What Is A Small Fortune?
A small fortune is not something you can live off for the rest of your life but something that might buy you a new car or an around the world trip but most importantly it is something that might make it possible for you to start another business, a business with greater potential, without having to get an outside seed investment. Being able to invest your own money in a venture is a fantastic thing as it gives you freedom and if you at any point need external investors you will be able to keep a much greater stake in your company and even maintain control. Taking that first step in the business world and be able to put some cash away is a great aim for a young and aspiring entrepreneur and a first step towards being able to take on a business idea that will make you superrich.
Lay The First Brick To A Fortune
The first step for you is to identify your competitive advantages – which are most likely time and energy.
If you are young you might have very low living costs, no family and have the energy to work endless hours.
A sure way to build your first small fortune is to work harder than everybody else and then sell your business with a nice profit. You are on the way…
Instead of focusing on a business idea with an enormous market potential the focus here will be on the best possible business idea given your competitive advantages, resources and experience.
Find a good business idea where you can put your skills and time to work and make a profit you can live from in the very beginning. Make sure you build a brand and solid processes in your company so that it will eventually be able to stand on its own without your management. Most likely you have to work very hard to achieve this and to increase your initially very small running profit. However, when you have reached a level of sustainable profits, built a brand that is more known than yourself and established solid processes for all parts of your business operations you will be able to sell your company and get paid for all those hours you invested in building it.
Bootstrapping your first company is probably not just a good idea but also a necessity. By bootstrapping you will avoid wasting the small resources you have and be able to reach that precious target of making a profit and build value in your company.
One way to handle the pressure of starting a business without funding and where the workload already from the beginning is expected to be brutal is to find a partner that can join the venture and share the burden. Brining in a partner that fits both the business and your chemistry is not always that easy though. We have previously written about what to look for in a potential business partner and how to deal with the process of getting into a partnership.
Networking Is Cheap Marketing
If you decide to launch a venture that provides professional services the first sales will probably be after a face-to-face contact with presumptive clients and most likely that way of getting clients will be a key ingredient for most of the time you run your first business.
Professional networking is a very good, and usually cheap, way to find clients for professional service providers and there is usually no shortage of networking events to attend. You can read more about what professional networking is and why it’s important in one of our previous posts.
Free Online Marketing
Another advantage for current startups compared to the pre-Internet period is that marketing can be very cheap now. Social media marketing can be totally free of charge and if you manage it well you can build a brand and attract customers by investing a comparatively limited amount of time, the same goes for online marketing in general where the content you post online can be shared far and wide if you are lucky and have good timing.
Avoid The Most Common Mistakes
There are plenty of mistakes to be made by the aspiring entrepreneur and they might serve as good lessons and help the entrepreneur to develop into an accomplished businessman but it is of course also important to learn from others and avoid making mistakes that can ruin your business before it’s even off the ground.
For businessmen his or her attitude to life, work and risks is one of the most important assets. Being able to deal with big and small issues at all times, being able to handle people and being able to humble oneself and analyze and correct behaviors and feelings that might be destructive or even outright catastrophic for the business is an important and never-ending process.
You got to keep moving!
Whatever the obstacles, whatever the time of the day or day of the week – keep moving! Whatever your feelings, whatever your social life – you got to keep moving!
As they say about successful athletes, talent for the sport is good but the most important talent of all is to endure endless and very painful training. You don’t have to be a genius to succeed with a business but you have to be able to work incredibly hard and have a crystal clear focus.
Selling Your Business – Making An Exit
Keep your expectations under control when you are planning to sell your business, you might not see millions coming out of a sale but if you manage to get a market rate hourly salary in return for all the hours you put in while running your business when you sell it that can be considered a success as you probably put in hours beyond what you thought would ever be possible.
Keep in mind that you need to be cool when you sell your business. If the potential buyer sees any fatigue or panic in your eyes when you negotiate you might lose out on the sale.
Conclusions And Lessons Learned
Now you have it, your first little pile of cash. Now you have learnt how to build a business, you have gotten used to work hard and you have managed to sell a company. Well done, few entrepreneurs get this far! Now you can start looking for your second project and do everything again but on a greater scale, faster and better. Your second fortune, a bigger one, is now within reach.
You have taken your first steps towards a great fortune and the biggest challenge you are facing is to stay motivated and not get distracted by people who want a stake in your fortune by approaching you with all kinds of high-risk, big-dreams, propositions.
Founder of Fryday, An International Network Of Professionals
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