Avon. Talk Fusion. Arbonne. Prepaid Legal. Hairstyling. Ghostwriting.
You name it, I've likely done it or at least considered it. As an aspiring business owner, there wasn't anything that I wouldn't try at least once. That attitude caused me to fail quite a few times. With each failure, I learned something new. I learned that most MLM's are saturated and encourage you to target your family. The truth is that if you have a great product you can sell it to a stranger. I learned that running a business time-consuming business slows the turnaround for profit. Ghostwriting and hairstyling granted me that wisdom. This isn't to say that these didn't yield profit, it just took plenty of time to realize it. Writing a novel can easily take months and when you calculate the hours invested and the payment for services rendered, you may fare better doing overtime in a sweatshop.
Finally, I decided that I wanted to start a business. I mapped out a structure, did my research and invested in getting it established as a Limited Liability Corporation (LLC). I spent at least $700 for a logo, legal services, web design, and content writing. Then, I decided I wasn't thrilled about the business I was building.
No, it wasn't the brand. It wasn't the clients, I hadn't even secured clients. It was the nature of the business itself. I had no sincere interest in it. Still, after investing what I considered a substantial amount of cash into this venture I decided to press on and ignore my lackluster commitment toward it. Months later, I haven't done anything with the business and instead am nurturing a booming freelance marketing business.
How Did I Do It?
Choose your passion. Starting a startup is often like a new relationship. You get to know the ins and outs and sometimes become disenchanted with the whole thing. As much as I knew I could market any business I created. I didn't take a moment to think that the reason that was so is because I loved marketing. My passion for marketing led me to build a business with it.
Keep It Simple
I started freelance marketing as a means to pad my business account for the other business that I ignored. Because the marketing wasn't long term, I cut every corner to run it. I hardly had any overhead because I wasn't worried about presentation, I just wanted to get jobs. This ended up working to my advantage because as I made more money, I was able to polish odds and ends like my site and my spending to increase awareness of my business.
Use Social Media
Social Media cost me nothing but time. By using Social Media, I was able to reach hundreds of people without spending a cent. It's not always about who is engaging, you just want people to keep seeing your name.
This sounds like an obvious tip, but people tend to take it the wrong way. I didn't network to work with people. I networked to work for people. Meaning, I worked for people who already had a steady stream of business. By assisting others, I was able to learn how businesses are run and take notes. There is nothing wrong with copying a working model or even better; improving it and making it your own. The best part was I was compensated for learning. It was a paid internship of sorts. I would walk away with two client referrals: one from the person I worked for and another for the client we worked with.
The most difficult part of starting a business is seeing it through the point of becoming a functional and mature organization. That means that you will have to stick to your plan and have faith in not only your business but your capability in making it a successful one.
I did all of these things and a few more. However, I can't share all of my secrets after all you're my competition.