Q. Dear Zenagos, I want to be my own boss, but I don’t have some amazing invention or idea. Can I still start my own business?
You don’t need an earth-shaking new idea in order to be an entrepreneur. You just need to be determined and organized. Here are a few ways you could start your own business:
Provide a Local Service
Make a list of your skills, and think about what people in your area need. If you can provide a service that is in demand, then you can start your own business. Here are a few blog articles that provide suggestions for small businesses that you can start on your own:
Once you have settled on an idea, make sure you make a financial plan to ensure that you have the money you need to both launch and sustain the business. It’s also a good idea to get a free business mentor from SCORE.
Find a Technical Person with a Good Idea
If you are a businessperson who is organized and experienced, then you can partner with a technical person who has a patent or with a less experienced businessperson who has a creative idea. Network with investors – such as venture capitalists and private equity shops – and let them know that you are looking to join a team. You may be able to find potential partners in entrepreneurship programs at technical colleges or at business plan contests. Business school professors are another good source of contacts. With this approach, you can join an innovative team without having to generate an amazing idea yourself.
Buy an Existing Business
If you have some money available, you can get into business by purchasing an existing business. You can typically find a business broker through your small business attorney or Chamber of Commerce. When you purchase a going concern, as with any large purchase, you should protect yourself. Hire an attorney who has experience in “due diligence,” who can guide you through the process of evaluating your acquisition target. There are usually unpleasant surprises with any business purchase; you want to make sure that the surprises are within a range that you can tolerate.
Buy a Franchise
One way to buy a business with established processes and an existing brand is to buy a franchise. The cost to purchase a franchise varies, with the average amount ranging from $20,000 to $50,000 (Lederman, 2021). A franchise is a good compromise between starting your own business from scratch and purchasing a stand-alone business. The franchisor has already developed the company’s processes and may provide inventory, marketing, technology, and/or centralized services. This makes a franchise a lower-risk venture than starting a business from scratch.
Starting your own business is an adventure that can be both exciting and terrifying. The most important thing is your approach, not your idea. Even if you did have some amazing invention, that wouldn’t guarantee success. The entrepreneurs who flourish are those who can weather change with resilience and meet challenges with determination.