Yahoo has posted us as their Feature blog post on Yahoo Small Business “Start“. This is a blog to help small businesses get off the ground and get going. You can read it here.
When Yahoo first approached me about this, I did ask “Why? I simply assumed this is what everyone in America did at some point a Garage Startup with little or no investment. The American Dream” I was corrected “No! Today everyone goes to the bank or chases VC’s with their concept”. But I really got going in 2008 and no one even cared about me, three banks told me they were not opening new business accounts. I did not want to borrow money just needed to make deposits.
Borrowing money. I could never really grasp that principle. If you had a good idea. A good idea you believed in. Then why not just work. You do not need to be a millionaire. You just need to provide a great working environment for people, provide healthcare and look after everyone that works at the business. Create a family. There should be no titles (as you can see from our “meet the team” (which has grown so we need to add to the page). You will also get an email from “David” that is me.
In my mind. If you have a good idea. Or not even a good idea, but are willing to work as my Grandfather said “Until the cows come home” then it will work. Yes it hurts and you do not sleep and you can expect a decade of misery.
But just forget the money. Forget about the wealth. Focus on the people that work at the business help them have a great life and focus on the customer. Work, answer the phone. Be a person who sweeps the floor. Just because you created a company that makes you no better or no different than anyone else.
Also this is odd, but do not sell anything, ever. Just simply offer the facts. We have decades of knowledge, if your plan does not fit our business, we can help with other suggestions. We are not looking to be billionaires or some mega company. Perhaps this is the new Mom and Pop of the 21st Century.
My advice is to anyone feeling like giving the “Dream” a go, firstly you are in the right part of the world. So that is a massive head start!
Then cut your costs. Live on very little and get used to it. Friends, you will have to give those up for a while as you will just be working, when they are out socializing you will be well…. working (not an easy sacrifice).
Focus on your “Vision” and then the families of the people that work for you, look after them. Think of all the children who are now dependent on you. Do not borrow money, no debt. Just work as a warehouse guy, as a freight manager, as a CFO, a CEO do it all until perhaps in 2-4 years until you can hire someone. But only part-time and only full time when you are sure you can take care of his or her family as they are now your responsibility. Make the dreams and goals of those that work for you, your priority. Put everyone else first. Put yourself at the bottom. Empty the trash.
Then if you can make money, give to the community. Focus on scholarships with a local high school, give back. But make sure it does not involve you. Have someone that works for the company give the checks out. (Never you). Let them see that the year was more than just work, that they made a difference as well. Because they did!
Good luck. Hopefully your idea is a lot lighter than mine, like Diamonds. I used to wish that a lot. Why could I not be in the socks or cufflink, business.
I am not a Journalist. I am sure there are mistakes in this post. But one of our rules is to keep costs as low as possible to the consumer, a no frills, word-of-mouth marketing strategy. So paying for journalists is just not a cost we want our customers to pay for. As that is how all costs are covered through the sale of the product. If you are a writer/journalist please let me know and I will correct 🙂