Funding is not the problem …

It’s the first day of the new business year and reality is overwhelming. Where to start?

If you are thinking about starting a business …

The first thing to do today is start writing down your ideas. I suggest getting a cheap composition book, sitting down with a cup of coffee, and just writing down things you can do that people will pay you for.

What are your areas of expertise?

You don’t have to know how to program software or build a dynamic website – I know outstanding people who can do that for you.

You don’t have to know how to figure costs and estimate earnings – I know outstanding people who can help you with that.

You don’t have to have a lot of money in your pocket – I know people who can show you how to bootstrap the development of your company.

Are you beginning to get the picture? The real truth is all you need is a good idea. 

There are always ways to make your business idea happen. You don’t have to be an expert on everything – there are plenty of people around who can give you true insight and information based on experience and knowing the marketplace.

One thing I have learned during my nearly 20 years of startup and small business consulting is that the most successful entrepreneurs realize they can’t do it all themselves so they develop an idea and find good people to help them start their enterprise.

Don’t let the mere fact that you don’t have million$ stop you from planning your business.

There are ways to get a business launched on its own earnings and then build it out as money comes in. It all starts with providing a product or service people will buy. It doesn’t have to be a unique or revolutionary offering. In fact, investors are looking to fund good basic companies that provide a better way to do ordinary things. So, if you have a good idea for how to improve something basic, write it down and start thinking about how you can put your idea into action.

A good example of an improvement on something basic is Papa Murphy’s Take n’ Bake Pizza. This company provides all the wonderful things that its luke-warm delivery competition provides, but Papa Murphy’s charges lower prices, which are important in this economy. Not only that, the company doesn’t have the cost of expensive pizza ovens and high electricity bills so its profit margin is probably higher. Its fresh ingredients and the ability to choose the toppings  certainly make it my choice over frozen pizza, and if I heat it up at home, it is hot on my table – not sort of warm.

Sometimes a business breakthrough is made by simply changing how the product or service is presented. Mike Diamond Plumbing became “the smell-good plumber” and is probably the first call I would make if I needed a plumber. Why? I remember the “smell-good” part. Not that I have ever had a dirty plumber answer my service call … but it sure sounds better to call a smell-good plumber.

Finding something to improve a basic business and marketing it properly is a great way to get started without the big investor money.

Another thing: Take advantage of expertise. If you have never started a business, call people who can give you good advice. It will save you lots of time, money and disappointment later.

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