The startup culture is full of people who want to and try to but just can’t get their business off the ground. Why is this the case? Much of the reason has to do with the fact that many entrepreneurs don’t know how to take their business from point A to B. Point A is that brilliant idea in the mind of the entrepreneur. B is that subsequent, hoped-for state where the business is secure, established and making money.
“In between” is tough.
1. Just start.
In our experience, it’s more important to start than to start right. Think about it. If you don’t start your business, nothing will happen. Whatever it is that’s keeping you from launching is the very thing you either need to ignore or tackle head-on. So . . .
- Write the first line of code.
- Register the domain.
- Sketch the product.
- Design the prototype.
There is nothing standing in the way of your starting your business except yourself. Do the first thing that needs to be done.
2. Sell anything.
There are some entrepreneurs who know exactly what they want to sell. There are other entrepreneurs who have no idea what they’re going to sell. They just want to sell something. Here’s our advice: Sell anything.
Many of the world’s greatest entrepreneurs aren’t selling anything new. They are selling it different or better:
- Sam Walton (Wal-Mart) sold the same thing that you could find at any five-and-dime or corner convenience store.
- Ted Turner simply sold television broadcasting and advertising.
- Howard Schultz sold coffee.
- Warren Buffett bought and sold other people’s stock.
Entrepreneurs aren’t always innovators. You can take someone else’s product and sell it. Richard Branson, after all, launched Virgin Airlines in desperation. He was headed to the Virgin Islands for an, um, romantic interlude. But his flight was canceled. So, he chartered a private flight, despite his lack of money to pay for it. Here’s how he described what happened next:
I picked up a small blackboard, wrote “Virgin Airlines. $29” on it and went over to the group of people who had been on the flight that was canceled. I sold tickets for the rest of the seats on the plane, used their money to pay for the chartered plane and we all went to the Virgin Islands that night.
Got the message? Go ahead and sell something. Anything.
3. Ask someone for advice, then ask him/her to do it.
When you start a business, you will most definitely not have all the answers. For example, you’ll need to get incorporated, but how? S-Corp, C-Corp or LLC?
To get these answers, ask a competent attorney. The attorney will provide advice — say it’s to start an S-Corp. But, then what? Ask the attorney to do it for you. Instantly, you will have gained an expert who is implementing his/her own advice for your money. Payment? You can reward the attorney with stocks or deferred payment.
When an issue arises, and you don’t have the answer, find someone who does. Then, when this expert gives you advice — whether the business best practice, manufacturing locations, logo design, accounting, whatever — ask that person to do it.
Your business needs more help, knowledge and professional skills that you have time for. Get people to work for you.
4. Hire remote workers.
If you want to find the best and most affordable talent, you may not find it next door. Be willing to hire remote workers to get great work done.
5. Hire contract workers.
Becoming an employer carries with it a lot of baggage. It may, in fact, form such a barrier that it slows down the process of your startup. Besides, few people will be willing to take the plunge to become the employee of a tenuous startup.
Instead of hiring employees, hire on a contract basis. The point is, you need to find a way to get the talent to provide their services. Don’t let the specific arrangement get in the way of getting stuff done.
6. Find a co-founder.
Read more here.