I’m starting off a series called Start a Business. There would be at least one post a month on the topic and I’ll be exploring and showcasing businesses which are good opportunities for the individual. These are not businesses with big upfront investments money-wise but ones which would be suitable for entrepreneurs and budding entrepreneurs.
When we talk business, and starting a business for yourself, one of the most frequently heard objection I get is, “I don’t know about business”. And this is followed by the most frequently asked question, “What can I sell?”.
The answer is very obvious and staring at you in the mirror. Yourself.
We’re not talking slavery here, but if you think about it, that is what most people are doing on a daily basis. People, and that includes you and me, are selling their time, talent or skill on an everyday basis to someone who values that time, talent or skill of yours. Their valuation of your time, talent and skill may be different from your own valuation, but you are selling it nonetheless to that someone.
That’s what you are doing when you have a job. You go to work for someone or some organization. And that someone or organization pays you for the job. It is a commercial exchange – a business arrangement. You are already in a business whether you realize it or not.
It’s the same thing with having your own business. You are utilizing your time, talent or skill to work on something which will bring financial rewards to yourself.
The main difference being, with a job you get paid on a regular and/or predictable basis. The commitment on your part is you have to show up and do that job everyday, unless you have permission not to show up for that day. And you have to do it, whether you love the job or not.
There’s also the difference of resources. In working for someone else, you use the resources of that someone or organization. Whereas if you are working for yourself you have to come up with those resources yourself. But that’s not as bad as it sounds. You don’t necessarily have to buy those resources. You can acquire them the same way your current job owner does – renting or paying for other people’s time.
So why don’t people start their own business?
I believe it starts off with a misconception of what a business is. Mention the word “business” and you get images of organizations, buildings, trucks, employees, inventory, and a whole host of paperwork, amongst other things.
Merriam-Webster has a simple definition of Business for the English Language Learner:
“the activity of making, buying, or selling goods or providing services in exchange for money”
Once you understand that you are already in a business arrangement, you should think about maybe you should be working for someone else – yourself.
Now that can get scary. What business could you possibly do? You don’t anything about running a business. Much less to start a business. That’s why you have a job.
Let’s be clear. Running your own business is not for everybody. There are people who are happy and contented to just stick to a routine and just do what they have been trained to do repetitively day in, day out. They don’t want to have to think about challenges, organizing stuff, planning, executing, troubleshooting, facing complains, marketing, acquiring new skill sets, constantly learning,… and whew! I’m out of breath.
For probably a good 80% of the people out there, that’s usually the situation. It’s much easier and safer to just find and work a job. That ‘safer and easier’ landscape is changing in the 21st century but it’s still the most comfortable arrangement for the majority of people. To start a business would be the furthest thing in their minds.
But if you are looking for something else beyond being just an name in someone’s payroll or an organization chart, you might want to consider working for yourself. Maybe not full time initially. You can start working for yourself part time. See how you like your new boss. Who knows? You just might like the new boss better than the present one. You might like it enough to even consider to start a business for yourself.
There are of course other reasons why you would be considering starting a business for yourself. A huge reason is you need to have more money for the family. There are daily expenses, bills to pay, children’s education, mortgages, insurance and a whole host of unplanned events. There’s also the looming uncertainty of whether the job is really going to be there for you forever.
Okay, so say for whatever reason you have decided you are going to try working for yourself. You want to start a business. What business can you possibly do?
Glad you asked.
There is an amazing range of things you can do online.
The startup cost is so much lower than a traditional business. You can do it much faster, cheaper, and the best part is, you can always start all over if you get it wrong the first time. Which you will probably do. But that’s part of the learning process. If you get it wrong, you can quickly get up and try again. That’s the beauty of having an online business. It’s not something you can do with a brick-and-mortar business.
The other cool thing about it is, online startups are usually a one-person business. There are so many online tools and resources available nowadays at affordable prices, you can do it all by yourself. It’s not what I would recommend, but it is possible.
So to kick off this series, here is something you might want to consider to start a business – selling information.
No, I’m not asking you to be a corporate spy or to sell state secrets. I don’t want the FBI breaking down my doors in the middle of the night and dragging me kicking and screaming, “I’m innocent! I didn’t tell them to do that!” out into the streets and into their black limos.
No, not that kind of information. But the kind which is being sought after by millions of people everyday to improve themselves. There is a world of opportunity for you to sell information which you personally have, or learned. Information about a hobby, skill, an observation, an experience.
You see, most of the time you are selling yourself short. You tend to undervalue what you already know or have, because it come easily or naturally to you. What you may not realize is that a lot of people struggle with the very same thing which seem so natural or effortless to you. And they are actually willing to pay for that information. We’re not talking mega-bucks here (although it is possible, eventually) but thousands of people (or more) willing to pay some money right now to learn from you.
Does that sound intriguing? Exciting even?
It’s true. Information is big business. But if you are just starting out, if you want to start a business with it, you need to (guess what?) get more information! There’s no lack of information online on how to do this. In fact, sometimes there is too much information and everything becomes confusing. There are too many people offering their perspective on how to do this kind of thing. If you are new at this, you would need something simple.
One source which I would highly recommend is a course by Sorin Constantin. The course goes through the entire process in a simple, step-by-step basis. He provides links to the required resources so you don’t have to do all the hunting and researching yourself. It’s a course designed with the newbie in mind. But don’t let that fool you. He has information which even the most seasoned marketer may not know about. It’s a good way to start a business if you are still trying to figure out what to do. The best part about this kind of business is that once you have set it up right, it will provide you with passive income.
I purchased and reviewed his course and it’s absolutely doable for a beginner. If you are already selling online, this will be a piece of cake for you. There’s probably a link somewhere on this site to his training, but you can also get to it by clicking on this link here: http://tankokseng.pro/ipa
Check it out – it’s worth your time. Who knows, it could be the beginning of a “Start a Business” for you.