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Thread: How to start a business with no support

  1. #1

    Default How to start a business with no support

    I have an idea for a business. I think it’s a great business as no one here in my area is doing it. I need very little to start. All I need to do really is advertise it. The problem I’m having though as I’m sure isn’t unheard of before. My wife and family are telling me that it will not succeed. We have bills that need to be paid and starting a business will surely mean we will go behind for a while as I need to be available to run it and wouldn’t be able to work anywhere else. I expect it to start off slow but it will pick up in a short time I think. I have complete faith in the idea but I’m hearing things like that won’t work and my idea is being very easily dismissed. What can I do? I’m looking for help from someone that has dealt with naysayers before and have become successful, as I’m sure that if I start this venture it will be successful in a short time.

  2. #2
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    Well first of all, we all dealt with naysayers. Friends, family, co-workers. Very few people have the vision of entrepreneurs. Sure everyone has a fantasy in their head that they have a great million dollar idea, but most people are crippled by fear. Will only put forth minimal effort and only then if there is some guarantee of success. They're scared to take a chance because they're scared of failing.

    When I ( and most people here) started we bootstrapped. Put together any resources we could with the money we had (or got a second job to make the money) so that we could do something. Anything. Work it part time, over the weekends, late at night..whatever it took. I started with an old Compaq Presario that ran slow as "F". Used to take me forever to install WordPress or move a website. (this is back when it was all manual install)

    I remember selling all my CD's and DVD's to raise money for costs. In the beginning I let my car go so that I wouldn't have the monthly expense ( that was a huge gamble, but I was working from home so I took it). Sold my Xbox (later I could afford a new one), all kinds of things that you do when you're focused and nothing else matters.

    At the time I knew that if I at least had a working computer, internet access, and could put myself together a website that I had a shot. I was on my way. I used free and open source tools, and took advantage of any free resource I could. It was a little easier in some ways back then because it was easier to manipulate Google and competition was much lower. I reached out to people to try and book jobs, trolled the freelancer boards, took work for cheap, did free work just to get something in my portfolio...anything I could do to get money coming in.

    I was also motivated by desperation in that it was my only possible source of income and food. I very easily could have failed, but at the time I really didn't have much choice. I figured the worst that was going to happen is that I was temporarily homeless, and would have to either move in with friends, or back home. I was willing to take that risk rather than not try at all. I also didn't have anyone depending on me and understand how that can certainly change things.

    Had I a regular job at the time ( this was 2008 when the bottom fell out of everything) I would have certainly kept it.

    And I worked it that way until I could afford a new computer. New computer helped me move faster, so now I could work more jobs at a time and added to what services I could offer quickly. That's when i started doing Emergency Service and that was gang busters for a couple of years. Would have never been able to do that small thing that increase revenue, if I'd never started in the first place.

    I had no money for marketing, so I would enter WordPress design and Customization contests to get some exposure. Won a couple. I'd buy themes from popular developers, customize them and then ask them to put them in the showcase.

    I blogged helpful articles and posted on social media. I wasn't looking for big hits, I just needed to speak to that one person who would see it and pick up the phone. Once I got someone on the phone, I was closing them 90% of the time.

    Knowing professionalism, customer service, and learning how to close over the phone is by far the most important skills in the toolbag and they can compensate for a lot of other shortcomings and lack of other experiences. Dare I say, sales and customer service are everything.

    The point is that I did whatever I could to get some momentum going, and used whatever tools I could get my hands on to do the job.


    Over the years I just kept building on that same theme. Building partnerships. Offering subcontracting/outsourcing services. Long term relationships with clients. Providing continuing services that keep the bills pad. Better and faster tools. Learning. Listening to clients and providing services that they are looking for, and 10 years later I'm still here.

    I'm now at the point of needing to adjust a few things and pivot into another field, but at least I have the hands on technical experience to make the move, and am not starting completely from scratch.

    That's the thing about doing whatever you can to just get started, and being ready. You never know when one thing will lead to another, but you can't realize that unless you're out there and ready to get it.

    I'm now moving into Infosec, and I would never be able to do that if not for each step along the way where one thing let to another.

  3. #3
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    If you allow others to dictate your mindset, than you have already failed even though you haven't even left the start line.

    With that said, I'm not suggesting that you pull out all the stops and jump in with both feet and both eyes closed. Have you asked your wife and family why they think the business will fail? Stand your ground, when you get generic answers, and demand specific reasons that can be validated.

    Can you at least share with us an idea of what this business idea is? Odds are someone here has heard of it and can give you some advice.
    Brad Miedema
    Fulcrum Saw & Tool

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    Just to add some cost saving tips to my previous post...

    I'm not sure what business you want to go into, but here's the list of things that I thought were important and that I needed to spend money on, that I didn't need to spend on.

    Business cards
    Stationery
    A laptop
    Photoshop ( I still use GIMP)
    Microsoft Office ( Open Office, or now Google Docs)
    GoToMeeting ( back then I used Skype)
    Memberships or upgraded profiles on business sites (this and 2 other forums taught me much of what I needed to know and helped me through problems).

    I'm sure there were some other things, but the point is to spend wisely and don't get caught up in trying to do all the crap that start ups think they need to be in business. If you got the tools you need, the talent and skills needed, and some sales and customer service skills and the basic tools to look as professional as possible...you got 80% of what you need.

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    It takes a while to get a new business off the ground. If you are struggling with bills, it might make sense to figure out how to get cash saved in the bank first. What I've seen work for many too is starting it on just the weekends, and instead of marketing, go with your network and ask for referrals. If you can get enough momentum with just that, then not only will it give you extra cash, but it also will substantially test the idea to see if it's good to move forward by going all in. Best of luck.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bradmxz View Post
    I have an idea for a business. I think it’s a great business as no one here in my area is doing it. I need very little to start. All I need to do really is advertise it. The problem I’m having though as I’m sure isn’t unheard of before. My wife and family are telling me that it will not succeed. We have bills that need to be paid and starting a business will surely mean we will go behind for a while as I need to be available to run it and wouldn’t be able to work anywhere else. I expect it to start off slow but it will pick up in a short time I think. I have complete faith in the idea but I’m hearing things like that won’t work and my idea is being very easily dismissed. What can I do? I’m looking for help from someone that has dealt with naysayers before and have become successful, as I’m sure that if I start this venture it will be successful in a short time.
    It's possible you are overestimating how much can go into running a business. Even if it's just you, you'll probably need the help of a lawyer or accountant. If you plan to hire people, you will need to think about taxes, employment law, insurance, etc. The fundamentals are boring, can be a lot of work, and can eat into revenues early on. Skipping these steps can come back to bite you later on. That's the unpleasant reality.

    Rather than make your startup business a zero-sum game with your family's livelihood, save enough up money until you can afford to lose whatever you invest into it. "Going behind" on bills from the beginning until your idea becomes successful is an extremely risky plan. I'm not saying your idea "won't work," it's just that you need to be smart about how you tackle this idea. Every business has to have contingency plans and if failure of your business, even if you think the chances are low, means great financial distress to your family and personal life, it's probably not a good idea.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bradmxz View Post
    I have an idea for a business. I think it’s a great business as no one here in my area is doing it. I need very little to start. All I need to do really is advertise it. The problem I’m having though as I’m sure isn’t unheard of before. My wife and family are telling me that it will not succeed. We have bills that need to be paid and starting a business will surely mean we will go behind for a while as I need to be available to run it and wouldn’t be able to work anywhere else. I expect it to start off slow but it will pick up in a short time I think. I have complete faith in the idea but I’m hearing things like that won’t work and my idea is being very easily dismissed. What can I do? I’m looking for help from someone that has dealt with naysayers before and have become successful, as I’m sure that if I start this venture it will be successful in a short time.
    Can you at least give us a hint as to what kind of business it is? Promise I won't steal your idea!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Melanie O View Post
    Can you at least give us a hint as to what kind of business it is? Promise I won't steal your idea!
    Actually that's a good idea. Could help us give you advice

  9. #9

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    The biggest thing you need to do is take action. In order to change your life you have to first change your mind, and then you must change your action, and that action will allow you to change your life! Where there is no action there is no progression, and that goes with anything. You need to start right now because if you don't you could spend your life regretting you didn't. Here's something that I think will help you, Free Cheat List: The 3 Steps To Starting A Successful Business

  10. #10
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    Naysaying an idea is easy, anyone can do it. The one that I would worry about is your wife. She may not be a partner in your business, but she is your partner in life. You need to get her on board. She is going to be worried about keeping a roof over your heads, food, utilities, and taking care of the kids. If you don't have previsions in place for making sure that those items are taken care of she is right in questioning this. If you do have those in place, tell her. Show her that she won't have to worry about food and the house.

    You also mentioned have bills to pay, I am assuming this means you have some debt. Starting a new business while currently in debt, it really stacking the deck against you. Get the debt under control first, then look at starting the business. If you want the best chance for success, have 6-12 months of savings in place.
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