Thursday, March 7, 2019

how to start a business

how to start a business

How To Start A Business With No Time, Money Or Skills - Forbes

Posted: 19 Feb 2019 12:00 AM PST

For as long as I can remember, I always knew I wanted to start my own business. When I was growing up, I worked for my grandparents (who were entrepreneurs themselves) and I immediately fell in love with the small-biz hustle. I even experimented with a few ventures of my own throughout my childhood (some of which were more successful than others!).

But as the end of high school loomed ever closer and I started planning for my future, the inevitable self-doubt settled in. I had no skills, no money, no ideas and no clue where to start; how the heck could I, a rebellious 18-year-old, build a real business?

One of my first business ventures was selling hockey cards and turning a tidy profit.O2E Brands

If you've ever dreamed of starting a business, you've likely asked yourself these same questions. I remember that feeling so well: wanting something so badly but doubting whether you have what it takes.

Well, you know all those boxes you need to tick off before you can start a business? Forget 'em! Here are four things you don't need to become a successful entrepreneur.

Time Is What You Make It

I've never been a great student. In fact, I never technically graduated high school. But my parents insisted I needed a degree to be successful, so I (miraculously) talked my way into business school.

Despite my ADD tendencies and my reluctance to listen to authority, I truly tried to keep my head down and focus. There was just one thing I couldn't get my head around: business students spend so much time in class learning about running a business that they don't have time to actually start one.

For me, this also meant I had no way to pay for my education. So instead of getting a part-time job like any rational person would do, I decided to start a junk hauling business as a way to put myself through school. Eventually, I got so busy growing my little company that it didn't make sense to finish my degree. I dropped out to pursue my passion for entrepreneurship, and it's safe to say it was the best decision I could've made.

If something matters to you and you want it badly enough, it doesn't matter if you don't have time — you'll make time for it. But if you keep waiting for the right time to start a business, you might end up waiting for the rest of your life.

Ideas Are Overrated

Even though I always knew I'd be an entrepreneur, I definitely didn't plan to become a glorified garbage man. I had no idea what kind of business I'd create until it happened.

I was in a McDonald's drive-thru contemplating how to pay for school when an old junk truck rolled by. It was one of those magical moments when everything clicks together and your whole future flashes before your eyes. I knew then and there I was going to start a junk removal company.

Another person wouldn't even have noticed that junk truck. Just like no one questioned why pizza was the only food you could have delivered until companies like DoorDash came along. Or why you had to wait on a corner for a taxi until Uber revamped the industry.

When it comes to starting a business, passion and perseverance are more important than the idea itself. Start looking at things differently and asking how you could do them better. Ideas are out there everywhere but you have to open your eyes to see them.

No Money, No Problem

They say money is the root of all evil but it's also the reason most businesses never get off the ground. And it's not just because people don't have money to get started — it's because they think it's too hard to raise capital so they don't bother trying.

Starting a business was never meant to be easy. It takes commitment, a willingness to fail and a lot of personal sacrifice. I used every dollar I had to buy my first junk truck, a run-down pick-up with plywood sides that I built myself. There are people in our franchise system who literally sold everything they had to raise money to invest in their own businesses.

And that's really the key ingredient: investment. To reach your goals, you need to be ready to invest money, time and effort. You can't expect everything to be easy breezy (fun fact: it hardly ever is). Start with what you have, work hard to earn the rest and, as long as you stay focused on your vision, the money will eventually follow.

Work Hard And The Skills Will Come

Before I started 1-800-GOT-JUNK?, the only business experience I had was the car wash I ran when I was 11 and my illegal candy-running operation when I was at boarding school. Things like hiring, bookkeeping and marketing — basically, Business 101 — were completely foreign to me.

If I had toughed it out and finished my degree, maybe I would've developed more of the hard skills people say you need to run a business. But then I would have put off actually becoming an entrepreneur. In my experience, building a successful business isn't about being book smart; it's based on the skills you can't teach like work ethic and integrity.

So the next time you think you don't have the resources or the skills to start a business, think about where you'd be today if you'd started a year ago. Then think about where you'll be next year if you start now.

How to Get Money to Start Your Own Business - The Cut

Posted: 06 Mar 2019 11:14 AM PST

Photo-Illustration: by Stevie Remsberg; Photo: Getty

Most people need at least $1,000 to $5,000 to start a small business, and asking people for money can be pretty awkward. At the Cut's How I Get It Done Day on Monday, March 4, at a panel sponsored by Amazon Handmade, moderator and Cut columnist Charlotte Cowles asked a question that budding entrepreneurs can feel uncomfortable bringing up: How do you actually raise money to start a company? Do you just make a list of all of the rich people you know? (And what if you don't know any?)

Cowles interviewed Sierra Tishgart, a former New York Magazine editor and the co-founder of the stylish cookware line Great Jones, and Jenn Tardif, whose company 3rd Ritual makes spiritually minded wellness products. The two women funded their companies very differently with similar success: Great Jones's signature "Small Fry" pan sold out the day the company launched, as did 3rd Ritual's first product, the BEL candle holder.

How to Start a Vending Machine Business - Small Business Trends

Posted: 06 Mar 2019 09:00 AM PST

The vending machine industry brings in more than $6 billion annually. Though revenues have declined a bit in recent years, there are some industry trends and interesting niches that could make it an appealing opportunity for aspiring entrepreneurs.

On April 24-26, NAMA (National Automatic Merchandising Association) will host its annual trade show in Las Vegas. More than 5,000 operators, vendors, and industry experts will be on hand to discuss the state of the industry and share resources for business owners.

Ahead of that event, Small Business Trends spoke with Jeffrey Smith, NAMA Chair and CEO of All Star Services, a vending machine supplier in Michigan. He offered some industry tips and insights for those who may be interested in breaking into the industry. Here are some of the most essential steps to be aware of.

Tips on Starting a Vending Machine Business

Research the Market

Smith says, "Research your location and your market. Find out who the players are."

Every specific market is different when it comes to vending machines. In your area, there may be a shortage of a particular vending machine style or a specific type of product. Before jumping in, it's important to look into all the options available and what type of competition is around your location.

Find Your Niche

Knowing the landscape in your area can help you choose an area of focus. Of course, there are general snack food vending machines. But there are also machines that include specialty food items, personal care products, items like Aspirin, and even tech gadgets.

Smith adds, "A big thing we're seeing right now is healthy options. When people think about vending machines they normally think snack foods. But now we're seeing more of a variety, especially with target consumers that want to provide healthy options."

Save Up

Of course, you will need to purchase all of your machines and inventory before getting started. This can be a decent investment, so you may want to start planning and saving early in the process.

Smith says, "It's a very capital intensive business. Each vending machine you buy new can range from about $5,000 to $20,000."

Compare Machines

The investment can vary depending on what type of machines and inventory you choose. You'll need to find machines that work with the type of product you plan on selling, accept the right payment options for your needs, and offer the features you need to run your business effectively. Basic models will be significantly cheaper than those with advanced features. However, the newer machines also offer improved functionality and tech capabilities that may appeal to you.

Learn About the Technology

More specifically, there are tech options for helping you track sales and inventory. These options can cost you a bit more, but may be worth it in the long run.

Smith says, "Before, operators would just have to visit each location and bring extra stock with them just based on what they thought was needed. Now you can monitor what's selling right from your office so you know exactly what needs to be stocked and when."

Solicit Locations

From there, you'll need to actually find locations to place your vending machines. Office buildings, malls, hotels, schools and public buildings all usually accommodate some type of vending machines. This might also be part of your niche. For example, you could start a company that targets offices with healthy snack options.

Whatever you decide, you'll need to speak with building owners to work out placement details. Smith says that his company uses telemarketers to find property owners who are interested and set up appointments. Then a company rep will go meet with them. This eliminates much of the work for his actual team and allows them to focus on prospects that are more likely to be interested in their offerings.

Consider Adding Extra Services

Vending machine operators can also add other complementary services to their list of offerings. Specifically, Smith says his company offers a "pantry" service for offices. They basically stock the office kitchen with a variety of snacks and other food items that employees can enjoy free of charge. This basically helps the business keep their employees happy and healthy. And this is just one option for using your access to food and convenience items to add extra services for your clients.

Connect with Larger Firms

Smith added another tip for small vending machine operators interested in growing their customer base. He said that some larger firms like his will only work with accounts of a certain size. So they often like to connect with smaller operators where that they can pass those small jobs. This allows them to keep those customers happy and allows newer operators to build up their business.

Maintain Your Machines

Once you've started placing machines, you need to have a schedule for re-stocking them and providing any necessary repairs or maintenance. You'll also want to have customer service reps in place so the contacts at each of your locations can reach out to you if there are any issues.


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