These 5 hacks could help you start your dream business
Entrepreneurship is all the rage these days. One study suggests that freelancers will make up 40% of the labor force by 2020. The 9-5 is quickly becoming the bane of many salaried employees' existence. Nowadays, it's not hard to find people who want to quit their job to live the glamorous, flexible life of a business owner.
Unfortunately, some people just aren't in the position to start a business. High levels of debt among Americans are big obstacles to starting a business. Add another $1,000 or $2,000 worth of business expenses to a messed-up money situation each month and we're talking potential trouble. On top of that, it might take a few months or years before a business even turns a profit.
It's time to face the music: you're too broke to start a business.
Yes, take the big leap and make your dreams come true. But also know that starting a business during a financial crisis could be disastrous. If this describers your situation, don't fret. There are still plenty of ways you can pave the road to entrepreneurship without breaking the bank.
Want to start a food truck or catering business? Why not try your hand at a food blog or being an Instagram gourmet? The start-up costs are minimal, and your personal finances will thank you. Plus, you could potentially use your online income to capitalize your "real" business when the time is right. Bonus: if you can succeed in digital marketing, your business chops will be ready for weightier ventures down the line.
Assuming your freelance gigs wouldn't require tons of expensive equipment or other upfront costs, start something with low overhead that could fuel your entrepreneurial dream. If you'd like to have a tech start-up someday, you could offer writing or virtual admin services to time-strapped founders. You could also walk dogs or move pianos. The possibilities are endless, but the goal is the same: get the entrepreneurial juices flowing so you know what to expect when it's time to launch your own business.
Participate in the sharing economy
Taking gigs in the sharing economy is like freelancing, but the marketplace kind of does the work for you. There's such a low barrier to entry to immediate work here that it's worth a shot. Plus, it could open a new world of connections and earning potential that would benefit your future business. You never know what ideas you'll come up with or who you'll meet Ubering or taking gigs on sites like Fiverr.
Work for someone already living the dream
If you want to be a photographer, reach out to someone who has an established photography business. Offer to be an assistant or second shooter. Don't underestimate the power of working for successful people in the industry you aspire to work in. You can build your network and knowledge while you prepare to build your own empire.
Create a 'launch' money plan
Launching out into full-time entrepreneurship doesn't have to be catastrophic if you plan. Think about what it would take to fuel your business and cover your personal expenses. Then, plan from there. You may have to reduce your "personal burn rate" by getting out of debt or temporarily cutting other expenses. (Mark Cuban suggests living as frugally as possible during your business-building phase.) The goal is to create a money plan conducive to your entrepreneurial endeavors so that they can launch, thrive and grow.
You might feel too poor to start on your dreams today, but you don't have to rule it completely out. More importantly, if you're open to the alternate roads to entrepreneurship it could pan out in the long run.