Do you know how a boy courts a girl?
Boy: Hi my name is X
Girl: Hi my name Z
Boy: you look beautiful!
Girl: thank you!
The first thing a boy does is to approach the girl and introduce himself. Who he is which in turn the girl does. The courting thing is a step by step process, you cannot miss out a single step unless you are a millionaire parking a red Ferrari on the side of the street — running a multi million corporation or for the downside unless the girl is without any standards whatsoever. The same exact step by step process is true when starting a business. Just like courting doesn’t start by kissing in the bedroom, a business doesn’t start all ‘headlines’ in big Newspapers. It starts small. With introductions. ‘hi‘ ‘hello‘ ‘my name is‘.
How much about the business you want to start do you know? Can you teach it to a high school class? Can you answer the questions those students might ask? Can you give them practical examples? This is how you say ‘hi‘ ‘my name is‘ in business. As you attempt to know the business you want to start, you reveal a lot about yourself compatible or incompatible with that business.
The second thing a boy does is to ask the girl if they can meet again over the weekend or next week. ‘there’s a cool bar down town, come with me this Saturday?’ asks the boy. ‘yea, sounds good‘ replies the girl. This is how a relationship is created. By setting up a series of continuous events meant to be memories supposed to establish a bond between the boy and the girl and to maintain it. Most importantly, the first date is meant to go beyond ‘hi my name is‘ to ‘once upon a time in my life‘. Basically the first date reveals the ‘life story‘ of both the girl and boy.
Great! By now you know what the business is, how it is done, who does it, where it is done from and how. All this is the technical information you gathered about the business you want to start. You’re now left with finding out the real stories behind each segment of interest in that business. The challenges, the pitfalls, the unexpected that happens, the above and beyond, the below and lower in production, distribution and consumption with regard to that business. Just like on that first date, the life stories of either the boy or the girl come from either the girl or the boy. The same is true with business stories of the business you want to start; they must be told by employees who work in that business sector, by employers, by clients, by investors, etc.
I hope you’ve noticed something about courting, it starts small, broken down into many steps that must be taken without skipping any or rushing through. Skipping steps or rushing through is what causes things like premature divorce, premature breakups, dispensable heart breaks, etc. The same is true with starting a business, skipping steps or rushing through causes premature shut down or failure.
Many people are always tempted to start big. As soon as that brilliant idea drops in their mind, they go high. Like drunk high. Immediately they launch that business and begin to look for clients. In courting, this would be like for a boy after meeting the girl the first time before even saying ‘hi‘ goes down to one knee, pulls out a ring and proposes ‘will you marry me?’. No doubt the girl would be like, ‘WILL I WHAT?’ ‘YOU! WHO ARE THE HELL ARE YOU TO BEGIN WITH?’. You don’t wanna be this guy.
Starting small is not enough, you’ve to advance small. Step by step forward. If a military general was writing this blog right now, he would have rephrased this as, ‘slow matching to business success‘. That is the phrase ‘slow match‘. To succeed in business you’ve to ‘slow match’ all the way to success. By the way, even when slow matching, you still have to change steps(this is like pausing in the military). Please don’t be alarmed, I learnt all those military terms in primary school, doing parade otherwise I’m an ordinary citizen.
In courting too you don’t rush your Sweetheart into anything. You slow match with her towards a lasting relationship. You don’t begin to treat her like your wife because she is not, etc. The same is true with business, after starting it small, you don’t want to rush into expansion or in becoming big. Its better to focus on the few clients you have , satisfy every need and claim they make and learn from them as much as you can. Don’t rush into bulk production, a small inventory is best to learn from, managing and ensures continuity without crashing.
I guess you might think that I have gone irrelevant, forgotten what I first started out to tell you, ‘how to start a business without money‘. Well, I still remember. As a matter of fact, the first paragraphs are well in sync with what I’m about to say next. Starting small does not require you to have any money at all.
Starting small with no money
You start with what you have, where you are, with who you are with, when you can as long as you know why. With this strategy, the money factor is an expendable variable. In other words, you don’t need it to do what you gotta do. The first code of Facebook was written by a 19 year old in a dorm room. Apple’s first office was in a house garage. Amazon started off with 1 chair, 1 table. How much does that cost for real? How much money do you need to sit in your room and start your small business in there? How much do you need to deliver your product every evening to neighbors and friends at the start? Kentucky fried chicken (KFC) started off with an unemployed guy at home cooking for family, then came friends, then came neighbors then came his county, city, state, country and finally the entire world including Africa.
97% of Africa’s rich people started small selling eggs on the streets, selling snacks, shining shoes, etc. The only thing they did to make them successful is what I highlighted above, ‘slow matching to success‘. They got a business idea, then they used what they had, where they were and slowly got promoted to new levels until finally they graduated with first class honors (lots of money). Do the same. There ain’t no shame about it.
Advancing small with no money.
The same way monkeys manage to maintain balance in trees for as long as they want is exactly what you should do to stay in business for as long as you want (some people last weeks); never ever release a branch you are hanging on before grabbing the next branch’. Here is the problem with most of us, we let go of what we have before getting what we expect to have. The result becomes early failure.
Don’t rush to get new clients before satisfying all needs of the ones you already have. Don’t rush to obtain more investment funds before efficiently utilizing the money you have already invested in the business. Don’t rush to hire new employees before obtaining maximum productivity from those you already have. Don’t rush to setting up new work stations before filling out every square inch of the space you already have. etc.
How much does it cost to demand more productivity from your employees? How much does it cost to identify other needs already existing clients have and satisfy them using already established means? How much does it cost minimizing mistakes in production, packaging and distribution. Yet when done, you still advance.
3 easy things you can use to start a business with no money:
#1 use your talent
Your talent by itself is a business. Yes it is a natural business given to you at birth by God or Allah or Nature. Don’t you ever forget it, your talent is a business. It needs no registration, no intellectual property rights, no patent, nothing. It’s a whole package. If you want to start a business and you are talented, just start doing whatever it is your talent makes you do best. Then to ensure success in this world, just build a company around your talent and your done.
Big celebrities know this secret and its what they are doing. They build brands(companies) around their talent. Then they become even wealthier. My friend, if you have a talent, just know you are already in business. The only question is, ‘is your business always open? or just open on the weekends?’ or just open in the shower or just open when you are with friends or just open when you have nothing to do or just open only when you are having fun?
#2 Use your skills
Just like talent, skills are no less. They are what you know how to do best. Just keep applying them as best as you can in places where they are best needed, to people who best need them and money will flow into your bank account like river Nile through Nubia, Ethiopia and Egypt.
#3 Use your audience
Today having a large audience is no short of having a gold mine in your backyard. Advertisers and promoters want to reach out to millions of people. If you can give them access to your large audience then my friend consider yourself rich. Just remember to build a company around your audience. How much does it cost you to have 50,000 friends on Facebook, 100,000 followers on Instagram? Not a penny. Just be friendly and social.
Thank me later.
Editorial/ Yewe Yewe