Out of nothing, nothing comes – basic science. If you want to build a business, digital or otherwise, you need one or more resources as a basis. The five kinds are:
If you’ve got the genius or the genius idea, those are worth something. It won’t be enough by itself but, if you’re wise, you can partner with someone else and bring a great idea – yours or theirs – to fruition. Just be sure you structure it well, and protect your brain equity, so it doesn’t end up becoming the next courtroom debacle. The trick is identifying a gap. Where is the niche or opening or opportunity that no one seems to see and no one is filling? Alternately, you can do something very common, but do it very differently, if there’s a good reason for the client. Or you can do something common, and market it better.
Access to Disposable Wealth
Money makes a big difference, if you don’t waste it. You get a loan or tap your savings and, if you don’t have a lot of pre-existing entrepreneurial savvy (experience founding companies that worked, and learning from what didn’t), you’re likely to spend it on all the wrong things. Disposable doesn’t mean ‘truly’ disposable, so spend it smartly. It’s not really true that you can’t start a business without any money, but most businesses require money. Keep in mind, there’s more than one kind of ‘money’. Your wealth might be in some natural resource. For instance, maybe you’ve got a farm full of happy, free-running, egg-laying chickens. I’ll give you $3/carton for those eggs, a couple of times per month.
If you’ve got a killer rolodex, and it’s not old, not just people you know, but people who correlate with a good idea, you may have human capital for your business. These could be partners, advisors, clients, allies, and people who open doors. Not every business needs that – you can come out of nowhere – but most businesses can benefit from it. That’s why networking groups can work, if they’re smart. The rolodex doesn’t have to be thick. Even some family members can be a great start, depending on what your business idea actually needs. They call this ‘social capital’.
No money and no genius idea (and no big rolodex) means you may have to work for a living. There’s no shame in it. There are all kinds of work – you can be a craftsman, a salesperson, a service provider. Everyone works. And most business owners work a lot, at least to start, for a lot of years. Depends on what you want, why, and what you plan to do with it. But there’s no get rich quick, something for nothing, except on late night infomercials. And if you’re getting your ideas from those, don’t even think of starting a digital enterprise, much less one that requires a lot of overhead.
The Combo Meal
The real deal is most businesses require more than one of these things, and can benefit from all of them. A mix of some savvy or smarts, some access to money, a nice bank of contacts, and some downright dedicated work can ensure the success of your new business. Figuring out your mix is, well – the point. If it were easy, everyone would be doing it. Maybe you’ve got pals in South Africa with access to some awesome organic red rooibus tea, and you think you can curate it, brand it, and market it in a unique way. That idea might need a little money to get it rolling, but you could start on a shoestring if you work your buns off for a while.
If you’d like insight and someone to look at your ideas with you, get ahold of MadPipe, where “Everything flows to your door.”