to end up going down a path with results that are mediocre at best. Lots of work + weak results = bad idea.

The way I approach it turns everything around. As Ramit Sethi likes to say you don’t need a business card, a website, or a twitter account. All you need to do is talk to people until you find someone who needs help and will pay for it. Once the first person pays you, you have a business.

Then you keep telling stories about how you have helped people. By doing this you will find more people asking for help. Over time as you get a better idea of what people need you for and the demand grows, you can raise prices. If you discover new needs along the way you figure out a way to sell something for that. When things are really rolling along you can start hiring people to help you and make sure you have the right profit margin to support that.

Keep doing this and you’ll get steady growth in your business. Keep up the steady growth and you can get it to any size you want. There are challenges along the way, but if you keep an open mind and you stay as flexible as you can for as long as you can, you can take it anywhere you want. Keep trying new ideas along the way and you can build up new lines of business to grow faster. Even large corporations will go down quickly if they forget these principles.

And that’s all you need to know about starting a business in 300 words.

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2 responses to “Starting a Business is Easy”

  1. TimelessFinance says :

    Great post.

    I will say, I don’t think the “best” ideas are always the easiest. Obviously from a profit perspective it’s best for an individual to find an idea that prints money. But the ideas that really change the world have required a massive truckload of capital and legwork; e.g. Fedex and cellular phone providers.

    I agree about the trappings of a successful business — I knew somebody who decided to start a business and went about buying everything (a logo, business cards, even a jingle) before making a single sale. Sure enough the business marketing was lovely and the core idea was an unoriginal flop. But get the free stuff and use it for marketing — e.g. Twitter and Facebook — while the name is still untaken. Focus your efforts, of course, on what’s most effective. I often think “Man, if I wanted to be a financial planner, my blog would be the perfect marketing tool”. Meanwhile, I don’t think quid pro quo following everybody on Twitter would be advantageous.

    Try not to sell directly to consumers. I’m not saying you can’t build a successful business selling to consumers. But it’s just generally true that individual consumers are less profitable then business clients. The latter, if you truly provide value (save money, increase efficiency, create new sales, whatever), can make you very rich.

    • Simply Rich Life says :

      Thanks Joe! You’re definitely building an asset that will give you future opportunities, which would be much harder if you spent time on things you don’t need right now. It’s funny how some people just don’t believe that you have a real business when you have 10x their income.

      Selling to businesses is very easy. it’s like investing in commercial real estate instead of flipping residential units. The results when you can actually talk to people with reason and logic are amazing. But then if you can catch on to the right consumer trends those are powerful too.

      I am actually practicing a twitter marketing strategy that seems like it would be effective if I put more time into it. It’s a bit more complicated than following people back (but barely). There’s potential there but it requires adding value.

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