How to Launch a (Weird or Serious) Business
Do what you love! Follow your dreams at all costs! Just ignite your passion and money will follow! Sound familiar? Those tired platitudes have flooded the market for decades, inspiring many well-meaning men and women to quit their day job and start a business. Some succeeded, thanks to a combination of luck, tenacity and the business owner reaching out to industry professionals for help. Many more fizzled out, not because the product or service was unviable, but because the work that goes into running a business was not put in place to support the idea.
So, how do I create my dream job and become self-employed?
Canada runs on self-employment and small businesses, but it takes the right approach to make it happen.
Step 1: Come up with an idea, product or services that is needed and marketable
Step 2: Look into your target market and ask yourself: how do I reach my audience? What would they be willing to pay for my product? How much of my product do I need to sell each month to sustain myself and my business? How much help from outside sources do I need?
Step 3: Look at the numbers. Then look at them again. Do a business plan. Talk to mentors in the industry. Research. Know the viability of turning a profit and how long it will take. Have a backup plan (don’t quit your day job, for example) to support yourself while your business grows.
Step 4: Be realistic. How much debt are you willing to take on before you consider the business a failure? How much emotional energy are you willing to devote to this? Is your family on board to support you? Be realistic about your goals, support and what constitutes the success or failure of your plan.
Step 5: Accept help. In the beginning, most entrepreneurs are self-starters that do all their own IT, marketing, accounting and production. As your business grows, you cannot sustain this. Know that you will be onboarding talent to support your dream; and that comes with a cost.
What are some crazy ideas that turned into real businesses?
That being said, just because your idea is a little bit “out there,” it doesn’t mean it’s not possible. Back in the day, these ideas were considered crazy, but they made their founders a fortune!
- Larry Page and Sergey Brin were students that made a search engine to analyze keywords and links among other online pages. We now call this method “Google”.
- In the 70s, Michael Bloomberg saw that financial-based companies needed reliable business information. He decided provide that information to them electronically. Does the name Bloomberg ring a bell? The company, and the founder, are now worth billions.
- Gary Dahl bought a bunch of rocks in bulk. He packaged them in boxes with holes in the top so the rocks could “breathe”. Pet rocks because a rage and Dahl became rich.
Will my idea become successful?
In the real world, some businesses that should never have logically existed have become billion dollar empires. Others that seemed like they would be a huge success never got out of the gate. The success or failure of your business is combination of many factors, including: capital, support, education, your market and the current market conditions. Sometimes a little luck or a little whimsy also helps.
There is no way to know beforehand if your idea will be a success, but if you do the proper work behind the scenes while knowing your financial and emotional limits, you greatly increase your chances of being the next great success story.
AF Accounting is a support partner for small businesses. We provide bespoke accounting services so you can focus on your product and your team.